The beginnings of X-Girl make for a who’s who of 1994 hipness; besides co-founders Kim Gordon and Daisy von Furth, names involved with X-Girl included Mike D, Chloe Sevigny, Sophia Coppola, Mike Mills and Spike Jonez. Even non sequitur anecdotes about the brand’s style inspiration manage to name drop thrifting in Thruston Moore’s suburban Connecticut town.
Culturally, the first half of the 1990s was, in many ways, a strange time. With so many musical and fashion movements that were firmly underground for the previous decade or more, began seeping up through surface level cracks in the mainstream. Gradually, the gatekeepers of mainstream pop culture began to catch on, if not to the actual thought process behind all these underground movements, to the fact that there was profit to be had. Faster than an anthropomorphic, skateboarding mozzarella stick mascot could proclaim “radical, dude” the trappings of a previously alternative culture became the norm.
Funnily enough, this didn’t sit well with the people who built and maintained these underground movements through all the years of derision and apathy. In the face of this kind of shameless co-opting, people with an irrepressible independent streak put in motion the next evolutionary stage of alternative style. For X-Girl, this meant abandoning the anti-fashion of grunge, and embracing a more deliberately maintained aesthetic influenced by the chic but sharp edged mod style, and a (whisper it) studiously cultivated preppiness. Irreverent and vintage inspired graphic tees were fitted, rather than baggy. A-line skirts and dresses, along with vintage fit cords and jeans flattered, rather than obscured. Graphic designs drawn from intentionally unhip sources subverted, rather than reinforced classic rock, rebellion clichés.
If you didn’t already know, X-Girl isn’t just 90s nostalgia. X-Girl is a significant part of 90s culture; the brand helped to visually define the decade.