Claire’s 29 best products for Y2K Mall Beauty Renaissance in 2021
Earlier this fall, while walking speedily in the rain to the Darkwants Riches Déprimés show held at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris, I saw a luminous lilac lighthouse: its entry is decorated with headbands and cigarette cases, an oval sign on the window read “through the d’oreilles.“This, on Avenue Saint-Michel, is the first Claire’s store I’ve noticed in years. This was a pivotal moment, I took a photo of the storefront for proof and spent the next weeks thinking about how Claire and Y2K retailers like Afterthoughts and Gadzooks hold seminars about Experimental style on my trip to the Richland Fashion Mall in Waco, Texas. Claire’s acts as a pre-super-island space to explore and socialize; within its purple walls, the promise of sparkling crystal accessories, glow-in-the-dark technology, clearance-priced treasures that earn a lot of dollars, and the chance to soar as a valued customer — of any age — has been present.
While its peers closed in the early ’00s, Claire never left us – we just stopped going to the shopping malls. Not long before I saw Paris, I tried to explain what the mall was at a yard party in the West Village during New York Fashion Week, because in their absence, a renaissance of Y2K has appeared. Paris Hilton, Travis Barker, and Avril Lavigne back in focus, #y2k garners billions of TikTok and Hulu views PEN15—Set in the era of dial-up internet — has earned four Emmy Award nominations on the way last episode, arriving on December 3. OG shoppers are reviewing the experience. “Recently I stumbled across a Claire’s shop and bought a pair of gold bracelets just out of nostalgia,” said the Lisbon person. La Mignonette, of dreamcore account @mignonettetakespictures. She describes it as a destination to discover “cute accessories at the right price” and more than that, “the beginning of self-expression.”
It’s always been an open door, globally. “On the outskirts of Toronto, I spent the weekend at the mall,” says the digital artist in Berlin Stacie Ant, whose 3D avatar won clients like the Italian designer Adriana’s hot couture (favorite of Rihanna). Ant likes Claire’s pop-punk part because “there’s nowhere else to find this kind of teen-focused style.” For some, the store also provides a path to the future. “Claire opened my eyes to the beauty of creating unique fashion and the importance of individuality,” says the model. Olay Noel, branded Los Angeles MIANIK can be seen on industry megastars Karrueche Tran and Winnie Harlow. It’s as if Claire’s is a store like a person – Claire – whose customers feel free to exist as they are and dream beyond now.
Below, professionals of all kinds, from filmmakers to hairstylists to hair historians, share Claire’s favorites from all time — including beauty amenities that can be Digital shopping of 2021.
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/photos/2021/12/claires-y2k-beauty-aesthetic-pen15-final-episodes Claire’s 29 best products for Y2K Mall Beauty Renaissance in 2021