Over the last few years, nostalgia has fueled much of the dominant forces in fashion and retail. Along with all things wistful, college-licensed apparel — the crux of which is rooted in sentimentality — has found its way both onto runways and into contemporary tastemakers’ closets.
As is often the case, celebrities have their way of bringing fashion trends to the masses. Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner have swapped out their concert merch for college gear, despite neither of them attending university. Drake, a known college basketball fan, recently wore a $260 “Tennessee” crewneck (which isn’t officially licensed apparel from the University of Tennessee, and sells at nearly five times a premium for a comparable Tennessee crewneck) artfully distressed to spell out “finesse.” In April, Beyoncé launched her own collegiate partnership with Balmain — inspired by the gear of Historically Black Colleges and Universities — after a historic Coachella performance, and later donated $100,000 to four HBCUs.
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