Over the course of the last decade, the pop culture scene has been awash with ’80s revival. Popular sci-fi and horror franchises have celebrated major anniversaries, while era-defining movies such as ET, Ghostbusters, and Alien have been referenced or reconstructed through modern storytelling for audiences of the ’80s throwback generation.
Much like US pop culture of the 1980s itself liked to transport society back a generation to the rockin’ 50s, nostalgia has always played a major role within the pop culture market construct. Which is why the scene is just about ready for its next evolution.
To this end, George Nesnas, director at I Love Fancy Dress, the licensed fancy dress and party specialists, believes that throwback culture is due a shift. Synthesisers and keyboard ties make way, he suggests, because the years ahead will belong to the ’90s.
“Obviously we speak from a Fancy Dress perspective but we have noticed a massive rise in ’90s themed parties in the last few years,” Nesnas tells Licensing.biz.
“When the business was started 10 years ago, 1980s parties were all the rage and properties such as Baywatch, Ghostbusters, and Top Gun (Not properties we held but we were selling them in our retail store) were top selling costumes in the market.”
However, as a new generation of spenders with disposable income and a desire to journey down memory lane – or actually, look to capture the essence of a decade they spent much of their time in nappies throughout – pop culture nostalgia is beginning to advance a decade.
“Now as the Children of the 90s are growing up, making their own buying decisions and throwing parties we believe the years ahead will belong to the 90s,” said Nesnas.
A family business in which three of its five shareholders were themselves born in the ’90s, I Love Fancy Dress believes it can approach the topic from a unique perspective, and carry “extra insight” into a market now tuning into the ’90s.
“We all control different but important parts of the business,” Nesnas continued. “I was born in 1993, I live for most of the year out in Zhejiang, China looking after the supply chain and ensuring the compliance of our products and the factories we work with. Belinda my sister was born in 1994 and controls the online retail sales of the business and Carmen my younger sister was born in 1999, she designs the packaging, catalogues and advertising materials.
“The 1990s is going to play a big part in the pop culture and licensing space for the years to come.”