Millennial nostalgia never fades, and a new crop of brands is taking the opportunity to put a grown-up spin on some of their childhood favorites…
At this point, Millennial nostalgia is an industry in and of itself. Rebooting their favorite childhood shows and movies has become the norm, as has making their former favorites available to stream (TGIF on Hulu anyone?). Netflix is working on a Carmen Sandiego live-action remake, and Nintendo has a Mario movie coming out, just to name two of the seemingly endless nostalgia entertainment projects. Even Double Dare is coming back—this time with a YouTube star as its host.
Of course, the ‘90s fashion resurgence is also going on longer than anyone expected, with the decade’s styles continuing to reappear as Calvin Klein and others revive logos via archive collections. But the opportunity to tap into Millennials’ childhood favorites is being explored by more and more unexpected brands, who are reimagining their toys, treats, and more as grownup products that pay homage to the beloved originals. Here’s what we mean:
It’s Sesame Street, but fashion. The beloved childhood show is getting a grown up makeover, and teaming up with Uniqlo to create a collection of shirts for Millennial parents and their kids. The apparel will tweak the show’s look by enlisting graffiti artist KAWs for the designs and adding his signature double X’s. Ypulse found that 89% of 18-35-year-olds like to watch movies and shows that came out when they were kids, so it’s a safe bet that young consumers want to show off their favorite retro characters—especially as streetwear.
Sesame Street isn’t the only childhood brand making on an unexpected fashion pairing. Crayola is appealing to Millennial nostalgia with a 58-piece makeup line for ASOS. The Crayola Beauty products and packaging look as close to crayons in old-school yellow boxes as they can get, even featuring heart-string-tugging shades like Cerulean and Dandelion. To appeal to Millennials’ adult preferences even more, all of the products are vegan, cruelty-free, gender-fluid, and come in a wide range of shades.
In other makeup news, Lime Crime is creating Polly Pocket-inspired makeup palettes for nostalgic young consumers that want to make their beauty routines more playful. The “Pocket Candy” eyeshadows come in a range of pastel colors with kitschy names like Sugar Plum, Bubble Gum, and Pink Lemonade. The ‘90s revival is endless, and more young consumers are seeking escapes from adulting. Cue these cute palettes for self-care loving shoppers. Just because many of Polly Pocket’s fans have grown up, doesn’t mean they have to stop playing dress up—and the move proves that even new brands can cash in on nostalgia for old products.
Nothing says childhood like a trip to get ice cream, but now Millennials can have a frosty childhood treat in a frosty beer mug. Carvel recently partnered with Captain Lawrence Brewing Company to turn their iconic Fudgie the Whale Cake into Fudgie the Beer—a craft stout brewed with Carvel’s signature chocolate crunchies & fudge. Available only at the brewery, the special beer debut for Father’s Day as a limited run item. As Captain Lawrence declares on their site, “It’s our childhood and adulthood all in one!”