Growing up as a 90s kid in Singapore was arguably the best time. It was a time when Singapore was advancing so rapidly that these days, you can barely find remnants of the past that we grew up in.
Hence, we hold on to our memories, tighter than any other generation. Let me take you on a nostalgic journey back in time, with this list of fashion brands that ONLY the 90s kids would remember.
1. Ocean Pacific
What’s with Singaporeans and surf-wear back in the day? It was the go-to clothing brand to raise your street cred.
Ocean Pacific (OP), the Californian brand, was the wave in the early 2000s. The branding was forgettable, to put it nicely, but the one thing they pioneered was the Velcro fly. It’s becoming a trend again, isn’t it?
2. Von Dutch
A certain Kardashian was recently spotted wearing the symbolically trashy trucker cap that birthed our local and equally trashy, floating caps. It’s cool, if you were begging for a bootleg version of the cap sold in pasar malams around your estate, you are not alone.
Who could blame you? Back when MTV played music videos, they were seen everywhere on that channel. And MTV was the coolest channel.
3. No Fear
The 90’s marked the beginning of the world’s fascination with extreme sports. We sat glued to our screens with jaws dropped as we watch professional skaters perform death-defying acts wearing a No Fear tee.
Accompanying what I liked to call, The Rock eyes, the tee-shirts were printed with semi-inspirational sports quotes (bullsh*t) in an attempt to resonate with a masculine attitude. All very different from the fluffed up motivational messages we see today.
4. Alien Workshop
Back in primary school, the only way to flex on the cutie in class was to stand out from the uniform crowd with accessories. Bags and wallets were canvases to express our personalities but our mums would only let us carry velcro wallets with a coin pouch.
That’s where Alien Workshop stepped in with its iconic Alien character with striped ribbing along the wallet, and it became every boy’s preferred choice.
Quiksilver makes up the second part of the holy trifecta of surf brands that were once popping in Singapore. The iconic logo that features a wave crashing on a mountain on a red background was actually inspired by Japanese painter Hokusai’s woodcut, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Even though the brand was a little less popular as compared to the others, you’d still be able to see someone rocking a Quiksilver tee easily back in the day.
We can’t speak about Quiksilver without mentioning its female iteration, Roxy. You best believe that whole surfing phase was huge enough that Roxy was quickly made available in Singapore for the ladies.
Usually tapping into the palettes of pink and maroon, the brand’s stuff in those hues were for the less flexible gender stereotypes of the 90s.
FUBU was the brand for hip-hop heads with co-signs from LL Cool J being a big reason for that. 90s hip-hop was synonymous with skirt chasing and getting the ladies, so it was only natural that it blew up.
Oversized everything, from jeans to shirts and the logo font akin to those early 2000s fancy font generator. I personally loved anything metallic, flames were a close second though.
The leader of the trifecta, Billabong. You didn’t think I’d leave this brand out of the conversation now, did you? I can vividly remember the brand’s board shorts being everyone’s home pants and seeing the pencil cases on every cool kid’s desk.
That red cross was so prominent. I knew I would get crucified (pun intended) for even attempting to ask for it as a kid but it was the edgiest thing I could think of as an eight-year-old.
For the longest time, I thought that the Spitfire logo was inspired from Meramon from Digimon. Yes, I am part of a small demographic of people who would put Digimon over Pokemon. Fight me. The smiling fireball was in my eyes, more of a grown-up thing to wear as a kid.
Funny how we wouldn’t even be caught dead wearing these clothes in today’s fashion scene but perhaps, with the whole 90s revolution on the rise, these brands could see a second coming? Until then, we’d be better off sticking to our fast fashion retailers and leave the fashion experiments to those who dare to walk the talk.
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