Just when you thought social media had plateaued, TikTok changed the game. Social media is more than a decade old, though most people just use the most popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. These platforms have managed to successfully navigate the turbulent digital landscape by evolving to fit quickly changing needs. However, after more than a decade, a new platform is now giving them a run for their money.
China-based app TikTok is a social media phenomenon like no other. Yes, we have seen others come and go, and TikTok may soon go the way of Dubsmash. But for now, its growth is relentless. Despite calls to ban the app in the US, TikTok has grown to over 100 million unique subscribers in America alone! It has even bigger followings in other parts of the world. It’s simply inescapable right now. Older millennials (and younger boomers) have been guilty of looking down on the app as just another fad for teens. But the fact that TikTok has made a significant impact on the fashion industry in a short time proves us wrong. Here are 4 key ways TikTok is making an impression on modern fashion:
Designer Fashion Brands Use TikTok To Showcase Fashion Weeks
If you’re old enough to remember, YouTubers were once the hippest new kids on the block. Popular live streamers and vloggers and travel bloggers were almost on the same level as many Hollywood celebrities. Thanks to their massive reach, fashion brands were one of the first to correctly assess their influencer value. As a result, by 2009, many YouTube sensations were making debuts at fashion weeks in many style-meccas across the world.
It’s not really surprising that the same is happening with TikTok. Although TikTok may not have as many followers as YouTube, YouTube has had a lot of time to amass build its audience. TikTok, on the other hand, has smashed through glass (or digital?) barriers and built a following much faster, even if it is smaller. Regardless, fashion brands see the value in leveraging that following along with the visual reach TikTok offers. Noen Eubanks and Charli D’Amelio have showcased fashion offerings from Celine and Prada respectively. And it seems like this is just the beginning. That’s not to mention several male TikTokers who look just as good in American made chinos as in Armani designer suits.
Talent Scouts Use TikTok to Find New Potential Talent
Okay, let’s just admit we all like looking at attractive people. We just do. And that doesn’t just mean conventionally attractive people. Dogg face’s now-iconic skateboard video with juice and men’s shorts made in the USA has earned him millions of followers. That video has also earned him several endorsements, including from Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac herself. And Dogg face managed to accomplish all of this organically. Professional modeling scouts now use TikTok as a major tool to source potential new modeling talent. Imagine the possible opportunities for a person discovered by a top-tier modeling agency like IMG. Incidentally, IMG has in fact added 2 popular TikTok stars to its roster of professional models.
The rationale behind this is obvious. TikTok is a very inclusive space and does not allow filters or edits beyond the options included in the app. This allows scouts to get a fairer assessment of the talent they are trying to scout. They can get a much better idea of a potential model’s personality, their social interaction skills, and even what they value or are interested in.
TikTok Is Driving New-Age Sustainable Fashion Brands
TikTok is used by people of all ages and types. But it is still a phenomenon that primarily belongs to Gen Z users. That’s okay because millennials and boomers had their own things back in the day. The decade now belongs to Gen Z. Digital entrepreneurship is on the rise again, and Gen Z is proving to be a lot more socially responsible than many larger fashion brands. In fact, they are turning out to be more ecologically responsible as well. So it is only natural that we should see new fashion brands emerging in Gen Z spaces like TikTok. And, typical of Gen Z, these brands are all about sustainable fashion.
Younger individuals are obsessed with upcycling or retrofitting vintage clothes. Many eco brands have emerged based on this growing market. Many of the popular brands use TikTok both as a primary marketing tool as well as a source to gather inspiration. Thanks to the ability to add hashtags and target specific interests, TikTok allows these brands to find ideas, create new outfits, and showcase them all in one place.
People Are Teaching Themselves by Watching Designer Process Videos
Younger people make instinctive use of technology that often does not come naturally to older ones. One example is using the internet to educate themselves. No question is too stupid, no fact unverifiable, and no answer indiscoverable on the internet. Nearly everyone has had to look at a how-to or DIY video at some point. Gen Z is just more cognizant of the ability to gain and share new knowledge. They are also more open to teaching themselves new things. TikTok offers the perfect space for younger individuals to absorb new skills in bite-sized videos.
This applies to self-taught fashion design as well. Many fashion designers have started to share their creative processes with audiences on TikTok. Younger viewers are not just idly swiping through videos, but actually learning how to create their own fashion styles. Sure, many of them may not understand the finer points of the perfect 5 pocket pants yet. But that is only temporary. As they learn, practice, improve, and grow, they will soon start making waves of their own.
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