Inventor of the scrunchie dies, leaving behind a fabulous fashion legacy
JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:
The fictional fashion icon Carrie Bradshaw once made this declaration about a hair accessory in an episode of "Sex And The City."
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SEX AND THE CITY")
SARAH JESSICA PARKER: (As Carrie Bradshaw) No woman who works at W Magazine would be caught dead at a hip downtown restaurant wearing a scrunchie.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
But the scrunchie never really went away. And for that, we can thank its creator, Rommy Hunt Revson, who died earlier this month.
SUMMERS: She first made them in 1986. She wanted to come up with a hair tie that wasn't made of metal or plastic. And Revson later told the podcast "Every Little Thing" she was inspired by the waistband of her sweat pants.
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ROMMY HUNT REVSON: And I said, you know what? That pucker-y waist, I'm going to try to mimic that for my hair.
SHAPIRO: Freelance journalist Sara Radin called herself the internet's unofficial scrunchie historian, and she remembers Revson this way.
SARA RADIN: She was a genius who came up with an invention that really changed how women dress.
SUMMERS: And Patrick Hughes, a fashion historian at Parsons School of Design, says the scrunchies' visibility in late '80s and '90s pop culture made it a big hit.
PATRICK HUGHES: Well, when I think of the heyday, I think of the strength of the scrunchie, I immediately go to Madonna. I think of Janet Jackson.
SUMMERS: Me, too. But all trends must come to an end. He also remembers the "Sex And The City" moment.
HUGHES: (Laughter) That was tremendously humorous and also true.
SHAPIRO: Hughes says the early 2000s brought a cultural boom in New York that left the scrunchie behind. But by 2019, as red carpets and Teen Vogue declared, the scrunchie was back. Here's journalist Sara Radin again.
RADIN: There was novelty to it. It felt quirky. It just was like a fun accessory that added something different to an outfit.
SUMMERS: OK, Ari, I think you're going to love this one as a fellow dog owner. Did you know that the original name that Revson gave it was Scunci? She named it after her dog.
SHAPIRO: Her dog was named Scunci.
SUMMERS: I guess.
SHAPIRO: The pronunciation didn't stick, but the scrunchie - not Scunci - has more than proved its staying power. Rommy Hunt Revson died September 7 at 78 years old. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.