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The History of Low-Rise Jeans

Although low-rise jeans have their roots in rock ‘n roll (think Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger), they didn’t become a mainstream fashion trend until the 1990s. They arrived on the runway between 1993 and 1994, when Alexander McQueen debuted his Bumster pants, which were essentially an early version of low-rise jeans. After Madonna wore a pair, the low-rise style took off. By 1998, low-rise pants were all the rage and celebrity fans like J-Lo, Mariah Carey, and Lil’ Kim helped to further popularize the style. Then in 2000, low-rise jeans hit malls, making them a must-have item for the average American. Their popularity was solidified by additional celebrity adoptions, including Britney Spears’ iconic 2001 appearance in ultra-low-rise jeans while she performed “I’m a Slave 4 U” and various 2002 appearances by Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera while wearing low-rise jeans. However, skinny jeans soon made their debut and by 2008, they had replaced low-rise boot-cut jeans as the fashion favorite. Today, low-rise jeans are making a comeback as Y2K-influenced trends once again rule the fashion scene.

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