Photo via Instagram.

Did Ariana Grande Kill 'Spacecore'?

Grande took a trip to NASA this weekend, officially sounding the death knell for the space trend.

by Emma Specter
May 20 2019, 4:21pm

Photo via Instagram.

You might have heard of civicore, the phenomenon wherein local government somehow became last fall's hottest trend (think Supreme-issued NYC Metrocards.) But have you encountered spacecore?

If you've stepped foot in a fast-fashion retailer over the last six months, the answer is probably yes, even if you didn't know it at the time. Spacecore is, in a nutshell, the hypebeastification of space in all its unknowable beauty, and its apotheosis is Bella Hadid wearing Elon Musk merch.

"Why is everyone wearing NASA logo clothing now?", asked Reddit seven months ago, and the answer is a complex one. Urban Outfitters, Topshop, ASOS, and Nike have all released NASA-themed collections over the last year to fulfill what Complex's Cameron Wolf called "the simplest manifestation of our childhood desires." There's nothing that politicians and rich guys in general love more than eschewing the petty grievances of Earth to focus on what's ~out there~ (Space Force, anyone?), so perhaps it makes sense that NASA-themed clothing enjoyed a surge in popularity as Musk plotted SpaceX and Jeff Bezos theorized about a "space settlement."

All this space madness came to a head in February of 2019, when Ariana Grande released "NASA," an ode to "needing space" (hehe). This weekend, Ariana took the galactic step of actually visiting the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, donning a space suit and referring to the experience on Instagram Stories as "the coolest day of my life.”

Ariana visiting NASA might seem like the physical embodiment of spacecore, but in reality, it's the trend's last gasp; after all, a hypebeast notion like spacecore lives primarily as an idea before being given life through endless fashion collaborations, both luxury and fast-fashion, and seeing a celebrity of Ari's stature embrace it so literally means it's officially on its way out.

Obviously, NASA's time in the sun (or moon?) hasn't come to an end entirely—the organization just tested its new flying robot in space—but the notion of space as the final frontier of streetwear-cool might have. What's next on the trend docket? Desert-core? Ocean-core? (This reporter, for one, is ready to see the Hadids in full scuba suits.)

Perhaps the true proof of the rapid decline of spacecore's value is in the discount pudding; UO and Topshop's NASA-inclined selections are both currently on sale for half their original prices. Hey, might as well stock up now, given that fashion is cyclical; at some point, Ariana Grande's fated-to-be-a-pop-star daughter will be rocking her mom's vintage space suit, and everything old will be new again.

Ariana Grande