In the early '00s, however, this didn't necessarily mean buttoning up — stability and comfort was found in labels, brands, signage, and logos. And almost every expert we spoke to agreed on one thing: The 2000s loved thrived on It items. Freer gives us her list, here. "So many handbags that debuted then are still relevant today: The Chloé 'Paddington' bag (2003), the Fendi 'Spy' bag (2005), the Balenciaga 'Motorcycle' bag (2001), and the Marc Jacobs 'Stam' bag (2005)." These weren't just items. They were signifiers of wealth and collective agreement. Purchasing a bag meant also buying into a brand, and as Jones notes, "You have to think of Gucci at this time. Tom Ford really embraced that repeating pattern, and a big, prominent logo really took off."
For the sake of reminiscing, Spivack gives us her list: "Kate Spade wallets; the Prada sneaker; Dior saddle bags; designer denim including True Religion low-rise, boot-cut jeans and Seven for All Mankind skinny styles; Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits; Balenciaga cargo pants; and Takashi Murakami's collaboration with Louis Vuitton."
Of course, It items are certainly not unique to the aughts, but never have they been so ubiquitous and identifiable. Also, for the first time, celebrity mattered. Says Freer, "The aughts were really the start of celebs having the power to validate fashion trends. All it took was a photo of a celeb in a trendy item and suddenly it was poppin’ off. When Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie wore Von Dutch trucker hats on The Simple Life, it instantly boosted the brand into the stratosphere." Sure, we can cite iconic moments like Elizabeth Hurley's Versace safety pin dress or Jackie O's Cartier watch, but the average individual had previously never been able to, say, go out and purchase those weird, flat-but-oddly-comfortable boots out of Australia. What were those called again? We forgot.