The inventor of the scrunchie dies, abandoning a superb vogue legacy

The scrunchie is in all places. And though its acceptance in popular culture and vogue has ebbed and flowed since its invention in 1986, the scrunchie has refused to go away.

It has been hailed by some as a genius product that is each useful and trendy, whereas derided by others as an adjunct that screams “suburbs.” Regardless, the previous singer and pianist extensively credited with inventing the fabric-wrapped elastic, Rommy Hunt Revson, left her mark on vogue historical past. She died on September 7 on the age of 78.

In a 2016 interview with Discuss Enterprise & Politics, Revson mentioned she invented the scrunchie as an alternative choice to plastic and metallic hair ties. On the time, she was home sitting within the Hamptons. Though as soon as married to inheritor of the Revlon cosmetics empire John Revson, she mentioned she had no declare to any of the fortune, so needed to earn a living the place she might.

“I went to South Hampton and acquired some cloth and located a $50 used stitching machine,” she informed Discuss Enterprise & Politics. “That was a fairly large buy for me on a home sitter finances, however I purchased it and took it house.”

Inside weeks, she had taught herself learn how to sew and had a working prototype. Impressed by the design of the elastic waistband on her sweatpants and named after her canine, the “scunchie” (pronounced SKOON-chee) was born. It might solely later develop into referred to as the scrunchie.

Revson patented the design, and as soon as she bought the product into retail shops, it took off. Whereas some accounts credit score Philips Meyers for designing an analogous product in 1963, it was Revson’s model that we’re all aware of.

The rise and fall (and rise) of the scrunchie

Sara Radin, a self-described scrunchie fanatic and briefly the web’s unofficial scrunchie historian, wrote in a 2019 Teen Vogue article the design solved an issue for girls within the Nineteen Eighties.

“In a time when massive hair was in, the scrunchie provided ladies a approach to pull it again with out damaging it, in contrast to customary rubber bands, whereas taking fundamental hair ties to the following degree,” wrote Radin. “On prime of that, it was simply one other approach to decorate their already over-the-top appears.”

In years to return, popular culture and leisure icons – from Madonna to Paula Abdul to Full Home‘s Michell Tanner – elevated the scrunchie to common stardom. NASA astronaut Pamela Melroy wore a blue scrunchie to house, which is memorialized within the Smithsonian even at the moment.

However like all tendencies, the scrunchie period got here to an finish.

“Traits are inclined to go away once they develop into tremendous en masse, and develop into related to a singular kind of particular person,” mentioned Patrick Michael Hughes, a vogue and ornamental arts historian at Parsons Faculty of Design.

In a single significantly iconic turning level within the scrunchie saga, Intercourse and the Metropolis‘s Carrie Bradshaw delivered an emphatic condemnation of the accent.

Bradshaw, who’s courting author Jack Berger, tells Berger it is unrealistic {that a} girl character in his guide would put on a scrunchie in public. “No girl who works at W Journal and lives on Perry Avenue can be caught lifeless at a hip downtown restaurant sporting a scrrrruunchie!”

“It was very humorous as a result of it was very true,” Hughes mentioned concerning the scene. “New York [in the ’90s] was type of glamorous and issues had been actually surging within the metropolis when it comes to nightlife, and going out and being dressed up and playful … And there was a particular search for the New York girl. And a scrunchie was not a part of it.”

A scrunchie was a certain signal of a suburban transplant within the metropolis, Hughes mentioned. “Form of like UGG boots.”

So the accent fell out of favor, its glory days within the vogue mainstream misplaced to the early 2000s.

Lizzo, in a bejeweled scrunchie, poses with Lil Nas X at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kevin Mazur / WireImage



Lizzo, in a bejeweled scrunchie, poses with Lil Nas X on the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.

However quick ahead 20 years, and the early 2000s look was again. And using this wave of nostalgic revival proper again to its former glory: the scrunchie.

“There’s [been this] revival of kind of Y2K vogue, and it has been coming by means of the pipeline for numerous years,” Hughes mentioned. “We begin to see celebrities on the pink carpet sporting a scrunchie, however not essentially of their hair, generally on their wrist or one thing like that. It turns into kind of cool once more.”

Scrunchies are again on TV too, making an look in Stranger Issues, for instance. On the identical time, the rise of athleisure solidified the scrunchie’s place in many individuals’s on a regular basis put on, Radin mentioned.

Hughes is skeptical the scrunchie is again to remain. And Google search information present curiosity in scrunchies spiked in 2019, however has remained at a better common than pre-2019 ranges.

Nonetheless, Revson leaves behind a long-lasting affect on vogue.

“I believe it holds a really vital place within the sense that’s actually a pattern,” Hughes mirrored. “It’s one thing that popped up in widespread style and in widespread tradition, similar to skinny denims, and had a extremely robust second.”

“She was a genius who got here up with an invention that basically modified how ladies costume,” Radin mentioned.

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