VSCO girls got their name from the photo sharing app VSCO, which popped up after Instagram became more commercialized and less about photo sharing.
“As Instagram became more inundated with content, it became harder and harder to see the artistic side associated with it,” Lightman explained. “The VSCO app came on, and the VSCO girls were basically trying to show unique, artistic culture and what can be done. It’s not about being around the commercial creative.”
The VSCO girls are known for their oversized T-shirts, Hydro Flask water bottles, and laid-back, beachy vibes.
“It really goes with the lockdown factor,” Wexler explained, similar to cottagecore. “Everybody wants to be on a beach. Life is so much more casual.”
While some brand names are attached to the trend, like the Hydro Flask, Carmex chapstick, and Fjallraven backpacks, Wexler explained that VSCO girls are actually a more natural version of those label-obsessed Juicy Couture-wearing girls that came before them.
“VSCO girls became popular for the same reasons as the ‘80s valley girls before them,” said Wexler. “Or, the Hiltons in Juicy Sweats in the early 00s. Now I'd say this girl is kinder, gentler, surfer styles. The skinny popular girls are still label-savvy, but are also eco-friendly and are saving turtles.”