X-Girl: The Radical 90s Cult Brand Lands at Glue Store
After becoming an Olympic sport for the first time in 2021 with young girls dominating the street and park categories, seeing girls skateboarding is nothing to gawk at.
But in the 90s, the skate scene was largely ruled by males, and the skate park could be a hostile place for girls. With L.A. still held up as the cultural centre of the scene, one brand began to turn the persona of the skate girl into something wearable.
At a time when paranoia about posers was rife, it became a fashion statement in and of itself to take part in the subculture without actively taking part in the sport. Unconcerned with these anxieties, Kim Gordon (bassist, guitarist and vocalist of Sonic Youth) and Daisy Von Furth were busy designing a range of clothes for girls inspired by skateboarding. The time was ripe for a female-centric skate fashion brand. As an offshoot of XLARGE, founded by Beastie Boy, Mike D, it seized upon the No Wave aesthetic hangover from the 80s.
Sonic Youth were making music defined largely by noise and nihilism, while the Beastie Boys were rap-screaming banal lyrics into our ears about our right to party. The two moods combined to define the aesthetic of X-Girl; simple clothing that let you put your own inflection on them. While tomboys opted for the oversized-on-oversized look, others went for mini, A-line dresses. It also gave girls on either side of the fashion spectrum the means to experiment with different styles.
At the time they described it as a brand for tomboys but with feminine shapes maintained. This meant baggy jeans fit closely through the hips and waist, dresses were simple and fuss-free, t-shirts could either swallow you whole or cover only what really needed to be covered.
During fashion week in 1994, X-Girl sauntered straight off the sunset strip and onto the streets of New York. Directors, Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze led the charge in a guerrilla-style catwalk in Soho, meant to capture the fashion crowd as they left the Marc Jacobs show. Replete with a stolen hotel bedsheet with the words “X-Girl is #1” in pink paint, both hired models and friends of the designers strolled, prowled, marched, and trudged down the makeshift catwalk.
Sitting comfortably alongside the teen trash look that was popular in the 90s, X-Girl made affordable clothing that was being worn by the likes of Sofia Coppola, who was considered “goals” at the time. In a case of cosmic alignment, Chloë Sevigny shot a campaign for X-Girl just weeks before The New Yorker published an article deeming her the coolest girl in the world.
Today, X-Girl is run out of Japan but maintains its skater girl roots with all the latest pop cultural inflections. Shop the latest drop of X-Girl at Glue Store.