This piece is part of our GATEZERO hub — a travel-focused content series celebrating GATEZERO, our concept store at Zurich airport.
Airports are famous for many things — queues, bad moods, Highsnobiety's GATEZERO space (of course) — but style isn't normally one of them. Or, at least, not nowadays.
Airports of the '90s, however, were very different. The '90s saw airport style hit heights it never had before and may never again. Famous faces perfected slouchy comfort with finesse thanks to outfits that were just the right level of planned-out.
Type '90s airport style' into Google and you'll see pages of fire fits served up by a handful of returning characters. Nicolas Cage occupies a high percentage of hits, with Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt reserving equally impressive lots. But, while Nic, Ben, and Brad certainly deserve due respect, we were particularly inspired by fits from Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, Al Pacino, and Kadeem Hardison.
From preppy sportswear to god-level scruffy tailoring, keep scrolling for inspiration on the best ways to turn heads with airport style.
Shop the best airport style from the '90s below.
Woody gets full marks for prep here. A Simpsons-embellished varsity jacket leads the charge, coupled with a perfectly matching notebook and guitar case duo. Did you plan this, Woody? Straight-leg sweats provide the comfort with a pair of Dunk Highs to round out the sporty feel. Accessorizing with a high-end neutral scarf and contrasting trucker cap is the cherry on top.
Thought double-denim looks were bold? Peep Wesley's bag which is a makeshift hanger for another denim jacket. Triple denim. It was the '90s. A tactical belt offers up big janitor/IT consultant energy which is styled out by sleek shades and a fedora which Wesley pulls of nicely. Be careful with this fit; a lot can go wrong. If you're Wesley Snipes, though, a lot can go right, too.
Al Pacino walked so that Scumbro style could run. Bieber's just-rolled-out-of-bed looks have nothing on this just-left-the-dinner-party ensemble from Al. Leaning into his Italian heritage, Al teaches us all a lesson in casual tailoring here. The vest and waistcoat combination is doing a lot for us, especially with the help of the long gold chain. The backward cap and Wayfarers are a stroke of genius.
Kadeem might be a winner with this one. We're truly puzzled by the fully potted tree that he's holding — did he buy it at the airport? Did he travel with it? — but there's no confusion about how successful this fit is. Accessories range from a nylon bucket hat to a classic diver's watch on the wrist while the bread and butter of this look is its laid-back aesthetic. Patterned pants and a big graphic tee bring life to the off-duty style which could only be finished off by a pair of trusty Birkenstock Arizonas.
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