It all started the way most fashion trends do today: with a memo from Kanye West. Sometime in early 2017, the rapper turned designer sent his wife, Kim Kardashian, “a whole email [saying], like, ‘You cannot wear big glasses anymore. It’s all about tiny little sunglasses,’” she recalled on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. “He sent me, like, millions of ’90s photos with tiny little glasses,” no doubt resembling Neo’s from The Matrix. Around the same time, Balenciaga’s new creative director, Demna Gvasalia, sent tiny sunglasses down his men’s and women’s runways, and Rihanna wore a pair to the Cannes Film Festival. From there, fashion fell only deeper into the Matrix: Celebrities, models, and street-style influencers paired the sunglasses with black nylon trench coats, tactical belts, and even chest rigs. (“Bella Hadid Looks Like She Stepped Out of The Matrix,” read a Daily Mail headline from March 2018.) The movie still has a grip on fashion — looks inspired by its four main characters could be seen on the spring 2019 runways.
Neo vs. Alyx
Morpheus vs. Balenciaga
Trinity vs. Alexander McQueen
Agent Smith vs. Celine
*This article appears in the February 4, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
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