Since state-mandated quarantine and social distancing began in the spring, technology has held us together. Social media, livestreams and countless apps not only united people, but industries. The landscape of the fashion industry has changed drastically as a result of the pandemic, and one of the largest impacts is consumers redefining style and how they make style decisions.
TikTok is one of the most popular apps among Gen Z-ers and millennials, delivering bite-sized videos about any and all topics. As opposed to the long winded videos on YouTube or filtered stills on Instagram, TikTok channels the best of both apps. The most popular TikTokers are often teenagers with audiences of other young users. The trends they set in motion are a reflection of a generation’s style, sometimes more influential than fashion magazines and runways.
Younger generations of users, enabled by social media, are more connected to consumers than large corporate brands are. TikTok’s platform provides a way for consumers to connect with fashion in a way that isn’t otherwise possible. The app is accessible to anyone and it’s interactive. Any user can participate in trends and even set their own in motion. This is not a new concept, as external forces like pop culture often impact trends in fashion.
Unlike Instagram, TikTok requires users to be original and inventive with their styling, filming and editing. The creativity required to make fashion TikToks is what the industry has been lacking for decades. Instead of blindly following runway trends and lists provided by fashion magazines, fashion lovers are thinking outside of the box with both their style and marketing. This is why industry giants are looking to the younger generation of trendsetters to help with their business strategies.
TikTok has rapidly evolved from an innocent pastime to a marketing force to be reckoned with. Major fashion houses have directed their e-commerce teams in the direction of Gen Z influencers to help reach younger customers. Emma Chamberlain went from making outfit videos in her bedroom to sitting in the front row at Paris Fashion Week. “E-boy” Noen Eubanks became the new face of Celine thanks to a 2019 campaign. TikTok has even sent its own representatives to New York Fashion Week to broadcast the runway. Similar to how a brand’s PR team pitches collaborations to magazine editors, digital marketing teams are now establishing partnerships with influencers. Instead of competing with influencers, fashion houses are embracing them.
The collision of pop culture and high fashion was inevitable and has never been so seamless. Social media and the Internet has blurred the line between the two and now Gen Z will be the ones to merge the two worlds permanently. The union between TikTok and the fashion world is a prelude to what’s to come in the future.
Check out A Mag’s TikTok for beauty and style inspiration here.
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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.