The Matrix Turns 25! And Fashion Still Loves a Leather Trench

Can you believe The Matrix turned 25 this week? I certainly can’t! I was seven-years-old when the iconic movie came out, and I still vividly remember seeing it for the first time. Specifically, I was obsessed with Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss)’s slick clothes from the get-go, all of which were costume-designed by Kym Barrett. Even two decades later, it’s still what I remember the most about the franchise today—those leather coats.

The film’s plot initially went way over my head. Basically, there’s the real world and a Matrix world—and in the latter, you can do things like bend time and dodge bullets in slow motion. That’s cool and all, but I was obsessed with Neo and Trinity’s tough, edgy looks (including their tiny black shades). The duo was dressed to kick butt, and the costumes helped convey that sense of power.

Photo: Courtesy of Everett Collection

The dark, leather-clad wardrobe of the Matrix has become a signature element of the franchise—its own supporting character of sorts. And the fashion world has held tight to the aesthetic. Even today, designer continue to send leather trenches down the runway that could easily be featured in any of the Matrix films.

For fall 2024, labels such as Hermès, Burberry, and Alexander McQueen all designed supple outerwear in varying shades of black and brown. They’re all begging for Neo and Trinity to wear them while defeating bad guys.

Image may contain Clothing Coat Adult Person Accessories Belt Standing Overcoat Jewelry Necklace and Footwear

Hermès fall 2024

Daniele Oberrauch /

Image may contain Clothing Coat Overcoat Footwear and Shoe

Burberry fall 2024

Photo: Filippo Fior /

Celebrities, too, have continued to be inspired by the film’s vampy fashions. Just last week, Lady Gaga celebrated her birthday in L.A. wearing a Retrofête leather trench coat. Irina Shayk and Rihanna have worn similar pieces recently, too—allowing their bold outerwear to be the focal point of their off-duty ensembles.

If you’re feeling inspired, a luxe leather coat is a worthy investment piece for spring. Pile it over any outfit, and you instantly have a statement look. And no, you don’t need to know how to do a backflip off a motorcycle to rock it. That’s the beauty of the persisting Matrix aesthetic—you can look like a superhero without being a superhero. Seven-year-old me is thrilled that it’s a look that just won’t quit.

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