The Anatomy Of 2016's Teen Cliques

Illustrated by Ada Buchholc.
For the etymology nerds out there, the word “clique” is, perhaps unsurprisingly, of French origin. It’s derived from the French claque, which in modern times basically translates to “a band of political followers." Cliques can arise as a result of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and physical commonalities, in addition to many others, but here at Refinery29 Fashion, we’re talking about clothes.

Generation Z is the very first to redefine the clique through the medium of the web. We’re always aware of differences in fashion, but also the social and political differences that generate so much personal and national anxiety in modern America. It is much easier for us to listen, respond, and connect to those who are not physically present, and seek out likeminded people in our communities whom we otherwise would never have known.

The eight modern-day cliques ahead (think 2016's version of the Mean Girls lunchroom) are less geographically defined than ever before: They connect around wearing whatever they like, however they like it, whether it's wacky Vetements hoodies that have them looking like space aliens or boatloads of Ivy Park merch. Click through to see what we mean.

Fighting for inclusivity, diversity, and gender-neutrality, Generation Z is poised to turn the fashion world on its head. Get to know today's most influential teenagers with #TheZList, our week-long celebration of under-20 visionaries changing how we think about style.

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