The Rise of “Vintage” Amongst Modern Teens

Jaden Rust

Vinyls, film cameras, and 80s fashion. Parents puzzle as their children ask for new record players, while having all the music they need right on their phone. Why has this wave of teenagers become encompassed with old-school items, despite their impracticality? What does this say about the future of our cyclical culture?

The twenty-first century has brought a multitude of changes within technology, with the development of smartphones, smart watches, smart household appliances, and more. Everything is being made for the convenience of society, continuously alleviating the routine tasks of our daily lives. As we invent objects and ideas that make life more efficient, the current generation of teenagers have taken a look into the past with a certain fascination towards vintage clothing, tech, and music. Where does this fascination come from, when all we’ve known is the multifaceted phone in our hands? 

Many young people have taken a step back with a newfound realization of their addiction to modern, fast-paced technology, and understand the changes it has presented to society. Some simply like the way old-fashioned things look. When asked about her interest in “vintage” culture, LSHS student Sierra Man says the character of her records are more unique than the “cookie cutter designs and items mass produced today.” Junior Lucas Bishop claims the “analogue feeling” of his record player and film cameras gives him a slower and more enjoyable experience when consuming media. Adding to the growing love of cameras, student Nicole McKinney says she loves to “capture memories with my friends in a way that’s not so connected to my phone” by using digital cameras. Along with technology, it’s no secret that fashion trends go in and out of style, and the nature of our culture is constantly recycling old ideas. Aforementioned junior Sierra Man buys second hand clothing from the thrift store to not only obtain the “vintage” looks of the past, but also for the affordable and sustainable factors. These articles of clothing have been tossed aside by previous generations as they leave the limelight of what is considered “stylish”, but a new generation has made their way back to old school clothing and made it their own.

Observing the cultural changes of the teenage generation is truly fascinating, as we begin to gravitate and romanticize the technology and lifestyle of the decades that came before us. Especially considering the rapidly growing digital society we are in, the new generation’s distaste for devices can be considered refreshing, and the trickles of vintage fashion that have made their way into modern teenage style have allowed for the reuse of old clothing pieces. It’s evident now more than ever that everything comes back within time, and the sudden rise of vintage amongst teens and young adults proves that to be true.