iPod Shuffle hair clips prove the Y2K fashion revival is far from over

iPod Shuffle hair clips prove the Y2K fashion revival is far from over
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Blonde hair with two iPod shuffles as hair clips in the colors blue and green.

Everything old is new again, and this week’s happy return belongs to Apple‘s iPod Shuffle. For several years, young folks have been repurposing Shuffles as hair accessories, brooches, and more, using the clips on the back of the devices to adorn locks and Levis alike.

Mashable’s Elena Cavender prophesied the trend’s growth in 2022, after a December 2021 video of TikTok creator Kira Lyn Vaden using Shuffles as hair clips earned more than 350,000 likes. And, though we may not have had it on our 2024 bingo cards, it’s back and better than ever.

One photo in particular has set off this year’s Shuffle styling obsession, and it appears to have been originally posted to Instagram in 2019 by user Victoria Camaratta. The image has had brushes with virality in the past (it gained more than 21,000 notes on Tumblr in January 2021 and 123,000 like on X / Twitter in September of that year), but the current interest is even higher.

On March 13, X user @voguepearls posted the photo as part of a set titled “tech as fashion.” That set was reposted by fashion influencer Dove Clarke, who added the note “this would have gone double platinum on tumblr in 2014.” Clarke’s repost gained more than 228,000 likes and versions of the image have since been shared on the feeds of large aggregate accounts on Instagram, including betchys (141,000 followers) and structuredmag (376,000 followers).

Now, the It girls are experimenting with the look. On March 14, pop artist Slayyyter posted photos wearing matching two blue second generation iPod Shuffles in her hair, wired headphones dangling from one ear.

And on March 17, Instagram and TikTok creator Madeleine White posted images, reels, and TikToks of her fourth generation Shuffles hair clips in orange and blue. White captioned one of her posts, “Time to raid your parent’s random electronics bag.” Upon reading it, this millennial crumbled into a pile of dust.

Gen Z’s repurposing of Y2K tech has been well-documented by Mashable’s Elena Cavender, and Gen-Z thrifting icon Emma Rogue explained the appeal in an interview with Mashable last year. “They’re experiencing something they never got to,” she says of her generation. “They’re transporting back in time.”

That growing interest in retro tech has led brands to repurpose it in modern accessories. Last year, for example, fashion brand Coperni teased a purse that doubled as a CD-player, and multiple consumer good lines incorporated flip phone imagery and iconography in their designs.

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