How TikTok Changed Fashion This Year
Whether you’re on TikTok or not, the app and its minute-long videos have become inescapable this year. Despite the possibility of being banned in the U.S. earlier this year, TikTok persevered, and now has over 100 million users in the U.S. alone. Though it’s primarily associated with teens, it’s impact on the fashion industry is already well underway. Trendsetters like Bella Hadid are now posting on TikTok, labels including Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton are live-streaming their fashion shows on it, and designers, models, and other talent are even being discovered through the creative TikTok videos they post.
While we were all stuck at home this year, TikTok became the outlet for self-expression—a place where we could partake in dance challenges, practice our transitions, and share our personal style. Though TikTok is marked by its creative, loose content, influencers on TikTok have seen how having a following can translate into a career boost. Take Wisdom Kaye, TikTok’s best-dressed guy. He has over 4 million fans, and in the past year he’s been signed to IMG Models, and now works with brands such as Balmain and Dior.
While influencers as fashion plates is not a new concept (thanks to bloggers and Instagram), it is fairly new territory for TikTok creators. Kudzi Chikumbu, the director of creator community at TikTok, says the appeal of TikTok creators is their authentic content; users post videos that are more unfiltered than, say, those of Instagram stars, whose posts have to be perfectly composed and lit to perfection. “Fashion is legit on TikTok,” Chikumbu says. “It goes beyond the outfits and into creative expression. TikTok is a place for joy, and it’s giving the fashion industry a whole new way of showcasing their art and personality.”
Below, five key ways that TikTok changed the fashion game this year.
1. TikTok is taking over fashion week.
TikTok stars began to trickle into the fashion world in 2019, when Noen Eubanks became the face of Celine. Then in February, Charli D’Amelio, who has a whopping 103 million followers on the app, sat front row at Prada. The moment was reminiscent of when bloggers and YouTubers started to make their fashion week debuts in 2009. Surely, we’ll see more TikTok stars attending shows in coming years. But until then, brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent have begun live-streaming their shows on the app. TikTok says these livestreams in September brought in over 3 million views.
2. Models are now being scouted on TikTok.