Why Are All The Cool Kids Back To Wearing Wired Headphones?

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In Gen Z’s world, tech is no longer just functional, it’s fashionable. Over the last few years, we’ve welcomed back trucker hats, butterfly motifs, velour tracksuits and other Y2K trends in accordance with fashion’s cyclical nature. Similar things have happened in the tech space with instant film cameras becoming popular again and now, wired headphones too. It’s almost like Gen Z is rejecting modern technology though it’s a lot more practical. “The millennial flip phone user looked for a digital camera during the ’90s while the Gen-Z smartphone user is now looking for a retro-looking instant camera. I think it is ironic and beautiful at the same time.” Mr Arun Babu, General Manager, EID, Optical Devices and Instax Division, Fujifilm India says. 

Celebrities like Bella Hadid, Lily-Rose Depp, Zoë Kravitz and Jennifer Lawrence have all been spotted wearing wired headphones recently. There’s even an Instagram account called @wireditgirls dedicated to it. Nostalgia does play an important role in the resurgence but also the aspect of sprezzatura– studied carelessness, being effortlessly chic, looking and staying unbothered.

Pearl Wired Headphones At Christian Dior Pre-Fall 2022

The Normcore cool is the new cool we’ve all been waiting for. While AirPods are ubiquitous, wired earphones seem to be a less expensive alternative for a generation obsessing over thrift culture. Why would you not want to look cool without spending a thousand bucks, just on earphones? Bella Hadid doesn’t care, and you shouldn’t either,” Sanjana Suvarna, Senior Graphic Designer, ELLE India shares. It’s not just an accessory anymore, it’s an attitude. Wired headphones not only amplify the ‘cool kid’ tendency to not be influenced by new trends but also highlights the way Gen Z likes to merge the past and the present– think ‘90s inspired beaded phone charms on iPhone 13s. It’s the age of ‘newstalgia’ where nostalgic elements are combined with futuristic features. 

Wired headphones can also be seen as a component of the wider resurgence of the 2014 Tumblr era that was focused on Indie pop and alternative music. Artists like Lana Del Ray, Lorde, Halsey, Two Door Cinema Club, Arctic Monkeys were all the rage and music was looked at as an aesthetic experience. 

Kat Hernandez, Euphoria

In ways, it’s similar to preferring print over the kindle, listening to vinyl records over Spotify and intentionally clicking blurry low res images to give a ‘vintage’ feel.Gen-Z has grown up in the digital age, they’ve been surrounded by smartphones, computers, social media, and technology. While millennials had to adapt to technology over a period of time, Gen Z has had exposure from the start of their lives. Therefore, while millennials are enamoured by new technology, Gen Z is driven to experience something more real.” Mr Arun Babu shares. “Retro trends are a big hit with the younger generation. We might also see a comeback in flip phones,” he says. 

Wired headphones also give off a ‘don’t talk to me I’m busy’ vibe more than AirPods ever will, plus they’re a lot cheaper. When Apple got rid of the jack port in 2016, a lot of us adopted wireless tech because we had to, not because we wanted to. Komal Shetty, Fashion Assistant, ELLE India says, “wired headphones don’t need to be charged, they don’t get lost as easily as wireless headphones and most importantly they save clumsy heads like me from dropping my phone and cracking it.”

Love it or hate it, all the It girls are #CommittedToTheWire

Read about Cut-Outs : The Risqué Fashion Trend And Gen-Z’s Newest Obsession


- Digital Writer


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