Nobody Outside of New York Cares About Normcore

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Eliza Brooke
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Our deepest apologies.
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The good folks over at Quartz did some rigorous scientific analysis (read: Google Trends), and as it turns out, nobody cares about normcore outside of New York City. 

Sorry.

Well, that's not entirely true: A decent chunk of people in Stockholm care about the trend, which is an invented style of dress celebrating the absence of style — e.g. bland sweatshirts and New Balance sneakers. A few people in Chicago, Toronto, London, Paris and Los Angeles do, too. Sweden's capital is a 63 on Google Trends's index next to New York's 100, which is the highest search volume possible and sets the bar against which all other cities are measured. Chicago and L.A. max out in the 30s. 

So, really, it's just New York, thanks to the New York magazine article that kicked off the norm-storm in a big way. Incidentally, NYmag.com seems to have forgotten to renew its domain today, so if you try searching for that story you'll find the following page, which as Ben Walsh puts it, is about as normcore as you can get.

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The good news, Quartz points out, is that most of the word trends that have entered our collective consciousness in recent years — the Harlem Shake, #firstworldproblems, twerking — spike in a horrible fever pitch of overuse and then die off just as rapidly. "Listicles" is taking longer to fizzle out than one might hope. The world isn't a perfect place.

So in all odds, everyday use of the word normcore and its more irritating cousin, #normcore, will be gone before you know it. In fact, we're probably through the worst of it. 

That said, the word has coincided with an uptick in certain fashion trends — Tevas, Birkenstocks, simple white sneakers — in a way that one can only assume has amplified their popularity. So, while you might not hear the word as often as you have in the last month, its influence will remain manifest on the streets of New York for some time to come, until one day fashion decides that five-inch stilettos are back, and normcore will return to its grave — or the feet of 50-year-old suburban dads.

Note: A previous version of this article failed to define what normcore is in the first place. This is because the author lives in New York.