“Cottagecore aesthetic draws inspiration from pretty farmhouses and countryside cottages,” according to an article on Contractors.com. “Cabincore, on the other hand, hints toward cozy cabins and woodland lodges.”

Other sources mention that Barbiecore is going to be big this year, along with Mermaidcore.  In case you missed the memo, the suffix these terms all have in common apparently is related to hardcore, referring to an intense style of punk rock.  Before that the term hardcore usually was used to describe pornography, meaning serious or intense. But the current us of “core” to describe a trend also implies the idea of core values. It is different from shabby chic, for example, which is just a design concept.

The term cottagecore turned up about five years ago, and is used to describe an aesthetic movement idealizing a nostalgic view of rural life.  Followers of cottagecore (sometimes known as Grandmacore) are likely to select clothing or household goods based on the trend, which is why it’s important for retailers to be aware of it.  But it goes beyond merchandise – gardening, reading and handcrafts, for example, are also part of the lifestyle. In many ways it is reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement in late nineteenth century England. It is not surprising that the work of British textile designer William Morris (1834–1896) is currently experiencing a surge in popularity.

Other movements that use the term “core” include goblincore and fairycore. These imply a fantasy themed aesthetic in clothing, decor and hobbies.  For fairycore, for example, “visuals include nature, soft pastels, butterflies, magic, flowers, soft animals like bunnies, and the vibe of springtime.”  Fairycore activities might include playing harmless pranks, attending Renaissance festivals, embroidery, and going for walks in the woods.

These societal trends have an influence our industry, especially in terms of the merchandise our vendors will be offering. Focusing on one or more of these core aesthetics to create themed promotions, social media posts or displays could be fun – and a good way to attract new customers.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder