On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter dropped a collab with Casetify. With seven phone case designs in total, the collection taps into the the wave of vintage tech nostalgia that’s currently gripping the internet (led, of course, by Gen Z).
And so you don’t feel like a “traitor” to the environment, these cases are “good 4 u” and good 4 the planet, each sustainably made from recycled materials.
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The “Hardened Hearts” collection reflects Rodrigo’s Y2K alt-girl style. Manufactured in shades of purple, black, and silver, the designs feature butterflies, hearts, and roses that look like they’re straight out of an early 2000s temporary tattoo pack.
The nostalgia doesn’t end there. One case is designed to look like a flip phone with a fake incoming call graphic that utilizes T9 predictive text. It reads, “DNT ANSWER.”
Rodrigo is only 18, so chances are she never experienced the joy of slamming the shell of a flip phone shut, but aesthetically speaking, she is consistently yearning for that time. Her fashion choices — slip dresses, fishnets, and Doc Martens — and pop-rock sound align with late ’90s early 2000s nostalgia.
Rodrigo’s collab isn’t the first time Casetify tapped into vintage tech nostalgia either. In September, Casetify worked with Urban Sophistication, the Israeli lifestyle brand known for its innovative and offbeat designs, to create a line of phone cases inspired by the early 2000s. The line featured phone cases replicating a BlackBerry, the iconic Pink Razr, and a classic iPod.
These phone cases are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Gen Z’s interest in older technology. Wired headphones are cool again, and TikTokkers are accessorizing with iPods. The Digital Fairy, a creative agency specializing in internet and youth culture, coined the term “vintage tech nostalgia” in early November in a TikTok where they described “the fall of the Apple aesthetic,” referring to young people’s colorful, maximalist approach to accessorizing their tech.
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Gen Z has grown up online, and so young people’s fondness for vintage technology makes sense when you consider how staying plugged in 24/7 can lead to more stress and anxiety. To quote Rodrigo, it’s “brutal out there.” Vintage tech allows young people to envision a different way of living, one that isn’t iPhone-centric.
And if you’re not ready to commit to the real thing, then at least you can still have the aesthetic of a flip phone, thanks to this collab.
With all this vintage tech nostalgia, we can’t help but get deja vu.