The Controversial 2000s Denim Trend H.E.R. Is Excited to Wear Again

Robb Klassen

There was a time when Grammy-winning artist Gabriella Sarmiento, commonly known as H.E.R, was afraid to wear sweatpants on stage. “I’d [think] this is too casual,” the 24-year-old singer/songwriter tells POPSUGAR over Zoom. “I need to be fully glammed.”

Eventually, she learned to embrace “big hair and big sweaters with sweatpants” and do as she pleases. “Fashion to me is all about dressing from the inside out,” she says. “And that means being comfortable in my own skin no matter what.”

She’s hoping to inspire that same confidence in others with her new limited-edition collection with The Drop by Amazon. The unisex line of earth-tone hoodies, sweatpants, and shorts includes a nod to H.E.R.’s cultural heritage. She’s half Filipino, and one hoodie is printed with a catchphrase she grew up hearing her mother and grandmother say: “Bahala ka sa buhay mo,” which roughly translates to “live your life.” “As I got older, this concept took on a new meaning. It’s a funny and sentimental thing, but it’s also a mindset. It’s your life to do what you will with it.”

That includes experimenting with fashion trends that are widely viewed as polarising. H.E.R. admits that she “never thought bootleg jeans would be coming back,” but she’s enjoying the resurgence of the 2000s-inspired denim style. “It’s cute with a heel when you’re not trying to wear sneakers.”

To pull off most trends, she says, you simply need to style them well. “The conversation when it comes to fashion now is not necessarily about the brands, but how you put everything together,” H.E.R. explains. “I could put on some thrifted jeans with a designer hat or rock that comfy sweater that my dad’s had since the ’80s and still do it with style.”

“Fashion to me is all about dressing from the inside out. And that means being comfortable in my own skin no matter what.”

Read on for more on the inspiration behind the collection, how H.E.R. defines comfort, and her thoughts on fashion and personal style.

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