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Justin Timberlake Defends His 2001 Denim Suit: ‘You Could Kind of Rock That Today’

COVID-19 recovery is on the horizon but the pandemic's impact on sustainability, retail, product development and consumer buying patterns means the denim industry must evolve. Join Rivet on April 20th at 11 am ET for the COVID, One Year Later roundtable.

It’s been 19 years since American pop stars Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears wore their matching denim-on-denim ensembles on the red carpet, but that iconic fashion decision—and the accompanying photos—will live on forever.

Timberlake recently appeared as a guest on fellow ‘NSYNC member Lance Bass’ podcast series “The Daily Popcast” to recognize the 20th anniversary of the band’s “No Strings Attached” album. In the interview, Timberlake stood firm on his infamous wardrobe selection at the 2001 American Music Awards, in which he wore a head-to-toe denim suit complete with a patchwork denim top hat.

“I don’t know, man, you could kind of rock that today,” Timberlake told Bass, who later admitted that denim suiting has been one of the most notable denim trends on and off the runway in recent seasons.

Timberlake’s outfit featured a light-wash denim blazer with a jean back pocket in place of a standard chest pocket, with matching multi-toned jeans and a studded waistband. Then-girlfriend Britney Spears wore a matching strapless denim dress with similar patchwork throughout, and finished the look with a small denim purse. The dress featured a raw hem, which, as Timberlake noted, is a style often seen on women’s jeans today.

And he was right—’00s style is making its way back into the 2020 fashion timeline, with low-rise jeans, cut-out accents and crystal embellishments appearing in new denim collections. Timberlake and Spears’ infamous denim look even served as the inspiration for Swedish denim and fashion brand Weekday’s “Denim Like it’s 1999” collection.

Gucci S/S 20

Gucci S/S 20

While Timberlake insisted the trend was back, Bass made it clear he wasn’t a fan.

“The late ‘90s was not great for style at all,” he said. “We are immortalized in some really horrible things.”

Timberlake has since gone on to show his unwavering love of denim by collaborating with Levi’s on multiple collections that blend his heritage, hip-hop, rocker and streetwear influences.

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