I'll be the first one to admit that my musical tastes are a bit quirky, but few genres I listen to are as uniquely strange as vaporwave. It's true; us vaporwave fans are an odd breed that care just as much about our music's aesthetic as we do about the music itself.
If you have a vaporwave fan in your clique, chances are that you can spot them from a mile away. The hot pink, purple, turquoise, and blue in their wardrobes will most likely give it away—if the slowed down "abandoned malls" music didn't.
You see, all these things come together when you ask "What is vaporwave?" Vaporwave is an aesthetic that's meant to remind people of simpler times in the 80s and 90s. It's meant to give a subtle nod to consumerist habits of yore, while still providing an odd "hangover" feeling in its music.
Despite the derision towards capitalism that's associated with the genre, finding gifts for vaporwave fans is pretty easy. Here are some of my own personal picks!
Anyone who's into vaporwave can tell you that glitch art is a major staple of the internet culture that brought vaporwave music to the forefront. As long as it involves cyan, magenta, and other similar "80s" colors, you're pretty much golden here.
Generally speaking, this makes any kind of A E S T H E T I C poster one of the best gifts for vaporwave fans. This cool Samurai-themed poster walks the line between anime fandom, Japanese culture appreciation, and vapor. Your friend will love it.
Artwork, especially glitch art involving ancient Greek statues, is a great route to take when you're shopping for a vaporwave aficionado. Of course, there's only so much room you can have for posters. Wall space is limited in any particular place.
For fans who tend to live in tight spaces, the best thing that you can do is get them a mug. This neat mug looks like a simple black mug most of the time. However, the moment you pour in some hot coffee, the mug reveals a beautiful glitch art rendition of Athena!
Fun fact: A lot of vaporwave is inspired by anime, including classic titles like Sailor Moon, Akira, and just about every shojo comic series ever. I suppose it's because of the sad and tender way love is featured in many series.
This cute Senpai Anime Girl Tee Shirt has a little bit of an otaku edge to it, but also has a subtle nod to the Supreme brand. If your friend is a sadboy, or is an anime fan alongside a vaporwave fan, this will be an awesome gift to give.
Though artwork will always make for excellent gifts for vaporwave fans, it's important to remember that there's more to this music genre than a dystopian neon appearance. There's some serious social commentary here!
Vaporwave is one of the first books to really look into the beginnings of the music scene and dissect it from an academic perspective. What's the draw to this dystopian music? Why is it so popular? What makes it different than the best synthpop songs out there? And, more impressively, why doesn't this trend ever seem to fade?
Bright colors with an oddly dystopian undercurrent is what makes the vaporwave aesthetic so decidedly trenchant. Though there's a lot of darker themes to it, some of the lighter fare can add a nice "Malibu flair" to a home.
This throw pillow features the bright colors of a Saint Pepsi video, vaporwave-esque themes, without the morose undertones. That makes it a great gift for people who love to kick back with a retro aesthetic in their homes while they're listening to the best vaporwave songs of all time.
Glitch art? Check. Ancient Greco-Roman statue? Check. Cool 80s kitsch thrown in? Triple check. Yep, this has a pretty vapor-y look, if I do say so myself.
This cool spiral notebook will hold all your friends' thoughts and notes with an awesomely retro-dystopian twist. Your friend will love it, and might even want to flaunt it around school.
Another common vaporwave theme you may have seen floating around the net is the juxtaposition of commercial elements with anime themes. Pantone is one of the biggest names in color, and is known for dictating much of the fashion industry's decisions.
This sticker has that dreamlike, hazy vibe you'd expect from this music genre without sacrificing the subtle jabs at commercialism it takes. It's also fairly large, so your friend will definitely get to show off this sticker.
If your friend recently got their own place, why not let them add a real wild vaporwave touch to their bathroom? This trippy shower curtain will keep their bathroom floor dry and will also look amazing when guests are over.
This curtain is a great gift for people who have a particularly wild sense of home style—as are most other gifts for vaporwave fans.
Though there are definitely completely grown adults who enjoy listening to vaporwave, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it wasn't a youth culture phenomenon. Most vaporwave fans are still in high school or college—and yes, that means they have backpacks.
This cool Ramune Cat Backpack will give the A E S T H E T I C your friend craves while holding all their belongings. It's a more useful present than most on this list, and better still, is adorable while doing its job.
Not all homes can work the pastel look very well, especially not on a large scale. If you're looking for gifts for vaporwave fans that won't annihilate their taste in home decor, it's often best to go for something subtle and cute.
This pastel quartet of coasters have the pixel-y, anime vibe of good vaporwave art without being overly garish about it. Even if you don't like vaporwave, I'm willing to bet you'd love having these in your home.