During 2020 and 2021, we’ve seen nostalgia everywhere. It makes sense, right? There’s no better time to pine for the past and relive happy memories than when we’re stuck at home during lockdown. Nostalgia has made its way into every walk of life, from our wardrobes to our Instagram feeds.
According to GlobalWebIndex, nostalgia can make humans more optimistic and have a positive influence on their actions. The research also unveiled that it is a highly common emotion. Results show that 8 in 10 say that they experience feelings of nostalgia at least occasionally and 4 in 10 say that they do so often.
This megatrend has not gone unnoticed. In fact, social media platforms have jumped on the bandwagon and have created numerous ways to facilitate our longing for times-gone-by. Although it’s sometimes tough to be reminded of holidays or nights out with friends, there’s something about a nostalgic social media post that we just can’t resist. So, let’s take a closer look at how social media platforms have embraced this trend and why we love it so much.
According to GlobalWebIndex’s research, music is one of the biggest nostalgia triggers. When asked what people have felt most nostalgic about over the past year, music topped the charts for all age groups. It really seems to be true that a well-loved song can transport you to a happy time, and during lockdown, people everywhere have been turning to Spotify to find that sweet sense of nostalgia.
Because of this fondness of nostalgia in the form of music, the popularity of Spotify Wrapped makes complete sense. This feature allows users to recount their 50 most-listened-to songs, their most-listened-to artists, and even the genre that stole their heart over the year. If you’re looking to step a bit further back in time, Spotify also offers another throwback option: Spotify Time Capsule. This option allows you to listen to your top tracks of a certain year gone by while you revel in the happy memories.
Users everywhere can’t get enough of this feature, and for the music streaming company, this nostalgic trend has been a huge success. In 2020, Spotify’s mobile app downloads increased by 21 per cent in the first week of December thanks to the Wrapped feature, proving that the megatrend of nostalgia can have a huge impact.
Now that we’ve got our ears covered in terms of nostalgic content, what about our eyes? That’s where ‘memories’ come in. Memories on Instagram, Memories on Facebook, and Timehop are all social media features that allow you to reminisce about a certain day in the past. On Instagram, you are now able to see the post you put up exactly a year ago to the day in the Memories section. Over lockdown, in which many of us have completely lost our sense of time, it’s often been difficult to fathom that you put that picture up a whole year ago! But that’s nostalgia in action!
Whether you’re reminiscing over a particularly good day out or you’re reminded of a great outfit that inspires you to dig those retro wedge sandals out of the wardrobe again, the Memories feature on Instagram and Facebook is sure to get you feeling nostalgic.
As well as introducing fun (if sometimes heart-wrenching) nostalgic features, social media platforms are also jumping on the ‘nostalgia marketing’ trend that is set to dominate 2021. Nostalgia marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — when brands reintroduce images and themes from years gone by to sell their products and make us all think of ‘the good old days’.
Instagram, for example, utilised nostalgia marketing back in October 2020. For one month only, the image-sharing app allowed users to revert to some of the apps retired, old school logos (including the classic 2010 logo that caused mild outrage when it was decommissioned). This fun feature allowed users to go back to the logo that is now considered retro, tapping into people’s love for all things nostalgic.
It’s not the first time we’ve encountered nostalgia marketing. The trend has seen a few resurgences over the years. It became very popular during both the Great Depression and the 2000s’ recession, and now it’s back. Clearly, we’re all prone to feeling reminiscent when we’re going through a turbulent time.
If there’s one thing we’ve really craved over the last year, it’s a blast from the past. Thankfully, social media has seen our wishes and granted them. Now, all there is left to do is work on creating some new memories that we can begin to feel nostalgic about in years to come.
I would like to think that I had a good sense of style when I was younger. I remember having this tiny white rabbit fur coat that my mum had bought me age 5 that I had decided to customise with some pink fluorescent highlighter—I thought it was just the coolest thing ever, while my mum had a minor breakdown. Looking back now, I realise that, compared to today’s new generation of fashionistas, my early styling skills were borderline tacky.
Not only did Instagram create what we now know as influencers, it also introduced us to some very young fashion influencers. Standing out from the crowd of stylish little ones is Coco, also known as @Coco_PinkPrincess, the 9-year-old Japanese fashionista, and probably one of the trendiest and coolest young girls on Instagram. From her first post in 2015 to her most recent one from the beginning of February, not only did Coco share with her followers some serious fashion style, but she also showed the world what it means to be a kid-influencer.
Coco’s following really blew up globally after she was interviewed by Vice age 6. Shortly after, aged 7, she had already done a photoshoot for ELLE, for which she styled her own accessories. That same year, she spoke to Hypebae about her love of fashion. Today, with 675K followers (and counting), it is obvious that Coco is Insta famous, and for good reasons. Looking through her feed, there aren’t any styles that she can’t master—from streetwear and classic with a twist to kawaii and head-to-toe Gucci or Balenciaga, Coco looks amazing in everything.
In order to get some fashion tips from the Pink Princess herself, Screen Shot had an exclusive interview with the 9-year-old and her mum Misato, where we spoke about Coco’s style, her dreams for the future and her in-depth knowledge of Instagram’s algorithm. Here’s how it went:
What I love about your style is how eclectic and colourful it is. You always dare to take that extra step that most people wouldn’t. What is your process behind putting together one of those outfits?
Coco: When I make an outfit I sometimes choose the clothes I want to wear first or choose a theme, also my father teaches me a lot about fashion, so sometimes we make the outfit together or sometimes just by myself.
Misato: As she grew up in Harajuku she’s been surrounded by many colourful and stylish adults, so she’s been in an open environment when it comes to styling.
Do you have fashion icons or other influences on your style?
Coco: Not really but I sometimes check fashion feeds on Instagram.
With the help of her parents who run the vintage store Funktique in Harajuku, Tokyo, Coco styles her outfits depending on what kind of mood she is in on that specific day. But how did she start her Instagram and what exactly does it take to curate an account that has that much fashion influence?
You’ve been known as a fashion icon on social media for a few years. Is it still as much fun for you today as it was in the beginning? What encouraged you to open your account and share your fashion styles with the world?
Coco: Yes, I still really enjoy taking photos for Instagram.
Misato: Coco was brought up in Harajuku since she was 2 years old where we, her parents, run a vintage shop. Shop staff, influencers and people in the entertainment industry around her were all on Instagram, so Coco naturally imitated them and started posting on Instagram.
As a fashion influencer, Coco is one of the few who don’t post as regularly as the others—she posts monthly or twice a month, but never every few days. Speaking to Misato, we asked:
Is this done on purpose or are you both just posting whenever you have time and good pictures of Coco’s outfits?
Misato: It’s true that her frequency to post has lessened and there are 2 reasons for it. After analysing Instagram’s algorithm and taking her daily life into consideration, the posting pace we chose was the most efficient for her then. She also started to have a lot of work and projects, so it became harder to make time for posts on Instagram. However, the algorithm has recently changed and her work pace became calmer, which means that she started posting like before again.
When it comes to social media, and more specifically Instagram, kids are now growing up alongside it. Do you think one day Instagram will become old news, and, if so, what new app would you like to replace it?
Coco: There are new apps coming out one after another so it might change to something else.
Misato: This is a hard question. We don’t know what will happen to Instagram and which app will replace it, but for Coco’s generation, it will still be an essential part of their lives. So it will also be important to be able to make decisions flexibly, even if the platform changes.
Speaking about the future, do you know what you’d like to achieve next?
Coco: Lately I enjoy acting, so for now, I hope to be a great actress.
That would be great! And what about fashion, do you see yourself still doing what you do on Instagram? Would you like to stay in the fashion industry?
Coco: I like fashion so I hope to still be a part of it in the future.
To finish, give us a few of your tips, what is your favourite thing about fashion at the moment?
Coco: Lately, I’m into flowers and creating styles like natural flower combinations. I like pale colour tones, like what natural flowers have.
So, for those of you who are in need of some fashion inspo, you heard it here first; try to include more flowers and pastel colours in your Instagram feed to stand out. When it comes to fashion, Coco’s style and vision both seem to be a mix between classic and new innovations—something that we, at Screen Shot, are always trying to promote in a fun and engaging way.
It is unclear what the future holds for social media, new technologies or even for the fashion industry, but what is sure is that the new generation is showing an incredible amount of savviness and creativity. In the end, it will be people like Coco, ZaZa and others who will shape our future, at least as long as fashion is concerned. And when speaking to Coco and her mum, it almost feels like a reassurance to realise that a famous 9-year-old fashionista can be as grounded and lovely as her Instagram pictures depict her.