TikTok in Fashion
Gen Z’s answer to Instagram, TikTok is the app of choice for the younger crowd. Much like its social media predecessors, Instagram and Snapchat, TikTok allows users to create and share short form videos. However, the type of content is largely different from the earlier platforms.
To give you a brief background, TikTok, as it is now, came to be when its parent company bought the Musical.ly platform and merged the two apps. If you’re familiar with the former Musical.ly, you’ll know that its users would create short lip-sync and comedy videos – largely the same as how TikTok is used now.
TikTok users, also known as TikTokers, have fun with the platform creating and watching content of lip synced songs, dance videos, comedy sketches, talent videos and so much more. The ways to create content are endless but the platform is especially great for movement-based activities like dancing, cheerleading, gymnastics and sports. It’s really more about content creation rather than traditional social networking. The big difference with how Gen Z engages on TikTok is that it’s largely unfiltered, unscripted and spontaneous. It’s #nofilter #wokeuplikethis for real and Gen Z loves it!
The app was downloaded over 110 million times between August 2019 and November 2019 and boasts an average of 680 million active monthly users. With 40% of its users between the ages of 16 and 24, it’s the platform that brands will want to head to in order to reach the younger market.
While TikTok has been an obvious marketing tool for the music and entertainment industries, fashion brands have been a little slower on the uptake, perhaps unsure of how to engage with the active TikTokers. However, fashion brands and organizations are starting to fully appreciate the platform’s potential and how they can not only reach a younger audience, but give their brands a whole new sense of creative cool.
Ralph Lauren was among the first fashion brands to get on TikTok with a campaign coinciding with tennis’ US Open. The brand sponsored a hashtag challenge with #WinningRL, encouraging users to create their own videos sharing their “wins” for the chance to win Ralph Lauren goodies. The campaign went on to garner 700 million views.
MAC Cosmetics also got on the TikTok game, hosting their own #YouOwnIt challenge during New York Fashion Week last September. Users responded to the challenge with videos that showcased their own individuality, including fashion makeovers, makeup transformations and silly runway walks.
The most recent fashion company to try it out on TikTok is New York Fashion Week itself. This recent NYFW, three influential TikTokers were invited to the front row. Forget the usual high-glam, highly edited content from the usual fashion influencers. In this case, it was all about real footage and runway to reality content. It’s a win-win for both TikTok and NYFW, making NYFW relevant to the younger generation and giving TikTok credibility and a path to the rest of the fashion industry.
Fashion is all about creativity and TikTok is all about creative expression. It’s inevitable that the fashion industry will slowly but surely take up a larger space on the platform. It will be interesting to see which brands and which TikTokers will win the most hearts – literally and figuratively.