This time of year is typically when Fashion Weeks all over the world would be starting. Some cities are finding virtual or socially distanced alternatives to keep the shows from being fully cancelled, while some other unlikely platforms are creating their own fashion events for those stuck at home. Recently, social media platform TikTok announced they would be hosting their own fashion month as a “digital innovation aimed at rivaling the physical fashion weeks.”
TikTok is competing with the likes of Instagram, the social media app mainly known for sharing fashionable content. The month-long event will begin this Friday, September 18th, and will end on October 8th. The shows are projected to feature a variety of hashtags and live videos from designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Alice and Olivia, and more. Users can simply open TikTok and scroll through a variety of hashtags and show titles to see some of their favorite designers, and even some new unheard of ones.
Many industries have begun using TikTok in general to promote their work/business as the platform has grown monumentally within the past year alone. Jessica Schiffer is the contributing editor of Vogue Business who recently spoke with the media about why bigger industry names were hesitant at first to use the app.
“I think fashion labels were unsure of TikTok’s marketing potential. The lack of stylization probably seemed antithetical to fashion, which loves the polished confines of platforms like Instagram.”
However, this past summer the fashion industry was completely flipped on its head, like the rest of the world, with the Covid-19 pandemic. Without the normal retail advertising and in-person promotions that can propel a brand into mainstream success, many labels found themselves struggling.
The idea of online shopping has obviously taken over within the past few years, however, now brands are realizing it has to account for a majority of their advertising, selling, and distribution. Brands began releasing short artsy minute-long clips as a replacement for real-life fashion events, and eventually TikTok began creating fashion trends and launching them into the mainstream faster than ever before.
Some examples of the fashion movements that have gained billions of views on the app include the cottagecore aesthetic, a hashtag that has gained over 3 billion views, and the more dark-sided Dark Academia goth aesthetic; which has gained over 61 million views. CeCe Vu is the fashion content partnership leader at TikTok who recently released a statement about their fashion month and why the platform is so beneficial for artists and creators.
“We’ve seen the fashion industry reinvent what luxury fashion means to culture and society through TikTok by bringing fashion into the homes of our community during quarantine. TikTok is where authenticity meets creativity and people are genuinely comfortable sharing their true selves.”
About 70% of all TikTok users are 13-24 years old, which at first was seen as a negative in regards to fashion marketing, however, these kids are also teaching their parents how to use the app and indirectly influencing them on their purchases. TikTok hopes their fashion event will be no different, and older generations will embrace the future of fashion technology and all it has to offer.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.