The Exposed Thong Has Officially Made Its Comeback

Some things never age, according to Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid.

The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - Street Sightings
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Bella Hadid’s abs were already unmissable before Versace’s spring 2020 men’s show this past weekend, but they reached another level of eye-catching when she stepped out onto the runway wearing a studded black blazer atop a bra and a pair of low-rise pants atop a much more controversial relic of the late ’90s and early aughts: an exposed thong, which, of course, came complete with golden Versace logos on its straps.

But compared to Hailey Bieber’s look at the 2019 Met gala, Hadid’s was rather demure. Rather than show hers off on her sides, Bieber went the more traditional route, taking advantage of the large cutout in the back of her pink gown. Well aware of where eyes would travel, the gown’s designer, Alexander Wang, gave his logo prime real estate.

Bella Hadid walks the runway of Versace’s spring 2020 men’s show during the Milan Men’s Fashion Week spring/summer 2020, on June 15, 2019, in Milan.

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Hailey Bieber wearing Alexander Wang on the red carpet of the 2019 Met gala celebrating “Camp: Notes on Fashion” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, May 2019.

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If you’re taking comfort in the fact that three’s a trend, well, we have bad news for you: It’s indeed a trend. Earlier this month, Alexa Demie, the breakout star of Euphoria, HBO’s new (and controversial) show starring Zendaya, followed in Bieber’s footsteps at the show’s red-carpet premiere. Her skin-tight, floor-length snake-print dress, designed by AKNA, also featured a thong. To take things up a notch, Demie’s was also bejeweled.

In any case, chances are you’ll soon be seeing exposed thongs off the red carpet too. Let’s look at the facts: When it comes to trends, where the Hadids lead, their combined 75 million Instagram followers tend to follow. The same goes for Hailey Bieber, whose marriage to Justin Bieber has only amplified her platform. Comparatively, Demie’s 60,000 followers may sound tiny, but they’re a star-studded batch—and one look at the comments section of her post proves she’s already gotten quite a few familiar names thinking about exposed thongs. It made such an impression on Zendaya that she not only commented “I’ll never be over this” but reposted it to her Instagram Stories, signaling her approval with the caption “damn” and extending its reach to an additional 50 million.

Plus, even before Demie had stepped out in the dress, it had already gotten Kim Kardashian West’s approval; she was, in fact, the one who originally pulled it, Demie told W, before it came into her hands.

Of course, we’d be remiss to even bring up the topic of an exposed thong without a mention of the high priestess of the whale tail: the one and only Manny Santos, she of Degrassi: The Next Generation fame. The show may have been canceled, but her fashion legacy lives on.

Related: Kendall Jenner Proudly Showed Off Her Underwear on the Red Carpet of the British Fashion Awards