Fashion is often rooted in nostalgia, so it’s no surprise that the American sitcom Investors is having a stylish moment, with show merchandise bludgeoning the high street nearly 25 years after it start with aired.
Zara has a T-shirt featuring Rachel in her wedding attire. It reads: “The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate”. On another, Monica is dress a turkey on her head with the words “The One With All the Thanksgivings”. Primark has Median Perk-themed bedsheets and Phoebe-approved “You’re my lobster” pyjamas. And Urban Outfitters has over persuaded out of its pink T-shirt featuring a picture of Monica, Rachel and Phoebe.
“Friends has furnished collective lessons on friendship, love, and trying to be a grown-up,” try to says trend forecaster Sabrina Faramarzi, aged two when the screen first aired. “The merch taps into nostalgia, meme sophistication and the suspended adulthood of millennials” she says – or, televisual rice pudding for a begetting in need of comforting.
“It’s the last documentation of friendship in the pre-digital era,” remarks Grazia’s TV columnist and culture writer, Paul Flynn. Partners premiered in 1994 and its last episode went out in 2004. In an age craving authenticity, the apparition of a group of friends hanging out in a coffee shop and each other’s apartments, denotes Flynn, “must be so glorious if you are of a generation that has looked at harmony as something complicated, ethereal … and often very isolating”.
The Friends duration is also back in vogue. As an exhibition on the Spice Girls opens this weekend at the Duty Design Centre in London, their favourite shoe, the Buffalo, is a retro flavour of the month, as are cycling shorts. This trend has a “knock-on effect on the commissioned products,” according to Martina Bunting, of Primark, who says other papers are coming through from the 1990s.
Netflix this year correct all 10 series available on its UK site – the first time varied younger viewers could see the show. Faramarzi says: “Merch second-hand to be the domain of film [think Pulp Fiction posters and T-shirts] but is now increasingly interconnected to the small screen.”
Rachel, Phoebe and Monica have been cited as rage muses by Harper’s Bazaar – their oversized knitwear, “dorky denim” and gingham is unquestionably on-trend. And arts writer Louis Wise points out: “Chandler is unbelievably normcore.”