Online shopping is an unfortunate but undeniably convenient byproduct of late capitalism. It’s also one of the many vices I voluntarily abuse in an effort to cope with the current political climate, especially now that I can do it on Instagram. The endless scroll of shoppable images in this ephemeral digital landscape has completely infiltrated how I look at trends.
With the rise of Instagram brands and micro-influencers, marketing exists in a strange space where advertisements become personal recommendations: @igthot123 posted @xyz and now I want *that thing*. This method has become so prevalent (you know that goddamn Realisation Par skirt) that certain brands have built entire revenue streams through the social media platform.
This brings me to I.AM.GIA. By now, I would assume everyone is familiar with *the* cult Instagram brand known for championing the post-apocalyptic thot aesthetic. It’s Tank Girl meets Posh Spice, Lolita if she was a dominatrix, and Diet Prada’s favorite label to drag. Scroll through I.AM.GIA’s Instagram feed and you’ll get it. You cannot deny the power of their brand identity, which exists somewhere between Y2K Coyote Ugly and Tactical Utilitarian Cadet—although you could definitely argue that there’s not much practicality behind a majority of their pieces other than making hot people look hotter.
If you’ve somehow managed to dodge their Instagram presence, spend 10 minutes in Soho and prepare to be inundated by their Cobain Pant and Pixie Coat, worn by approximately one in five people on the street.
I’ve never seen more iamgia pants in one place than right now.
Coachella is a madness
— luka fallback sabbat (@whoisluka) April 13, 2019
During one of my Instagram spirals, I found myself stunned by an image of Jorja Smith on New Year’s Eve wearing a truly iconic pair of strappy pants. They were I.AM.GIA, and admittedly, at first, I was embarrassed that I liked them.
While we all love to consider ourselves to be unique and counter cultural, at the end of the day, fashion is cyclical—and certain trends that start off as a whisper turn quickly into a scream. But is it so bad to be influenced by influencers? I cringed writing that, but it’s something I think about a lot. In my experience navigating this plane of consciousness where people are so quick to call each other out—participating in something ‘trendy’ can be so closely followed by shame, but not for any reason other than someone else has worn said recognizable item on Instagram so that’s embarrassing?
Anyway, I bought the pants. I got them hemmed because they are so obviously made to be worn by someone blessed with a generous height or four-inch platforms—and no one cared that they were I.AM.GIA, myself included. If anything, I felt hot (and dare I say, confident). So often I get wrapped up in other peoples’ perception of me (as a result of being a double water sign or childhood neglect) that I’m in my bag. I get lost in the sauce. But sometimes, you just gotta do it to ’em.