Gossip Girl’s 2021 reboot came with the promise that the show would address relevant issues in today’s world. The character’s wardrobes are no exception to this. From tote bags to sneakers, there’s a message relatable to this generation’s viewers. Now, they can get their hands on their own pieces inspired by the hit show’s fashion-forward and socially-conscious characters.
Ahead of the part two premiere, Gossip Girl teamed up with Depop, an online circular fashion retailer for buying and selling pre-owned clothing, to create shops based on the show’s characters. With the guidance of the series’ costume designer Eric Daman, four top sellers on Depop have taken on the personas of Julien Calloway, Max Wolfe, Akeeno “Aki” Menzies, and Monet De Haan. Each will represent a different value associated with the characters: Influence, Freedom, Innocence, and Power respectively. Ahead of the project’s launch, Teen Vogue spoke to Eric about the characters, the Depop shops, and the power of style.
“I think it was important to emulate who the characters are stylistically, but not be beholden to their specific, specific style. I’m a huge fan of vintage clothing and being able to dive into that and what it means to me is beyond labels. It’s more of stylistic choices. I think what’s awesome is that being able to shop on Depop, you get such unique, wonderful pieces that are also sustainable,” Daman said in regards to creating the shops.
Rather than focusing on brands, Daman and the Depop sellers chose to center the value that each character represents. “There’s visibility that comes with these four characters that is really important to where we are in the world in fashion but also as far socio-movement goes as well,” Daman explained.
As a social media star, Julien’s looks are carefully crafted with the help of her entourage, Luna and Monet. Fittingly, her shop is reminiscent of 90s celebrity style, complete with metallic and monochrome as curated by @heycolanda.
“Julien is an influencer and her style is a big part of that, but I think also what’s important about the concept of influence is the capacity that we have an effect on other people. I think her reach is really incredible,” Daman explains. “She comes across initially at the beginning of this series as this IG fashion icon and she kind of reveals herself and becomes a little more authentic and peels back a little bit.”
In contrast, Max is introduced as a carefree spirit. “With Max, there’s the fluidity to his clothing, his style, and his personality that feels very current and very important to give visibility to,” Daman shared. Created by @Swayvintage, Max’s shop features retro pieces made modern like polo shirts and pleated pants.
“Max representing freedom is like our ability to act and to speak without hindrance,” Daman said. “There’s a freedom to how he dresses as well so that comes in stylistically to what he represents. He’s an amalgam of the 50s and the 80s and 90s and the aughts and just kind of is this chameleon that I think people really identify with and we are all really longing for that sense of freedom also.”
Aki takes on a more toned-down, casual style. In the show, he states he prefers to wear clothes that allow him to blend in rather than stand out. “With Akeeno, our word for him is innocence, but he also has this wisdom and this low-key normcore that I think is a really cool value and wonderful style,” Daman said.
Curated by @nostalgic_threadz, the store represents Aki through oversized and layered pieces. “We start his journey stylistically in this kind of normcore skater boy world and then he comes out. As he’s coming out and growing, we see that growth in his wardrobe as well,” Daman explained. “I think there’s a lot of great visibility there for people that can identify with being on a similar journey, not really knowing who we are but trying to identify as this or that exploring sexualty as well as style and how those things work together.
A driving force behind Julien’s online presence, Monet is determined and bold. “With Monet, she’s kind of in the background, but is very, very powerful,” Daman said. “She’s also our biggest glamour puss, which maybe gives it a little bit of a nod to Blair Waldorf that the fans love.”
Similar to Blair, Monet’s personality is accentuated by her fashion. “I think there’s a value and visibility in what she’s offering up and that she is so showy and ostentatious at the same time is representing how style can communicate power as well.” Her wardrobe consists of more preppy and embellished pieces reminiscent of the 90s which @Kuration recreated for the Depop shop.
Gossip Girl is in a unique position with new viewers in Gen Z and Millennial fans of the original following the show. Daman shared his insight, “I feel like Gen Z is a little more idiosyncratic and adamant about wearing clothing that represents their views and where they are in their lives and on their journeys. We kind of find that balance has been, especially with the show and how we’re styling it, giving nods to the old world Gossip Girl which I feel is a little more Millennial.”
He also mentioned the similarities between the generations that have followed the shows. “There was a big part of Gen X that was huge Gossip Girl fans that we don’t want to leave out. So, like my generation. We all love vintage shopping as well. So to kind of find this amazing balance, what’s great about Depop is that there’s such a broad selection of amazing individual pieces,” he said. “All the generations, we love our individuality. We also like to identify with themes. Maybe one day we want to be a Julien Calloway, IG influencer, and the next day we want to be chill vibes, innocent skater boy Aki. I think it’s great that we can represent all those things with these shops.”
Since the original Gossip Girl ended in 2012, thrift shopping has become much more popular. “If I used a second hand bag on Serena, she may have hit me with it,” Daman compared. Now, in contrast, buying second-hand is associated with sustainability and individuality.
“I think it’s just incredible to be able to sit here and have this conversation with you and kind of promote sustainability in the fashion industry in this way,” Daman said “It’s really been a gift that I didn’t necessarily realize would come out of the second generation of Gossip Girl, but it’s really incredible.”
Though these secondhand pieces were collected based on the characters, Daman has a simple equation for making them your own. “I always say that style is 80% confidence and 20% fashion,” Daman said. “Stylistically, what it comes down to is just enjoying yourself, having fun with the clothes. Use it for your expression, let it create power, select the pieces that feel unique and personal to you, and just have fun with it.”
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue