If you’re not of a certain age, “Z. Cavaricci” probably sounds like the name of a pasta sauce or a striker for Inter Milan. It’s actually a brand of clothery that was quite popular in the late 1980s/early 1990s, right around the time that I was in junior high. It was what the cool kids wore, at least in my neck of the woods. Like any other fashion trend, there’s no good answer to the question of why it became so popular. It just was, end of story.
But if there was any specific reason why Cavaricci clothes were so popular, it was because they were kind of expensive. Owning a pair of Cavaricci jeans signified that you could afford to own them. I coveted them for the same reason I desperately wanted a pair of Agassis, or the Nike mock turtleneck thing that came in Agassi colors. My wardrobe still consisted of a large number of hand-me-downs from older cousins, and the rest was strictly Caldors. It never occurred to me that a short fat kid like me would’ve had a hard time finding Cavariccis in my size and would’ve looked awful in them even if I did. The heart wants what it wants.
Why did Cavaricci’s go away? Again, fashion comes and goes, usually with little rhyme or reason. But if I had to guess, one clue is that this ad aired during an episode of MTV’s 120 Minutes. The episode in question featured an airing of the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which had debuted just a few weeks earlier. The dressed-down grunge era was nigh, and Cavariccis were doomed. But at least one person remembers those glory days, as you can see below this here video.