Samsung has teamed up with Maison Margiela to produce a limited-edition version of the Galaxy Z Flip4, a smartphone with a foldable screen. The tech company and French fashion house invite us to break from the homogenous landscape of the smartphone market with a model that challenges the cult of the iPhone.

Swapping out the uniform look of today’s unmalleable smartphones for a foldable design, Samsung and Margiela provide a fresh take on ever-evolving tech by looking to the past. The exterior pattern emulates a phone’s internal circuitry, harkening to the transparent, cog-filled landlines that were all the craze in the late ’90s and ’00s.

The Flip4 comes with two white cases, complete with Margiela’s signature four white seams and numeric coding. The simplistic, canvas-like casing suggests that it can be customized depending on the owner’s taste. Margiela-ified down to the UX and wallpaper selection, the Samsung x Maison Margiela Galaxy Z Flip4 hits the market on December 1 in select markets including China, Korea, and France.

“In the spirit of nonconformity,” Samsung abandons a rigid, rectangular frame for a nostalgic, foldable model. The Galaxy Z Flip4 transports us back to the days of flip phones, when snapping your phone shut was a playful act that mirrored the cheekiness of Y2K fashion. I can’t help but think back to my very first phone — walking around with my metallic pink Motorola Razr made my adolescent self feel like hot shit.

Samsung and Margiela’s reference to the ’00s is timely, considering the resurgence of Y2K style. The concept of fashion-tech products also has roots in this over-the-top era, when luxury-branded phones peaked. The Flip4 contributes to a new wave of retrofuturism unfolding as we contend with our longing for both the future and the past.

This partnership is the sixth addition to Samsung’s collection of Galaxy collaborations, and its third fashion brand crossover. In 2021, the tech giant enlisted Thom Browne to customize the Z Flip3 and Z Fold3 and in 2022, the duo reunited on a Thom Browne-branded smartwatch.

For a collaboration that sells itself as subversive and individual, Samsung and Margiela’s Galaxy Z Flip4 is fairly understated. Margiela and Y2K enthusiasts will likely be eager to get their hands on this limited-edition package, but I’m not convinced that it will resonate the same with others.

Margiela’s take on the flip phone is just one of many Y2K revamps —  what other revivals might be in store?