Emma Chamberlain’s Street Style Has Crept Onto College Campuses

17-year-old YouTuber and viral teen sensation Emma Chamberlain seemingly sprung out of nowhere last year, but now she’s absolutely everywhere. Yes, on Twitter. Of course, on Instagram. But also, your closet. And if not yours, then probably your friend’s. Even if they don’t fully realize it.

On the YouTube scene, Chamberlain got famous for her self-deprecating humor and eclectic video editing in her vlogs. She’s branded as a “relatable teen” whose messy take on life and L.A. has enchanted her nearly 7 million subscribers. And once you dig a little deeper into what she’s all about, it’s no surprise her sense of style has quietly replicated itself in Athens, Ohio.

Emma Chamberlain’s first ten videos, sorted by oldest to newer. Photo credit: youtube.com/emmachamberlain

Chamberlain started her channel by uploading lookbook, DIY, try on haul, and lifestyle videos, so she’s always been at least somewhat fashion-minded. She also debuted a controversial clothing line (there was a preorder option, but the images of the items were blurred, without explanation) that was arguably overpriced, but what she sold definitely reflects the trends she has perpetuated offline.

What the photos of Emma Chamberlain’s Dote clothing line, High Key, looked like during the preorder phase versus the actual product. Photo credit: highkeybyemma.com

The High Key capsule collection includes scrunchies ($6.50), velvet tank tops ($28), a yellow denim jacket ($56) and a teddy fur jacket ($64). Chamberlain definitely didn’t go out of her way to create something splashy with her clothing line, but a few of the items in it mirror her popular Instagram aesthetic (she has 6.2 million followers).

Some of Emma Chamberlain’s capsule collection’s items, including the $56 yellow denim jacket, the $28 velvet tank top in red, and the $64 teddy fur jacket. Photo credit: highkeybyemma.com

For starters, there’s the most (IMO) eponymous look – the teddy fur jacket, nicknamed the “poopy” jacket by fans. It also sold out in under two hours from the High Key line. Most college students would probably cringe at the toilet humor, but you can spot plenty of them walking down Court Street in a teddy fur jacket.

Chamberlain may not have invented the jacket, but she certainly popularized it in a way no other digital influencer or celebrity has (seriously, I did a Google search for “teddy fur jacket celebrity” and I couldn’t find anyone else wearing the same kind of jacket I’ve seen replicated around campus). Urban Outfitters, a retail giant with an 18 to 28-year-old target demographic, sells a bunch of versions.

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Also, Chamberlain is rarely seen not wearing a scrunchie, a trend she definitely didn’t invent, but also helped perpetuate through a massive social media presence. A quickly growing YouTuber with almost 2 million subscribers, Joana Ceddia, essentially achieved overnight success after DIY-ing the High Key scrunchie. If another YouTuber can go viral just by mentioning one of your accessories, it’s safe to say that accessory is a pretty weighty part of your public persona.

Besides just clothes she’s shilled, Chamberlain also has a few signature looks that mirror the Gen Z, hipster style that’s starting to show up in the undergraduate scene. One of the Dolan twins (I can’t tell them apart, I’m really sorry) said it best in the sister squad dress-up video: Doc Martens, plaid pants that are high-waisted, and a crop top.

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Chamberlain also wears a specific shade of mustard-y orange beanie I’ve seen replicated all over the place. And those tiny sunglasses, but I can’t really give her a lot of credit there, because that’s way more Kylie Jenner’s doing.

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The ideal Emma Chamberlain target audience may fall a little younger than our college-aged peers, but there’s no denying the teenager’s sense of style has been infectious for those in their twenties.

The Last Thing We Need Is Justin Bieber’s Clothing Line

I would like to have a word with the people who allowed Justin Bieber’s new clothing line, Drew House, to sell out in 24 hours. No, really. Are you on drugs? Are you on the same drugs that Justin Bieber is on? Is that why you paid a sweaty-looking pop star worth $265 million an additional $138 to own a pair of tan corduroy shorts with a stretch waistband that have – wait for it – his middle name superimposed in bubble letters over your junk?

These shorts just handed me a tab of questionable acid.

Ugh. Merchandise. Most influencers have it. Most of it looks incredibly underwhelming and cheap while simultaneously being really overwhelmingly expensive. Because white mediocrity can be screen printed on a unflattering t-shirt for $50, and worse than that, because fans of white mediocrity (see: Twitter) will buy it.

Even these models, who were probably compensated in Fiji Water, don’t look good in the shirts they’re modeling.

So how does the pinnacle of bad influencer merchandise masquerading as trendy streetwear get made? Well, in this case, it starts with Bieber, who is still unkempt and suspiciously married. Remember when he ate that burrito sideways this summer, but it turned out to actually be some YouTubers trying and succeeding to go viral by impersonating him? The internet is a weird place these days. Yeah, that was the most exciting thing to happen to Bieber in months, and it wasn’t even really him.

In lieu of putting out a new album I like to listen to while pre-gaming, Justin decided this was the year to make the fashion equivalent of a stale bong hit.

We get it! You had to wear corduroy pants for your fourth grade choir concert and it stunted your emotional development! That’s not our fault!

There are 14 pieces that range from your classic “I put as little effort into a logo as I possibly could and screen printed it onto a sweatshirt and now I want you pay me a Benjamin for it” fare to some corduroy items that you’d be better off buying at a K-Mart.

Now, people (read: tweenagers who use their parents’ VISA cards to give Twitch streamers rent money) were initially a little irked at how much the Biebs was charging for his line. They were also apparently comparing it to Yeezy, which – and I hoped I wouldn’t have to say this in 2019 – is a little rude to Kanye, don’t you think?

“you can’t hum while holding your nose closed.” Look, mom! Some twenty-something who works for a marketing agency and makes enough money to live in L.A. came up with a quirky gimmick for the kids!

But as per the items’ descriptions, these ill-fitting long sleeves and vomit-inducing greige pullovers are ETHICALLY MADE! Which, okay? The money is still going toward the relentless wheel of digital capitalism, so I’m not actually impressed? As YouTube fashion commentator HauteLeMode pointed out, this also doesn’t mean that the fabric was ethically sourced, that the dyes are non-toxic, that rivers near factories producing the fabric aren’t being polluted, and so on and so forth.

Besides the hideous, almost greasy-looking clothing itself, there’s the eyeroll-inducing Instagram account @drewhouse that really boils my blood. We, as consumers, are BETTER than fodder for West Coast elites trying to sell us bad clothes by making a video of some girl holding french fries! We must DEMAND something other than a ripoff of the ‘Face Without Mouth’ emoji (😢)!

Please, sir, I thought VSCO’s glitch filters went out of vogue years ago!

But, since the line flew off the metaphorical shelves, I guess we’re not. I guess we deserve this hellscape after all.