The GuardianThe Guardian

How can you spot a ‘vibe shift’ that transforms popular culture? Ask me! I literally invented the term

By Sean Monahan

19 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The past year has seen an array of micro-trends come and go. The Guardian explains how to spot a trend that will actually have a long-term impact.

In late 2019, I started spotting them in New York. Trucker hats. Everywhere. Worn by conspicuously youthful young men and often with tight, flared, dark denim jeans and black leather jackets, they looked out of time when everyone still thought streetwear – fancy trainers and expensive sportswear collaborations – was the future of fashion.

I appreciated their commitment to the mid-00s aesthetic. It made them look like a band. Two years later, my suspicions were confirmed when I met some trucker-hat wearers at a party. They were a band: the Hellp. In the intervening two years they went from looking out of time to looking right on time, and would prefigure “the vibe shift”, “indie sleaze,” or even simply “the return of rock” – whatever you might call it.

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