Next-Level Hedonism

type - trends
sector - fashion
sector - media & technology
sector - youth
Following years of pandemic-related social restrictions, consumers in the US in particular are prioritising pleasure – and indulging in next-level partying.

Whether from the loneliness of lockdowns, the grief from loss, the burnout from work, the stress from politics or the trauma from racial injustice, citizens in the US have felt the heaviness of cultural chaos for years. There has barely been room for a breath of air, much less for fun. But as society strengthens and rebuilds, consumers are pulsing with pent-up, post-pandemic energy and a positive outlook on the future. They are thirsty for the thrill of nightlife – drinking, dancing and dressing up, and a chance to revel in being alive.

After experiencing some of the most stringent regulations during the pandemic, nightlife events are on the rise, from Los Angeles to New York. This shift is especially prominent among Gen Z and Millennial consumers, and even some Gen Xers are partying hard. Gen Z are eager to look up from their screens and experience all that the world has to offer, making up for the many missed moments and milestones. Members of Gen Z, however, are drinking less than earlier generations, with some even naming them ‘the soberest in history’.

Brands and big shots are helping to bring on the good vibes, including New York’s mayor Eric Adams, who has become known as the Nightlife Mayor, seen partying into the morning alongside celebrities at hotspots like Zero Bond, Aman Club and Casa Cipriani. In New York, in particular, nearly a dozen new, ultra-exclusive clubs opened throughout 2022 with more members-only venues opening soon.

A sub-trend of this social shift is the emergence of club-scene style, encouraging consumers to rescue all of their glamorous, glitzy garments from closet quarantine. Streetwear is replaced by bejewelled bodysuits, skirts and stilettos. The new nightlife dress code is anything but casual. The #nightluxe aesthetic has picked up major traction on TikTok, with the hashtag amassing more than 98m views.

Published by:

16 February 2023

Author: Carly Ettinger

Image: Born x Raised's Sadie Hawkins Winter Formal. Photography by Glen Han, US


Left: Club Moda by Moda Operandi. Photography by Aurora Rose, US; Right: Born x Raised's Sadie Hawkins Winter Formal. Photography by Glen Han, US

Case studies 

Born x Raised Sadie Hawkins Winter Semi Formal

In November 2022, California-based streetwear brand Born x Raised hosted its annual Sadie Hawkins Winter Formal. The event celebrates Los Angeles’s creative community, inviting attendees to forget about the world’s problems for one eveningIn a conversation with Vogue, the brand’s founder, Chris Spanto Printup, describes the event as ‘a wedding meets a bar mitzvah meets a quinceañera. With a formal dress code required, the brand warned that those in hoodies would be turned away at the door. The brand’s Alex 2Tone Erdmann explained: People in Los Angeles want to dress up, and they don’t always get to… They have all these wonderful outfits and really show out and get dressed to the nines. DJs set the stage for the all-night dance party as Los Angeles’s culture crew made an appearance – Luka Sabbat, Tremaine Emory, YG and others. While the event has been happening since 2013, this year it attracted the attention of major media outlets and brands. Nike not only sponsored the dinner party, but collaborated on an ultra-exclusive release of 100 pairs of Sadie Hawkins-themed sneakers. This event is the West Coast’s Met Gala in the making.

United Wholesale Mortgage Holiday Party

Say goodbye to boring old office parties. Some businesses are showing appreciation for employees by hosting elegant, extravagant eventsA Michigan-based lending company, United Wholesale Mortgage, recently went all out for its office holiday party. The Hollywood-themed event started with paparazzi snapping shots of guests posing by luxury cars and limos as they then walked a red carpet. Following a decadent dinner and speeches, rapper Ludacris and country pop singers Dan + Shay showed up on stage for a surprise performance.

Club Moda

E-commerce platform Moda Operandi hosted its One Night Only: Club Moda event to celebrate its holiday capsule collection. The brand partnered with 30 brands to dress A-list celebrities, influencers and designers in full, noughties-themed glamour for the event. The pop-up club featured neon Club Moda motifs throughout the venue, live DJs and musical performances. 

Barbershop Dance Parties

After running out of room in his dorm for his 50+ guests, 19-year-old entrepreneur Quincy Davis turned Astor Place Hairstylists Barbershop into one of New York’s hottest underground dance parties. Located near the university’s campus, Astor Place Hairstylists now welcomes 300+ students for events. The shop’s owner Jonathan Trichter explained: I was really looking for young, talented creators to have some fun with the space and I thought that would help us re-engage with youth culture in New York. Not only do the events bring a fresh energy to the shop, but they bring in new business following the pandemic. Complete with a cover charge, costume themes and DJs, these dance parties are helping shape New York nightlife.

‘Everyone is in the mood to embrace the wild escapism of the early [noughties]. Sartorially, that energy translates into an exhibitionist kind of glamour – with a hint of [2000s] club sleaze’
Lauren Santo Domingo, founder, Moda Operandi

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