Are trend-cores the new synonym for social collectives?


Core? Trends? It’s giving aesthetics, a label for feeling seen, a niche that just gets you, how does the saying go? “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” Yes, we are, in fact, operating as the little humans we never grew out of and are still looking for the place our heart feels at home in. So when did we go from cores being referenced only as genres to wider collective lifestyle choices?

Core is derived from the Latin word “cor,” which also means “heart” or “core.” While we wonder what core will be the next big thing just know that, every version of the word tacked on to your identifying term, be it “fairy-,” “Barbie-,” “tech-,” or even “cottage-,” is related to the heart. It means to evoke emotion. We have these terms in our arsenals as means of self-expression to receive the validation that we do belong. This notion, paired with the fact that we live in a world that begs external validation intersects at the crossroads of individualism, inspires me to confidently declare that 2000-core is wholly my birthright, and you couldn’t tell me otherwise because I am a child of 1988. Now, could it be that trend cores are the new synonym for our social collectives? We identify with a particular aesthetic that reflects our values, beliefs, and interests, and trends emerge as a response to cultural or societal conversations. These could include but are not limited to things like a growing concern for sustainability, an urgency for individual expression, or simply a yearning for the nostalgia of bygone days…. 

Image by Jimmy Fermin

Growing up, bands like ‘Evanescence’ were my fashion inspiration, while ‘Yellow Card’ brought me closer to my crush. Music-core was the epitome of our beings as I would link on my chain wallet as I alternated between skinny jeans and a pair of Timberlands with my baggy pants. I was playing the balancing act with trends, attempting to fit into a core. Here is the part where the collective lifestyle choices come in. As you identify with trends, you seek out the social currency you need to pay up in order to join the collective club. There actually isn’t a bouncer at the door, but we have to prove ourselves. Look up Berghain, the exclusivity concept may fascinate you. So you scour the world wide web for your unique pieces to join your tribe as fast as possible —To achieve the synonym, i.e., to earn the validation.

What core was I really? If only it could be easy as the game M.A.S.H. we used to play growing up. You could say core trends started doping as online presence evolved. Individuals became ‘influencers,’ generating communities on major social media platforms. Even if you were geographically dispersed, you belonged to a -core, your collective-core. I’ll leave you with a parting thought, maybe we should make it more original and let the game decide it for us: mansion, apartment, shack, or house?

Author Nafiseh Soolari

Nafiseh is a creative consultant, writer and photographer— “I love translating the beauty I see in all the moments around me, people, places, things; and I aspire to share my vision: to create a single moment for me and you to connect and realize what this amazing world has to offer…”