The Ultimate '90s Merch Collection Has Arrived, & We Want It All

Photo: Courtesy of Genius.
The '90s resurgence shows no signs of waning, and we're not mad about that. If you're also very much here for the redux of trends that were everything two decades ago, there's a new range of of throwback gear worth perusing, ASAP. Genius, the media company and former lyric-annotating platform known as Rap Genius, has come out with 1997 Collection, a capsule of cleverly-designed threads that hone in on a year that was apparently rife with major music moments, which "felt larger than life," according to the site. Even the logo is a nod to '97: It references director Hype Williams' affinity for shooting with the fish eye lens. (If that doesn't ring a bell, just check out some of his most iconic hip-hop music videos from two decades ago for the likes of Missy Elliott and Jay-Z — you'll definitely recognize them.)
The graphics-laden array of tees, long-sleeved shirts, socks, and baseball hats include homages to a range of music artists that had major moments in 1997, from Fiona Apple to Notorious B.I.G. to the Spice Girls to Celine Dion. The pieces cleverly utilize lyrics and album cover art (you know, in the days when you lovingly saved every single CD's liner notes, back when that was a thing) so damn well, you'll get a wave of nostalgia.
Prices range from $8 for a "Puffy Woods"-themed golf ball — yes, that's a mash-up of Puff Daddy and Tiger Woods — to $70 for a beach towel, with tees and hats fetching $30 a pop and hoodies going for double that. The only problem you might encounter is trying to whittle down the selection when deciding which unapologetically nostalgic item (or two, or three..) to add to your closet. Ahead, check out a couple of standouts from the lineup, and the fascinating creative reasoning behind each item.
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Yes, that's a Celine Dion/Titanic reference, plus a nod to Master P's "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" album, the latter of which comments on how "Southern gangsta rap was finally breaking through to the mainstream" circa '97, per Genius. Even the iconic blue diamond necklace from the beloved sobfest of a film makes a cameo.

Genius The 1997 Collection My Heart Will Go Uhh! Tee, $30, available at Genius.
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This baby pink hoodie pays respect to kickass female artists of the late '90s, including the Spice Girls, Lil' Kim (specifically, her epic all-female ensemble on"Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix,") Shania Twain, Bjork, Aaliyah, and many more.

Genius The 1997 Collection Girl Power Hoodie, $60, available at Genius.
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Calling all fellow Fiona Apple fanatics: the "This World Is Bullshit"-emblazoned merch in the 1997 Collection is a nod to the singer's ad-libbed acceptance speech for the Best New Artist award at the 1997 MTV VMAs. "Fearful about becoming a part of the music business’ shallow celebrity machine, she used this moment in the spotlight to tell her fans 'go with yourself,' rather than modeling their lives after the people they see on TV," Genius explains. Amen to that.

Genius The 1997 Collection This World Is Bullshit Longsleeve, $50, available at Genius.
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Embroidered with the phrase "World's Greatest DJs," this hat (and the matching shirt) channel The Tunnel, a '90s-era NYC nightclub that was a key hangout spot for '90s-era hip-hop figures.

Genius The 1997 Collection Hypnotize Tee World's Greatest Deejays Hat, $30, available at Genius.
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This Biggie merch that doesn't just channel the rapper's "Hypnotize" track; it also pays homage to "the billowing silk Versace shirt with custom compass design" that the rapper wore in the video.

Genius The 1997 Collection Hypnotize Tee, $30, available at Genius.
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A mash-up of Puff Daddy and Tiger Woods' names. But why? Because in 1997, Woods was the youngest, first non-white individual to win the Masters; it's also a nod to Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo Money Mo Problems" video, featuring Puff Daddy decked out in golf gear.

Genius The 1997 Collection Puffy Woods Polo, $60, available at Genius.

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