If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your chance to catch up with the rest of the world. Squid Game has been at the top of Netflix’s most watched list for the past two weeks. But not only is the show impeccable all around, it’s also causing a fashion upheaval. White Vans Slip-Ons sales spiked 7,800%, and one actress has landed a high-profile modeling position. Pretty ironic for a show on the dangers of capitalism, don’t you think?
The protagonist of the show is plopped into a blue-hued track suit with hundreds of other people wearing identical outfits: a deep teal striped tracksuit labeled with a participant number, from 001 to 456, and a pair of white Slip-On sneakers, halfway through the first episode of Squid Game. They’re soon joined by a far smaller group of workers dressed in deep red, low-slung nylon jumpsuits with game-controller button masks on their faces.
Thematic and visual elements from the show have steadily gone viral since its September 17 premiere, like any truly contemporary TV hit: the childhood nostalgia of dalgona candy, a massive robot-doll, and the normcore uniforms worn by the Game’s 456 crushingly in-debt “players” competing to their literal deaths for a $38 million USD (₩45.6 billion KRW) prize.
Global searches for retro-inspired tracksuits, white Slip-On sneakers and red boiler suits as well as the color teal have all increased since the show’s release. Over the last week, Vans were the most popular Slip-On sneakers on the internet.
Actual fashion takeover
It doesn’t end there, Louis Vuitton selected HoYeon Jung, one of the show’s breakout stars, as its newest worldwide brand ambassador. Since being a runner-up on Korea’s Next Top Model in 2013, Jung has established herself as a print and runway model, including for LV, and in the roughly month plus since the show’s broadcast, her Instagram follower count has increased from 400,000 to over 20 million.
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The fashionization of a new hit streaming show isn’t a new phenomenon; we’ve seen it with shows like Stranger Things and others. However, there’s something peculiar about a trend that emerges from a show whose storyline is so dystopian—or, in the case of Squid Game, blatantly mocking capitalism.
We can’t deny though that the aesthetic choices made on this show are truly exceptional, and almost remind me of the horror version of a Wes Anderson movie. I’d even venture to say this is giving me The Shining vibes. But it is what it is.
In related news, The Shining actually made our list for spooky szn films to watch.
Image link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/12/fashion/squid-game-track-suits.html