Stories Photo essay

It only takes a brief scroll through your feed to discover the latest viral trend gaining mainstream popularity, even if for a nanosecond. Sometimes though, certain trends evolve out of challenging the status quo and going against what is collectively agreed of as "cool". Trends that look to the unpopular, the alternative, or even the “ugly” as their point of reference. Think the wrong shoe theory; wearing something unexpected, something so wrong that it's right.

This is where Geek Chic enters the chat, the fashion aesthetic based around all things nerdy.

Sure, dressing like a "nerd" might seem antithetical to the current state of fashion, where trends like the Clean Girl aesthetic or Quiet Luxury reign supreme, however the conversation around what defines a “nerd”, beyond the bespectacled social outcast stereotype, has been redefined in fashion for decades now, largely in part, to designers like Miuccia Prada, who have made dressing like a “nerd”, actually cool.

Combining intellect with a keen eye for fashion, the Geek Chic aesthetic isn’t about achieving the perfect hair and beauty routine, nor is it dressing like you have millions in your bank account (but don’t want anyone to know), Geek Chic celebrates the charm of unconventionality and embracing our distinctive quirks.


Prada, Spring 1996

Prada, Spring 1996

A commonly used phrase when discussing fashion and the trends that follow thereafter is that “fashion is cyclical''. Although Geek Chic is currently having a resurgence in popularity in 2024, it was Miuccia Prada’s 1996 collection titled ‘Banal Eccentricity’ that brought a modern-day geeky aesthetic into the upper echelons of style.

The collection itself was a response to the 1990s obsession with sex appeal that characterised the collections of designers like Tom Ford at Gucci and Gianni Versace at his namesake label. For this collection, hues of brown, avocado, chartreuse and turquoise were presented in the form of clashing 70s-inspired prints, the styles themselves referred to as “unflattering” and “ugly”. The collection was reviled equally as it was loved in that it offered a new proposition, that dressing slightly off-kilter could be far more compelling than just being sexy.

Anne Hathaway as Andrea Sachs, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ 2006

Geek Chic in film. The dorky Andrea Sachs in her cerulean blue sweater.


Linda Byrne by Juergen Teller for Alberto Biani, Autumn / Winter 1998

You can’t discuss Geek Chic without looking at the biggest cultural signifier of “nerd fashion”. The spectacles. No longer considered dowdy, eyeglasses have had their sartorial moment in the fashionable spotlight before, but in 2024, it’s safe to say 20/20 vision is out and spectacles are in.

Frida Gustavsson by Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs, Autumn / Winter 2010

Elle Fanning by Juergen Teller for Marc by Marc Jacobs, Autumn 2011


Mia Goth for Miu Miu, Autumn 2023

The resurgence of the Geek Chic trend in 2024 is once again attributed to Miuccia Prada who, for Miu Miu Autumn 2023, showed spectacle-clad models in knit twin-sets, pencil skirts, boxy wool jackets and sheer polka dot garments. The collection also sparked a new term used in conjunction with the modern iteration of Geek Chic, that being ‘Library-core’.

Miu Miu, Autumn 2023

Miu Miu, Autumn 2023

Presenting the illusion of perfection has become a cultural obsession, thanks in large part to social media, but part of the Geek Chic aesthetic is going against this expectation. For Miu Miu Autumn 2023, Key Hairstylist Guido Palau added a touch of chaos and imperfection to the hair, in the form of intentionally styled flyaways.


Anna Sui, Autumn / Winter 2024

For Autumn / Winter 2024, Anna Sui took inspiration from Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Virginia Wolfe book covers, with a show that took place in an undeniably ‘Library-core’ setting. Layered knits and ankle-length skirts gave Geek Chic a vintage twist.

Anna Sui, Autumn / Winter 2024

Anna Sui, Autumn / Winter 2024


Chloë Sevigny at the premier of ‘Deceiver’, 1998

The poster girl for both Geek Chic and Library-core.

Chloë Sevigny attending the SAAG Awards, 2000

Chloë Sevigny for Miu Miu, 1996


Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Autumn 2022

Embracing eccentricity and quirkiness with a touch of vintage nostalgia, Alessandro Michele ushered the return of Geek Chic in his own maximalist way for Gucci.

Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Autumn 2022

Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Pre-Fall 2019

Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Pre-Fall 2019

Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Spring 2018


America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, ‘Ugly Betty’ 2006 - 2010


Hodakova, Spring 2024

Geek Chic at the office. Hodakova’s Spring 2024 collection looked to challenge societal norms, through avant-garde office attire. Unconventional materials were used to create garments that stood out "in a world of conformity”.

Hodakova, Spring / Summer 2024

Hodakova, Spring / Summer 2024


Mark Gong, Spring / Summer 2024

Mark Gong’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection paid homage to Samantha Jones from Sex & the City, celebrating her powerful, unapologetic and sex-positive ethos. Miuccia Prada and Tom Ford’s vision of the 90s woman collide in the contemporary iteration of Geek Chic.

Mark Gong, Spring / Summer 2024


Shushu/tong, Spring 2024

Librarian-core meets romance at Shushu/Tong.

Shushu/tong, Spring 2024


The “nerd” of yesterday is the “cool girl” of today.

Bella Hadid stepping out in the streets of Paris, 2022

Gabriette Bechtel, 2023

More for you...