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Kidcore brand Blackcurrant Pop explains the viral internet aesthetic

By Malavika Pradeep

Apr 10, 2021

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“You guys wanna start an aesthetic?” answered with “What do you have in mind?” is usually how conversations go down on Aesthetics Wiki’s Discord server before the rest of the world follows suit. Kidcore is one of the latest terms coined for the use of elementary colours, nostalgic prints and 90s inspired accessories. But all of this is mere secondary knowledge, which is why Screen Shot spoke to Blackcurrant Pop—the brand pioneering the aesthetic, one charm at a time.

At first glance, Blackcurrant Pop’s Instagram feed greets one with a coveted range of rings, necklaces and bracelets. Adorned with retro flowers, checkerboards, yin-yang signs and gummy bear charms, the brand’s relationship with the aesthetic then becomes apparent. Describing Blackcurrant Pop as “eclectic, happy and bright,” designer and founder Beth labels kidcore as a feeling, rather than an aesthetic.

“Kidcore is nostalgic,” she said, “It evokes memories of childhood—happy moments captured with bright colours, texture and sparkle.” Termed ‘the extreme extension of normcore’, kidcore is an intriguing cultural shift stemming from age regression. A report by Trend Hunter noted the shift as a response to the hypersexualisation of the fashion world and the embracement of youth culture by older generations, forcing millennials to dive deeper into the realm of comfort, function and simple design.

Beth backed up this fact by elaborating the deeper meaning behind the ‘aesthetic’ as a “release from the stress and reality of everyday adulting,” instead providing “a way of expressing parts of yourself through accessories, fashion and art.” Kidcore clothing and accessories hence target comfort as nostalgia for simpler times, doing so by channelising our 8-year-old carefree mindsets—thereby emphasising ease, both physically and psychologically.

 

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A post shared by 💘🍭 BLACKCURRANT POP 🌈🍒 (@blackcurrantpop)

When asked about the colours, prints and graphics associated with kidcore, Beth was quick to highlight the absence of rules when it comes to the aesthetic. For her, however, kidcore is all about bright primary colours, pops of pink and green, shiny hard plastics and resins. “Throw in glitter and stickers and you’ve really captured it,” she added.

Blackcurrant Pop was established way before the term ‘kidcore’ was coined. Subculture creation at the time probably featured a bunch of chairs pulled together in a dusty corner of a community library in sharp contrast to a bunch of usernames across the globe assembled on Discord today. When asked how she explained Blackcurrant Pop’s aesthetic to someone back then, Beth chose the keyword ‘awkward’ to describe the conversation she used to engage in.

“I remember describing it to my mum one day and was like ‘I basically want to bring back everything I loved and wore as a child but make it in adult sizes’.” Beth further listed 90s printed leggings, beaded jewels and jelly shoes as “defining pieces” in her wardrobe back then, admitting to “still loving them later in my life.”

Although many still don’t get the explanation of the aesthetic, Beth has come to terms with the fact that “style and taste are subjective.” She also acknowledged how explanations have become a “whole lot easier now that there has been a whole movement to back it up.” Currently, the founder uses the term ‘primary school chic’ to describe Blackcurrant Pop’s signature style. “It’s taking the elements I loved then, but making them wearable and current now,” she added.

 

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A post shared by 💘🍭 BLACKCURRANT POP 🌈🍒 (@blackcurrantpop)

Google searches for ‘kidcore’ have hit an all-time high. Nylon noted a 2,439 per cent jump in searches for the term on Etsy in just three months ending September 2020. With Pinterest reporting a 9 time increase in year-on-year searches for ‘smiley face nails’ and a 6 time increase for ‘butterfly eye makeup’, the aesthetic now has thousands of items and sellers on Depop.

During Blackcurrant Pop’s launch, however, Beth admitted to not having expected this level of reception for childhood nostalgia aimed accessories. Originally a trained footwear designer, Beth started making jewellery 4 years ago with the launch of her brand. She further detailed the design process behind each coveted piece, starting with physical materials and then building a prototype. “I’ve always been a natural maker but a pretty bad sketcher, so working with materials instead of sketching helps me flow better,” she added.

When asked about the factors taken into consideration before rolling out the next collection, Beth outlines the role colours play in her designs. “I love bold punchy colours so getting that bit right takes the most consideration.” Given its carefully-curated design process, it is of no surprise to witness Blackcurrant Pop’s charms being the hottest cult favourite of the brand.

“They evoke the very essence of Blackcurrant Pop,” Beth explained. “You can add them to necklaces, shoes, bags and more for true personalisation of your existing and new jewellery.” The “simple yet effective” idea behind these staple pieces are that they essentially “put power in the hands of the customer to design their own pieces and wear it their way”—a classic kidcore characteristic if you ask me!

 

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A post shared by 💘🍭 BLACKCURRANT POP 🌈🍒 (@blackcurrantpop)

No business can be left out in the whirlwind without analysing the damage or progress the present times are causing them. In terms of kidcore and Blackcurrant Pop, it so seems that the pandemic has provided much-needed acceleration towards success. “The pandemic has created that need for pops (excuse the pun) of happiness,” Beth said. “It’s like self-carewhich I’m a huge advocate forlittle pick-me-ups and happy boosts that you get from finding an accessory that really reflects ‘you’.”

“I’m naturally quite shy and keep to myself, but when I wear something that expresses my outlook, I instantly feel more confident.” Beth further sums up the impact of her pieces as “putting yourself out there without having to fully engage.” “The pandemic has left us yearning for happier times and childhood nostalgia, offering comfort when we really need it,” she added.

In the next ten years, Beth has her eyes set on expanding Blackcurrant Pop into different areas—with exciting collaborations in the making, mixing the brand’s DNA with others who she loves and admires. Along with her brand, Beth also preaches ‘childhood innocence’. “I think being a nice person is often undervalued so keep it really simple and be kind. Just be you, be confident in that and try and be the best version of you that you can be.” After all, isn’t that what we’ve always wanted to tell our past selves?

Kidcore brand Blackcurrant Pop explains the viral internet aesthetic


By Malavika Pradeep

Apr 10, 2021

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What is kidcore? Here’s everything you need to know about the latest internet aesthetic

By Malavika Pradeep

Feb 24, 2021

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There are 589 internet aesthetics till date on Aesthetics Wiki. After dark academia, softboys and egirls, we at Screen Shot believe it’s time to strike another one off the list: kidcore.

What is kidcore?

Kidcore is an aesthetic targeting 90s childhood nostalgia. It includes the use of highly saturated primary colours like red, blue and yellow along with childish themes derived from cartoons like Rugrats and Hello Kitty. Glitters, rainbows, stuffed toys, slinkys and stickers are commonly sported by kidcorists who channel the aesthetic.

Kidcore involves the heavy use of nostalgic patterns and graphics ranging from retro flowers, checkerboards and smiley faces to brand logos of Mattel, Hasbro and Skittles. Lisa Frank is one of the most popular brands for this aesthetic. Apart from primary colours, kidcore can also include pastels and rainbow colours.

As for the fashion aspect of kidcore, preferred clothing includes graphic t-shirts, denim overalls, suspenders, puffy sleeves, sticker-adorned jeans, high-tops and knee-high striped socks. Pair these with some friendship bracelets, chunky Crocs charms, butterfly hair clips and stuffed toys to nail the ultimate kidcore look.

 

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A post shared by 🌈🛸Dillie🍬🧚🏽 (@candyfae.luv)

Google searches for ‘kidcore’ have hit an all-time high. Nylon notes a 2,439 per cent jump in searches for the term on Etsy in just three months ending September 2020. With Pinterest reporting 9 times increase in year-on-year searches for ‘smiley face nails’ and 6 times increase for ‘butterfly eye makeup’, the aesthetic now has thousands of items and sellers on Depop.

Labelled the ‘extreme extension of normcore’, kidcore is an intriguing cultural shift, stemming from age-regression. A report by Trend Hunter notes the shift as a response to the hypersexualisation of the fashion world and the embracement of youth culture by older generations, forcing millennials to dive deeper into the realm of comfort, function and simple design.

The aesthetic, however, is not all about its style and clothing. Sure, the clothing targets comfort as a nostalgia for simpler times, but it’s also about channeling our 8-year-old carefree mindsets. Kidore hence emphasis on ease, both physically and psychologically.

 

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A post shared by blobb (@_blobb)

Sub-genres of the aesthetic

Kidcore is often confused with other aesthetics like indie, babycore, cartooncore and nostalgiacore. Though these aesthetics have overlapping elements, they are distinct with their motifs and values. Indie, for example, includes the use of bright, saturated colours and filters similar to kidcore but the aesthetic differentiates itself with a focus on individualism, music and skater culture. Now that we’ve established that, let’s look at some sub-genres within kidcore:

Spooky kidcore

Spooky kidcore is a Halloween take on kidcore. Bright, pastel and rainbow colours along with cute cartoon characters of kidcore are mixed with witches, skeletons and jack-o’-lanterns to get this aesthetic.

 

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A post shared by Ghoulie Ghoup (@ghoodles.doodles)

Loudcore

Loudcore revolves around loud, noisy toys and objects that trigger childhood nostalgia. Key motifs of this sub-genre include bells, fireworks, birthday party or treasure box related items and musical instruments like kazoos.

 

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A post shared by Anna Kempinska (@kempekprawdziwy)

Stickercore

Do you recall trying out one of those Instagram and Snapchat filters with face stickers? Candies, CareBears, My Little Pony, Sanrio and Lisa Frank’s artworks are commonly featured in stickercore. The sub-genre involves placing these stickers on faces and objects.

 

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A post shared by Sküg/Newt/Fig/Cameron 💛🤍💜🖤 (@abandoned_clown)

What is kidcore? Here’s everything you need to know about the latest internet aesthetic


By Malavika Pradeep

Feb 24, 2021

COPY URL


 

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