Skip to main content

On the cusp of Y2K, the butterfly was everywhere—and now it’s back again. What does this trend tell us about the moment we’re in, and where we’re headed next? Valerie Jacobs talks with Vogue Magazine.

The butterfly has arguably become fashion’s most in-demand motif, appearing everywhere from runways and red carpets to ready-to-wear. As a symbol of transformation and freedom, the butterfly trend points to a broadly felt desire amongst consumers to break free—to undergo a metamorphosis of sorts.

“Over the past year-and-a-half, we’ve all been ‘cocooning,’ literally and figuratively,” Valerie Jacobs, Chief Growth Officer and LPK’s head futurist, tells Vogue Magazine. “We want to reemerge and take flight.”

Jacobs, who specializes in helping brands anticipate change and become Future Fluent, also notes that this isn’t the first we’ve seen of this trend, nor will it be the last: “Y2K posed a similar sense of existential threat as Covid-19, so it’s interesting to see the paralleled prominence of the butterfly in these two periods,” she says. “Y2K wasn’t just the start of a new day, new year, or new decade. It was the start of a new century. Once we turned that page, we saw the butterfly in the highest echelons of fashion.”

To read the full piece on Vogue.comhead here.


Image Credit: Vogue: from left: Photographed by Franco Rubartelli, Vogue, January 1968; Photographed by David Bailey, Vogue, November 1967; Photographed by J.P. Zachariasen, Vogue, January 1971; Getty Images; Photographed by Guy Marineau, Vogue, Versace Spring 1995 RTW. Collage: David Vo