Zubaz could make a succesful comeback, according to New York fashion expert
|Photo courtesy of FIT|
|FIT professor and trend forecaster Sara Petitt|
As we reported in this week's cover story, Zubaz are back.
And though the zebra-print pants were worn with a hint of irony during their peak in the '90s (and that irony seems to endure today), we were curious to know where they fit on the fashion spectrum, irrespective of their sporty, "in your face" reputation.
So we checked in with Sara Petitt, expert in trend forecasting, coordinator of fabric styling, and professor at the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. According to Petit, the forecast for Zubaz's comeback looks clear and bright.
What would you say was Zubaz's place in fashion back in the early '90s?
They were associated with sports and athletes and rock stars -- anyone who wanted to make a trendsetting statement. Also, a lot of people who didn't have perfect figures liked them because they were comfortable and forgiving of flaws -- they replaced sweatpants. At the same time, they appealed to an image that was very assertive, that was not shy. It was associated with achievement, excelling at what you're doing -- a very macho attitude. And these kinds of styles always come back.
What is it about Zubaz that could allow them a successful comeback?
I think that animal prints are always seductive. They say something about you, that you want to attract attention, that you're a little bit out there. People like to feel seductive, and animal skin goes back to that whole Tarzan and Jane thing. I go through all the trend magazines in Europe and there are a lot of animal prints right now. I think the interest in animal conservation also makes people more interested in animal prints. There was just a show by an artist in Chelsea that worked with an animal conservation theme.
So it sounds like this point in time could be quite successful for Zubaz. Do you think that they'll be worn in the same way they were in the '90s?
Each generation is going to make it their own because their frame of reference is different. So if it was more of a sports thing in the '90s, it might have more of an animal conservation type of feel now. No matter what it becomes, I can see it transcending what it used to be. I could see someone wearing these pants with a black tunic with a mandarin collar and looking elegant in the Hamptons.