Given what kind of year 2020 shaped up to be, the then-polarizing fashion of the early aughts doesn’t seem so bad after all.
Case in point: velour tracksuits. Once a low-brow signature of the young Hollywood elite like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, the athleisure sets are back in vogue this fall with chicer colorways and more forgiving silhouettes than their low-rise forbears.
And in an ironic twist of fashion fate, Hilton, whose own popularity has resurged since the debut of her YouTube documentary “This is Paris,” is helping usher the trend back into style.
Following the news that Hilton and long-time friend Kim Kardashian West were partnering to launch a Skims’ velour range, global fashion search platform Lyst reported that searches for velour tracksuits spiked 54 percent compared to the previous week. Searches for the term “velvet sweatpants” also increased 80 percent.
The collection boasts velour tanks, bandeaus, sleep tops, hoodies, joggers, wide-leg pants and robes in neutral color ways like honey, smoke and sienna. Several of the styles have sold out.
Sure enough, Hilton and Kardashian West lived up to their reputations for being social media pioneers with their campaign for the velour collection. For the campaign, the pair recreated an iconic photo the paparazzi snapped in 2006 while they were toting gold and silver Louis Vuitton monogram Miroir Alma bags (and flip phones), but this time while wearing the elevated loungewear basics by Skims.
The brand that helped put velour track suits on the map in the late ’90s and early ’00s is seeing an uptick in buzz as well. Lyst reported that the most-wanted styles are from Juicy Couture, which turns 25 this year.
The brand, which recently partnered with fellow-throwback brand Kappa for a capsule collection, is repeating history. Young celebrities like Dua Lipa, Sofia Richie and Timothée Chalamet have recently been photographed wearing Juicy Couture’s iconic hoodies.
The trend for velour is just the latest chapter in loungewear’s evolution since the start of the pandemic. In general, global demand for velour pieces on Lyst has been growing since September, and searches for the terms “velvet” and “velour” are collectively up 30 percent month-on-month, the company stated.
Demand for the plush fabrications is likely to rise as the holiday seasons approaches, too, as consumers browse for festive special occasion wear—be it dresses and blazers or pajamas this year.
Less trend-driven but nonetheless just as comfortable and important this season as velour is knitwear. Demand for the product category as a whole has increased 62 percent month-on-month, Lyst reported, with cardigans and chunky sweaters being the most-searched-for styles.
Searches for matching cardigan sets, in particular, are up 25 percent since the start of October, while searches for “long cardigans” climbed 15 percent.
Knit vests—another popular ’90s staple—are moving up, too. Lyst named vests the fastest rising product in the knitwear category, with searches for the layering piece increasing 102 percent over the past few weeks.