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TikTok Couture: How TikTok Is Changing the Fashion Industry



Instagram has had a massive impact on culture over the last decade — from music and memes to books and movies — but no industry has been transformed quite as much as the fashion industry. 


After 10 years of influencers, discount codes, selfies and hashtags, Instagram has undoubtedly cemented itself as the tentpole of the fashion industry. Over the past few years, however, TikTok has stolen the spotlight, with creators on the platform making a lot of noise. 

So how big is TikTok’s impact on the fashion industry? And what does it mean for brands?

 

How has TikTok changed the fashion industry?


IT HAS PENETRATED FASHION EVENTS


Events like Fashion Week and the Met Gala have long been seen as impenetrable spaces for only the highest echelons of the fashion industry. We’re talking models, designers, reporters, and celebrities. But that’s all changed in the last two years. Last year’s Met Gala red carpet was full of influencers who got their start on TikTok, to the point where multiple outlets were reporting on the ‘TikTok-ification’ of the event.


Now, Fashion Week attendees and models include TikTok celebs like the D’Amelios and Addison Rae’s of the world, luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent live stream their shows, and models are sourced by scouts who trawl their FYPs looking for fresh talent.


IT HAS CREATED SHORTER TREND CYCLES


The rise of TikTok has undoubtedly had a massive impact on the lifecycle of a trend. Back in the ‘90s and ‘00s, trends could stick around for a year or two, but now with the pervasiveness of TikTok, they’re coming and going in just a matter of months.


What’s cool one minute is out of date the next, which of course brings up the question of sustainability. Instead of jumping on trends in the hope of riding the TikTok wave, brands should instead be questioning how they can supersede them. What products can you market that transcend what’s “hot”, and instead live alongside it; and therefore be in demand for a longer time period?

 

IT GAVE BIRTH TO #TIKTOKMADEMEBUYIT


One of the most popular hashtags on the app is #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt — with 19 billion views and counting. It started as a way for people to show off their purchases inspired by other users and has grown into an entity of its own. Nearly every week there’s a new product going viral on TikTok, covering everything from athleisure leggings and drink bottles to hair products and tech gadgets.


If you see a certain item of clothing going viral on TikTok, chances are, within a few days you’ll spot it on someone walking down the street. It leads to the cyclical trend nature of the app but also presents a great opportunity for brands to generate interest around a product.

  

NEW BRANDS


TikTok is a powerful tool for any new brand who knows how to use it right. The app’s hyper-specific algorithm allows brands to really find their niche, reach customers who perfectly fit their target audience, and amass huge followings overnight. It’s all about nailing your social strategy.

Some examples of this? Within one year of starting a business and launching a TikTok account, Enchanted Scrunch became a six-figure company with over 170k followers, while Noble Leather Co. creates videos showcasing their products and regularly get over a million views each.

 

SCOUTING TALENT


Modeling agencies and brands have turned to TikTok as a place to scout fresh faces for campaigns. Unlike other social platforms, TikTok content is largely unfiltered, plus the video element allows scouts to get a feel for someone’s energy and personality. 

 

And what about from a brand perspective? TikTok is a great place to source and solicit user-generated content. Working with creators who genuinely use your products as models in future campaigns is a way to stay fresh, relatable, and interesting.

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