Cowboy Core: the fashion trend takes on the younger generation

GenZ seems to have its head in the West…America. Adopted by pop culture icons, encouraged by the popularity of country music and driven by the collections of the hottest brands, the Cowboy Core movement continues to appeal to young people looking for a community style with strong values.


From social networking sites to the catwalks and the streets, the younger generation is increasingly interested in the Americana aesthetic. From cowboy boots to fringed jackets and leather belts, let’s take a look at the Cowboy Core craze and the lifestyle that goes with it.


Country: a musical style with a new audience


A symbol of American culture, country music emerged in the 18th century in the north of the country. The result of a meeting between European immigrants and locals, this musical genre is characterised by a blend of instruments from different lands. The Irish, English, Spanish, Italians and Germans brought with them sounds specific to their region, combining them to create a style in its own right. These groups of musicians travelled to the south-west of the United States, meeting new communities along the way, notably American Indians and Mexicans.

Over the decades, these contacts between the protagonists of the Midwest, Far West and Texas gave rise to songs that were adopted and reworked by the cowboys. It was at the beginning of the 20th century that the first country-style music was recorded, without ever ceasing to be influenced by other trends. They also became popular with the general public, notably through Western films.


Young artists revive country music


Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams… Country music has always found its audience throughout the last century, but from the 2000s onwards, more pop and modern tones took it into a new dimension. This renaissance is largely thanks to Taylor Swift. When the young singer released her first albums with a strong country flavour, they were an immediate success.

Many other artists followed suit, reaching out to a younger demographic, such as Lil Nas X’s hit Old Town Road, a collaboration with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, or Lady Gaga’s country-flavoured album Joanne. It’s a non-exhaustive list, given the extent to which young talent is influenced by this musical style, which has been widely adopted by millennials and GenZ. And it’s one that’s being listened to more and more on streaming platforms.


Music, lifestyle and fashion


If country music is becoming increasingly popular with the under-40s, the resulting style of dress is logically approved by young people, encouraged by the artists’ music videos, concerts and street styles. Taylor Swift’s world tour, The Eras Tour, is a case in point, with its many folk and country looks. Or the cover of Beyoncé’s Renaissance album, where she sits on a horse and wears a hat, boots and jacket straight from Texas. Harry Styles, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus (to name but a few) have also appeared dressed in western pieces.



Cowboy hat, fringed jacket, upturned leather jacket, cowboy boots galore, raw denim jeans, light floral print dress, leather belt… The Cowboy Core silhouette is pretty easy to define. Although it’s a bit of a cliché to adopt it as is, the whole modernity of this style lies in the subtlety of the combination of pieces. It-girls are helping to inspire fashion lovers with their everyday Americana looks.

We also appreciate the daring revisits, like the fuchsia pink suit worn by Margot Robbie. This look, comprising flair trousers and a jacket with star motifs, a scarf tied around the neck, a white hat and cowboy boots in the same shade, is sure to be the star costume for Halloween at the end of the month.


From Fashion Week to wardrobe


Fashion Week is obviously a reflection of this trend. From Dior to Alberta Ferretti and Tom Ford, via Casablanca and Isabel Marant, it’s hard to name a fashion house that hasn’t been inspired by the Americana trend.

Olivier Rousteing, Artistic Director of Balmain, even devised a capsule collection of Cowboy looks to celebrate the release of the film The Harder They Fall on Netflix in 2021.


©Balmain x Netflix


The magnetism surrounding this trend can also be found within specialist fashion search engines, which are seeing a marked increase in searches for western pieces, such as hats and boots.


Many views on social networks


The movement is also being widely shared on social networks. The #cowboycore has no fewer than nine million views on Tik Tok, while the #cowboystyle has 89.9 million. The #americana has one billion views on the same social network.

The #cowboy, which features videos of modern cowboys and their lives, has 20 billion views.

On Instagram, #cowboystyle and #americana have 251,000 and 4.7 million posts respectively.

The appeal of the Cowboy Core is growing all the time, symbolising a distinctive, community-based fashion style that is spreading beyond America.



Front page photo: ©Old Town Road video, Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

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