Driven by the nostalgia of the early 2000s, I have curated a list of the 12 best Y2K clothing brands that defined an era.
From the iconic velour tracksuits of Juicy Couture to the tattoo aesthetic designs of Ed Hardy, these labels were the cornerstone of Y2K fashion.
You’ll discover fashion brands like Baby Phat and Tommy Hilfiger and their millennial outfits influencing generation after generation seeking to explore Y2K style.
Whether you’re looking to channel your inner 2000s fashionista or discover what made these clothing brands timeless Y2K classics, it is time to revisit the loud logos and the silhouettes that epitomized Y2K fashion style.
1. BABY PHAT
Baby Phat is an American clothing brand established in 1999 by Kimora Lee Simmons and relaunched in 2019 when it revived one of the most favorite garments of the Y2K times, the bucket hat.
I still remember Alicia Keys out and about in New York City in 2003, repping a Baby Phat tracksuit with Nike Cortez sneakers and signature “A” gold hoops.
Celebrities such as Aaliyah and Jill Hennessy also rocked the brand in early 2000.
2. JUICY COUTURE
Best known for high-end tracksuits, Juicy Couture was founded by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor in 1997 and purchased in 2003 by the Liz Claiborne fashion company.
As a name that defined the fashion style of 2000, Juicy Couture is behind some of the most iconic Y2K clothes ever, such as the Velour tracksuit and the shoulder bag with charms.
In the post-millennium era, Juicy Couture’s tracksuits were sported by Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Mariah Carey, and Halle Berry, turning the brand into a symbol of celebrity status.
3. TRUE RELIGION
Sporting a stitched horseshoe as a logo, True Religion is an American clothing company established in April 2002 by Jeff Lubell and Kym Gold and based in Vernon, California.
TR was Jessica Alba and Jessica Simpson’s favorite clothing brand in the 2000s, showcased even at the Young Hot Hollywood Style Award in 2005.
With the comeback of the Y2K fashion style, the brand released a collaboration with the streetwear label Supreme and rappers 2 Chainz and Chief Keef.
4. ED HARDY
Ed Hardy was created by Don Ed Hardy, an American tattoo artist from Newport Beach, California.
Ed’s influence on modern tattoo styles was reflected by his eponymous apparel and accessories brand.
Ed Hardy’s tattoo-style graphic tees and bedazzled trucker hats were the teen’s favorites during the mid-2000s.
The label’s 2000s celebrity moments were Fergie’s skull print tee at Black Eyed Peas Press Conference in 2005, Miley Cyrus’s graphic t-shirt in 2006 at American Music Awards, and Ashley Tisdale’s graphic trucker hat in 2006.
Founded in 1930, Kangol is an English clothing company famous for its hand-knitted Angora wool headwear.
Kangol originates from ‘K’ for knitting, ‘ANG’ for angora, and ‘OL’ for wool.
Although no Kangol hat has ever been manufactured in Australia, the Kangaroo logo was adopted by Kangol when customers asked where they could “get that Kangaroo hat.”
Popular in the hip-hop subculture during the late 80s and early 90s, Missy Elliott brought Kangol hats to the Y2K style, wearing a pink fuzzy bucket hat during the Fall 2005 Baby Phat runway show in New York City.
B.T.S., the K-pop boy band, brought back the popular Kangol hats in 2020 in their record-breaking music clip ‘Dynamite.’
6. Miss Sixty
Launched in 1991, Miss Sixty is an Italian brand famous during the Y2K era thanks to its denim couture and low-rise jeans.
In 1999, Miss Sixty opened its first store in London.
In the early 2000s, Miss Sixty expanded its offering, launching a footwear line in 2000, eyewear in 2002, and kidswear in 2004.
In a comeback in 2022, Miss Sixty launched a 2000s-inspired butterfly waistline faded denim and low-rise flared jeans collection endorsed by the supermodel Bella Hadid.
7. MISS ME
Who wouldn’t recognize the little red tab on the side pocket of classic Miss Me jeans?
Completed with contrast stitching, embroidery, and a distressed wash, this boho-style denim was the staple of Y2K celebrities like Queen B.
‘Miss Me’ launched its first collection in the Spring of 2001 – with the single purpose of dressing the modern girl who was multi-dimensional in character and style.
FUBU is an American hip-hop apparel company, and the label’s name stands for “For Us, By Us.” FUBU is all about urban culture in the 2000s.
In 2001, FUBU Founder and Executive Producer of FUBU Entertainment, Carl Brown, scored the highest-selling compilation album in Urban Music history, “The Good Life.”
That’s when “For Us, By Us” became the mantra of the Y2K moment.
9. LE TIGRE
Le Tigre is an American apparel brand designed to rival Lacoste in styling.
Launched in 1977, Le Tigre’s polos sported a leaping tiger instead of Lacoste’s signature crocodile and Retro Fox’s fox.
Le Tigre became popular in the 80s, with celebrities like Wilt Chamberlain, LL Cool J, and even President Ronald Reagan wearing the brand.
The American brand became popular again in 2005, endorsed by celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Fergie.
10. VON DUTCH
Von Dutch is an American global apparel brand named after Kenny Howard, a.k.a. “Von Dutch,” an American artist and pinstriper of the Kustom Kulture movement.
After Howard died in 1992, his daughters sold the Von Dutch name to Michael Cassel and Robert Vaughn.
Von Dutch streetwear-style trucker hats were all the rage in the 90s – 00s, represented even on the red carpet by Halle Berry in 2005.
The brand is still operating today and has become one of the most popular underground streetwear brands in 2023.
Rocawear is an American clothing retailer based in New York, created in 1999 by Roc-A-Fella Records co-founders Damon Dash and Shawn Carter, also known as JAY-Z.
JAY-Z later sold the company to Iconix Brand Group. Rocawear delivered logo-packed Y2K style outerwear, repped on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show red carpet by JAY-Z himself in 2001.
12. TOMMY HILFIGER
Tommy Hilfiger’s career in fashion began in 1968 when he co-founded a clothing and record store named ‘People’s Place’ in upstate New York.
Hilfiger reached popularity with the American “preppy” scene when Snoop Dogg wore a Hilfiger sweatshirt during Saturday Night Live in the 1990s.
The brand was sported in 2000 by Sheryl Crow, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Lenny Kravitz, Paris Hilton, and Christina Aguilera, to name a few Y2K celebs.
Tommy Hilfiger’s y2k collections impress with a modernized approach to button-down shirts, chinos, denim jackets, and other classic American styles of the year 2000.
In a whirlwind of memories and modern reinterpretation, the Y2K style and its unique aesthetic remain as impactful today as it was in the early 2000s.
Moreover, clothing brands like Juicy Couture, Ed Hardy, and Baby Phat are not just relics of the past but active participants in today’s fashion trends.
Whether you’re a fashion-forward millennial or a Gen Z eager to dip your toes into the iconic styles of the era, these 12 Y2K clothing brands will undoubtedly satisfy your needs.
Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!
A University of Oxford graduate in Design History, Katherine Saxon is researching arising TikTok cultures from a consumer psychology perspective while covering emerging aesthetics in fashion and beauty for TheVOU, Forbes, Business Insider, and more.
Y2K Clothing Brands: Exploring the Nostalgic Fashion Era
The early 2000s marked a significant era in fashion, with several clothing brands defining the Y2K style. From iconic velour tracksuits to tattoo-inspired designs, these brands left a lasting impact on fashion and continue to influence current trends. Let's delve into the concepts and brands mentioned in this article.
1. Baby Phat
Baby Phat, established in 1999 by Kimora Lee Simmons, became a favorite clothing brand during the Y2K era. Known for its bucket hats, Baby Phat experienced a revival in 2019. Celebrities like Alicia Keys, Aaliyah, and Jill Hennessy were often seen sporting Baby Phat tracksuits and accessories [].
2. Juicy Couture
Juicy Couture, founded in 1997, gained immense popularity for its high-end tracksuits. The brand's velour tracksuits and shoulder bags with charms became iconic Y2K fashion items. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Jennifer Lopez embraced Juicy Couture, elevating it to a symbol of celebrity status [].
3. True Religion
True Religion, established in 2002, became known for its stitched horseshoe logo. Celebrities like Jessica Alba and Jessica Simpson were fans of the brand, showcasing it at various events. True Religion made a comeback in the Y2K fashion scene with collaborations with streetwear label Supreme and renowned rappers [].
4. Ed Hardy
Ed Hardy, created by tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy, gained popularity for its tattoo-style graphic tees and bedazzled trucker hats. Celebrities like Fergie, Miley Cyrus, and Ashley Tisdale embraced the brand's unique aesthetic during the mid-2000s [].
Kangol, an English clothing company founded in 1930, is famous for its hand-knitted Angora wool headwear. While popular in the hip-hop subculture during the late '80s and early '90s, Kangol hats made a comeback in the Y2K style. Missy Elliott and the K-pop boy band BTS contributed to the resurgence of Kangol hats [].
6. Miss Sixty
Miss Sixty, an Italian brand launched in 1991, gained fame for its denim couture and low-rise jeans. The brand expanded its offerings to include footwear, eyewear, and kidswear. In 2022, Miss Sixty made a comeback with a collection of 2000s-inspired denim endorsed by supermodel Bella Hadid [].
7. Miss Me
Miss Me jeans, recognized by their little red tab and boho-style denim, became a staple for Y2K celebrities. The brand aimed to dress the modern girl with character and style. The collection was launched in the spring of 2001, featuring contrast stitching, embroidery, and distressed washes [].
FUBU, an American hip-hop apparel company, stood for "For Us, By Us." It represented urban culture in the 2000s and gained significant recognition with the release of the highest-selling compilation album in urban music history, "The Good Life." FUBU became synonymous with the Y2K moment [].
9. Le Tigre
Le Tigre, an American apparel brand, aimed to rival Lacoste in styling. Known for its leaping tiger logo, Le Tigre gained popularity in the '80s, with celebrities like Wilt Chamberlain and LL Cool J endorsing the brand. It experienced a resurgence in 2005, endorsed by Anne Hathaway and Fergie [].
10. Von Dutch
Von Dutch, an American global apparel brand, was named after artist Kenny Howard, also known as "Von Dutch." The brand gained popularity in the '90s and early 2000s with its streetwear-style trucker hats. Halle Berry even sported a Von Dutch hat on the red carpet in 2005. The brand remains popular today [].
Rocawear, created in 1999 by Damon Dash and JAY-Z, delivered logo-packed Y2K style outerwear. The brand gained recognition when JAY-Z himself sported Rocawear on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show red carpet in 2001. Iconix Brand Group later acquired Rocawear [].
12. Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger, a renowned fashion brand, gained popularity in the '90s with its "preppy" style. The brand's sweatshirt was famously worn by Snoop Dogg during Saturday Night Live. In the 2000s, Tommy Hilfiger was embraced by numerous celebrities, including Sheryl Crow, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera [].
These 12 Y2K clothing brands played a significant role in defining the fashion of the early 2000s. Their unique aesthetics and iconic pieces continue to inspire fashion trends today. Whether you're a millennial or a Gen Z enthusiast, exploring these brands will undoubtedly satisfy your desire to embrace the nostalgic Y2K style.
Remember, fashion is subjective, and personal style should always reflect your individuality and preferences. Enjoy exploring the world of Y2K fashion and have fun experimenting with different styles!