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Gen Z hates skinny jeans

Data and viral videos on TikTok prove it

Gen Z hates skinny jeans  Data and viral videos on TikTok prove it

It's official: Gen Z hates skinny jeans. According to a survey by NPD Group, reported by Highsnobiety, the preference for looser denim and the collective shift towards a more comfortable fit has been accelerated by pandemic: straight-leg denim - now the best-selling cut among women in the US - has finally usurped skinny jeans. The "trend that refuses to die", as the Guardian called it in 2019, is now the most hated item on TikTok, where videos of kids pretending to vomit to music while images of skinny trousers go viral every day. A decline that was perhaps inevitable, considering how much and how over the years the skinny jeans aesthetic has been linked to an unhealthy and extreme ideal of thinness, for years the aesthetic canon in force (Karl Lagerfeld's diet to fit into a pair of Slimane jeans was famous), which no longer has a place in the inclusive society that Gen Z hopes for, as well as clashing with the body positive movement that in recent seasons has monopolised the debate on the inclusiveness of the catwalks. 

Interestingly, younger consumers are more likely to shy away from skinny jeans than, for example, baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, who increased their purchase between 2019 and 2021. According to Quartz data, Gen Z prefers straight-leg jeans, followed by relaxed, baggy and boyfriend styles, in part perhaps because, as Levi's CEO reported last summer, a quarter of women wear a larger size than before the pandemic.

@lecheflannne my legs needs to breatheeee #fyp #freethelegs #skinnyjeans #2017 original sound - Icy Trey

The reference aesthetic now inextricably linked to the skinny imagery is built up of skinny, almost emaciated models, worn on the catwalk by Hedi Slimane with Saint Laurent, Dior Homme and Celine, a nostalgic aesthetic of that period between 2006 and 2013 when the trend was made even more desirable, as often happens, thanks to a successful blend of fashion and music. In fact, Pete Doherty and his Libertines, but also Kate Moss, The Kills, Franz Ferdinand and The Kooks have all been testimonials for the brand. But now that Cheap Monday no longer exists, that indie as we knew it is dead, that tumblr is the preserve of a nostalgic niche, the faces of the fashion houses have been replaced by rappers and influencers. Today, the skinny has become almost a political bulwark, a stance against a fashion that once was, which now should (and is trying to) open up to more body types, through different models and silhouettes.