Laugh all you want at the Claire’s memes populating Twitter and TikTok — “I got my BBL at Claire’s,” “Does Claire’s do circumcisions?” and “Frontal Lobe Lobotomizing Is Here” are among the snarky riffs on the jewelry store’s fast, inexpensive piercing services — but the early 2000s mall staple is poised to make a comeback.
Last November, the retailer recruited Nicola Formichetti, the mind behind some of Lady Gaga’s most memorable fashion moments, as creative director in residence. It was an unexpected move: After all, Midwestern strip mall mainstay and
Clearly, Formichetti’s appointment at Claire’s was intended to lend the company a directional edge, rebranding it from trickle-down emporium to trend-setter. “Nicola is one of the most imaginative and creative talents of our time, and his essence and youthful spirit are in complete energetic alignment with everything that our brand stands for,” Claire’s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Patrick said in a press release. “Together, we have an opportunity to continue to make Claire’s an open forum for self-expression and inspiration.”
Four months after announcing its new direction, the company is slowly but surely rebranding. Earlier this month, Claire’s opened a new boutique in Paris on Rue Faubourg Saint-Antoine, one of the city’s oldest streets. An event celebrating the opening, held at the tail-end of Paris Fashion Week, was attended by the likes of Ella Emhoff, Richie Shazam, and Tina Leung — influencers whose presence anywhere signals a certain in-the-know exclusivity.
Adding to the gloss of the opening, the event also fêted the launch of MINI V, the younger sibling of V Magazine developed through Claire’s partnership with Formichetti. (Formichetti has contributed to V throughout his career.)
Given Gen Z’s fascination with all things Y2K, it’s prime time to revive Claire’s, home of colorful tattoo chokers and butterfly hair clips. In fact, all this talk makes me want to head to the mall and spend hours sifting through the store’s never-ending shelves of soda-flavored Lip Smackers, friendship bracelets, and holographic makeup bags.
There’s something about Claire’s that activates the child in all of us, a phenomenon that Formichetti has made a point to highlight. “It’s a beautiful, magical wonderland where you get to be yourself, play and have fun,” he said. Put it like that, and who isn’t on board with the Great Claire’s Comeback?