The word ‘retro’ has almost become interchangeable with ‘trendy’, while these buzzwords can often be found affixed to one another in the description of pretty much anything cultural that has returned after a period out of the spotlight. Here is a look at four diverse examples of how the power of nostalgia has brought forgotten items back into the spotlight.
While jeans themselves have a timeless quality that should prevent the item of clothing from ever going out of style, variations on jeans can give generations a distinct identity. The 1990s were characterized by celebrities in bootcut jeans, often paired with a haircut inspired by Rachel from Friends. Trendsetters Cindy Crawford, Meghan Markle and Gisele Bundchen have all donned bootcut jeans in recent years, with Vogue then calling relaxed jeans the denim trend of 2018.
When people think of bingo, the first two things that spring to mind may be older generations and quiet bingo halls. The classic game is enjoying a resurgence in recent years and has seen its image change, with the BBC reporting how younger crowds could lead to over £30 million spent on bingo in the UK in 2019. This resurgence been exemplified by the rebrand of Buzz Bingo, with the redevelopment of venues across the country adding new dimensions to the standard game. Games late into the night also cater for a younger generation discovering the world of bingo.
Many people were frantically awaiting the development of digital cameras, yearning for bigger storage, better editing capabilities and a higher quality of picture. Now that all of these have materialized, there has been a shift back towards the traditional disposable camera. Last year, the Daily Mail reported how Fujifilm sales doubled to reach 7.5 million, a dramatic increase on the 3.9 million in 2014/15. While smartphone cameras deliver high-quality images, the rustic charm of a disposable camera continues to appeal.
While vinyl has not become the dominant form of music consumption as it used to be, it has become the format of choice for those willing to invest in order to receive an arguably higher quality of listening experience. Of course, its main downside is its lack of portability, but it harks back to an era when listening to an album in its entirety was an act in itself. Statista acknowledges the growing popularity of vinyl in the United States, with vinyl sales in 2017 reaching 14.3 million.
It is not just enough to be retro, but products have to return with subtle twists on their classic formula. While nostalgia can be rewarding, businesses have to consider how they can move forward while establishing a retro vibe. The Telegraph notes how bootleg jeans were traditionally a casual item of clothing, but younger stars like Chloe Moretz have appropriated the trousers to showcase statement heels. While the return of bingo still focuses on the traditional game at its core, Buzz Bingo’s partnership with Playtech will facilitate the merging of retail and online accounts to make Buzz’s online library an extension of the bingo hall.
The return of disposable cameras has taken a new dynamic with the development of the app Gudak Cam, allowing smartphone users to marry the convenient and the classic to achieve that nostalgic photo. While listening to vinyl is a difficult experience to update, the ability to rip music from vinyl so that songs can be taken on the move has been developed in recent years. This epitomizes how the return of old favorites doesn’t mean that innovation takes a backseat, but instead there are refinements that adapt these products for a 21st century audience.