From Juicy Couture to The Simpsons, eBay has played host to some of the past two decades’ top trends.
Fashion wasn’t always the driving force for eBay users over the 2000s and 2010s but it played a major role in many of the top items and trends for each of the years the e-commerce company studied in a new report.
The first year of the new millennium in which a fashion brand made a major impact on eBay was in 2003, when Juicy Couture was bought out by Liz Claiborne. The brand’s velour tracksuits exploded in popularity at the onset of Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie’s fifteen minutes of fame, not the last item on this list to be heavily influenced by reality television. In its report, eBay also hinted that the Juicy Couture tracksuit is beginning to show signs of a resurgence.
In 2004, the massively popular sitcom “Friends” went off-air after a run of 10 seasons. When the series finale finally premiered in May, eBay said fans were especially motivated to snag merchandise related to the show off its platform. Then, when fans celebrated the 25th anniversary of the show’s premiere in September 2019, eBay saw a 44 percent increase in “Friends” T-shirt sales that month, a testament to the longevity of the show’s loyal fanbase.
Truly the year reality television became ingrained in our lives, 2005 was also the year in which Kim Kardashian West first made her mark on the world of fashion and pop culture. According to eBay, Kardashian West operated an account on the platform under the username “kimsaprincess” in the mid-2000s in order to resell clothing she received from her celebrity friends, taking some of the profit to finance her own fashion goals in much the same way resellers do today.
Pulled straight from the annals of history and plopped directly into the mid-aughts, tie-dye came to define the year in a way few other fashion trends could. Searches and sales for tie-dye were high for eBay and many other retailers. It could be another trend that sees a resurgence, the platform said, as many high-end designers like Prada and Stella McCartney brought tie-dye to the catwalk in 2019.
After nearly two decades on the air (and still counting), The Simpsons Movie brought America’s favorite animated family to the big screen. A cultural phenomenon as big as any, eBay said that sales of Simpsons-themed apparel shot up by 217 percent following the July 27, 2007, premiere of the movie.
This year was defined by shoe trends that should sound familiar to anyone paying attention in 2019. Both Uggs and Crocs became the must-have footwear choices of the year in 2008, with Ugg Boots seeing a 105 percent sales bump year-over-year during the holiday season. Crocs, on the other end, got one of its first big boosts as a brand that summer, recording sales 135 times higher than the previous season on eBay.
Whether or not you watched “Jersey Shore” in 2009 was a character-defining trait, and the weight of the show’s immense popularity was felt in fashion as well. That year, eBay said it saw increased searches and sales for items related to the show, including oversized sunglasses, animal prints, hats with airbrushed graphics and the indispensable graphic T-shirt.
Skipping ahead a few years, the beginning of a new British invasion began to take form. Prince William and Kate Middleton of the British royal family married in 2011, setting fashion trends for months and showing the continued power of their popularity. In 2018, Meghan Markle, an American, married Prince Harry and eBay saw sales for fascinators and floral crowns increase by 47 percent. When the Duchess of Sussex walked down the aisle in a Givenchy gown on May 19 of that year, the brand became the top-searched label on eBay that very same day.
Continuing the British theme, the next year saw the release of a James Bond film, the rising popularity of British boy band One Direction, and London’s turn at hosting the Olympics. According to eBay, after the Spice Girls reunited for closing ceremonies, sales for apparel, accessories and home decor featuring the Union Jack flag rose noticeably.
A few years later, consumers felt the urge to go floral as 3D flowers on items from wedding dresses to home furnishings became a hot commodity. The e-commerce platform said that the last six months of the year saw a 1,115 percent increase in sales for 3D-flower-related items.
As time flows onward, trends tend to recirculate. But, the fanny pack may be one of the most impressive retreads of an 80s cultural icon so far in the new millennium. As athleisure sensibilities push the further casualization of fashion, the idea of a hands-free bag began to appeal to consumers once again. The trend shows no signs of slowing its roll either. In 2019, 10 times more Gucci belt bags were sold on eBay compared to similar handbags.
Last year was the year of the sneaker on eBay. Even though sneakers began the year as perhaps the most important part of a streetwear wardrobe, sales were still up for the category compared to 2018. Air Jordan led the way with 171 percent more sales than any competing brand on the platform.
Pearls also saw increased interest following the release of a candid photo featuring supermodel Gigi Hadid wearing pearl jewelry, boosting sales of pearl accessories by 21 percent.
Additionally, micro bags became a big trend in 2019, with mini crossbody bags becoming the “most wanted” handbag style on the platform, boasting a year-over-year sales increase of 65 percent. Songstress Lizzo notably toted a bite-size bag on the American Music Awards red carpet.