Welcome to Ancient History, a new bi-monthly column that unearths some of this magazine’s most iconic, yet rarely-seen photographic memories of yesteryear. This week, we’re ringing in the New Year by revisiting the year that launched a thousand and one velour tracksuits: Y2K.
Just over 20 years ago, we spent New Year’s Eve 1999 awaiting the end of the world as the seconds ticked down to Y2K. But instead of Armageddon, the early aughts were born—an era defined by teeny candy colored sunglasses, precariously low-rise jeans, bellybutton rings, stripey highlights, and a slew of timeless pop culture moments that still reverberate today (looking at you, Euphoria). Britney Spears performed “Oops!…I Did It Again” in a nude catsuit at the VMAs, and Eminem inspired countless suburban teens to bleach their hair white-blond. The year 2000 shocked and delighted, and Interview’s own archive from the year is no exception. Below, peruse some of our best photographic moments from the start of the new millennium.