Corsets, cowboy boots and jean shorts are Gen Z fashion essentials this summer, but this isn’t the first time these all-American-meets-pinup pieces have come together. They were also central to actress Pamela Anderson’s signature look in the ’90s.
Enter “Pamcore,” a Gen Z-led interpretation of Anderson’s sexy yet laidback L.A. actress and rock star wife style. In other words, Anderson walked so Gen Z could run to their nearest thrift stores to snap up these items.
“Straddling ’90s aesthetics, Bimbocore and sexy dressing, Pamcore echoes some of 2022’s biggest runway trends, providing a font of inspiration for trend ranges and merchandising stories,” Edited stated, referring to the PVC and bodycon silhouettes seen in Versace and Richard Quinn collections.
An Anderson-inspired style revival has been percolating in the cultural zeitgeist. Model Kendall Jenner dressed as Anderson’s character from the 1996 film “Barb Wire” for Halloween 2020, donning a leather bodysuit, fishnet tights and blond bombshell wig. High-cut one-piece swimsuits like the one Anderson wore as lifeguard Casey Jean Parker in “Baywatch” have become a millennial staple, and 20 years after the show debuted, rumors of a reunion show are circulating.
The Hulu series “Pam & Tommy” chronicling her and then-husband Tommy Lee’s sex tape scandal in the ’90s thrust Anderson back into the spotlight, however, igniting “Pamcore” into a full-fledge trend. Since the finale in March, Edited reports #pamcore has amassed over 264 million views on TikTok, and searches for Anderson’s 90s outfits and makeup have surged on Pinterest.
Retailers that planned for Y2K trends have a head start with Pamcore merchandising stories.
Corset arrivals have surged 175 percent year-over-year, with Abercrombie & Fitch leading this trend. “Core black and white hues top the color chart for this style; however, denim presents an opportunity for those seeking a directional product option,” Edited stated.
Named a trend to watch by Denim Premier Vision, denim corsets have been backed by a breath of brands from H&M x Lee and Target’s Wild Fable label to Versace and Act n°1 on the Fall/Winter 22-23 runway. The top is also a nod to another moment in ’90s icon’s style: the denim look Britney Spears wore to the 2001 American Music Awards.
Other statement fabrics like sheer, glitter, PVC, leather and lace “form the building blocks for the aesthetic,” paired with ultra-feminine details like lace-ups, boning, slits and cut-outs. Edited noted that micro lengths are key and applicable to tops, skirts and dresses alike.
Anderson’s influence is also seen in accessories. Though cowboy boots have been on the rise since last summer, Edited reports new arrivals have grown by 1,233 percent in S/S 2022 versus S/S 2021 and shows “no signs of waning.” Other Pamcore items include faux fur hats (Anderson is an animal rights activist), choker necklaces and cross necklaces.
Anderson’s star power isn’t fading either. She made her Broadway debut this spring starring as Roxie Hart in “Chicago.” While Anderson was not involved in the development of the Hulu series, she will tell her story in an upcoming Netflix documentary.
“Although the release date is yet to be confirmed, this development will ensure the ’90s icon remains in the public eye,” Edited stated.