TikTok: Gen Z’s most beloved social is democratizing fashion. Here’s why
Tough mission? Far from it. For the TikTokers, fresh and genuine language wins. The one that reveals to us the more authentic - and less sophisticated - side of the fashion system.
There are those who sign up and discover themselves to be boomers; there are those who experiment and find themselves to be viable creators. The avenues of TikTok are endless, yes, even relative and exclusive to the fashion system. And as millennials and Gen Z increasingly prove they have the right mindset to succeed, we can't help but feel intrigued by the fresh and authentic language of a social platform that is rewriting the codes and rules of communication today.
How do you recognize a fashion trend on TikTok?
"Fashion is now hyper-penetrated on TikTok, it registers huge volumes. So you recognize a fashion trend when you notice that it has a strong representation on the social platform, and maybe it is also indexed with the hashtag #fashion. Italian fashion, which responds to the hashtag #ItalianFashion, is also a trend that has grown so much, specifically by seven times over a six-month period. We can find it on content indexed by anyone who wants to be found: brands, public figures, users. Ambassador of Made in Italy is precisely Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, which has renewed its partnership with TikTok in view of the upcoming Milan Fashion Week: the challenge is to tell the #BehindTheQuinte through the voice of brands."
TikTok is credited with creating the #core aesthetics, viral individually and as a general phenomenon: to what is it due so much success?
"All keywords make it possible to personalize, indeed "TikTokize" fashion trends. Aesthetics ending in -core are additional subsets of information that allow us to observe fashion with an even more special lens. The very niche it refers to thus becomes a trend; we are addressed with a fresh, authentic language that makes that content appealing. With in -core aesthetics, it is the way you tell the story that makes the content new, but the content itself is not."
Speaking of virality: what does a fashion trend have to look like to really appeal to TikTokers?
"Spontaneous, genuine: those are the most relevant words. Fashion is sophisticated, but to work on TikTok it has to be made genuine, only then can TikTok rewrite the codes. There are people who use other means to stay informed but, when it comes to TikTok, the reason is a different one: they want to be entertained, to see fashion weeks from a different perspective, to discover street style looks, to be and feel involved. So the role of the creators is also very important: they are called to adopt a fresh language that can dialogue with the users. I feel I have to mention as a successful case-study that of fashion journalist Letizia Schätzinger, on TikTok as @letizianews: she is not a Gen Z exponent, but she makes people discover the role of those who work behind the scenes of the fashion system, informing in a spontaneous way. A successful way to talk about fashion without filters."
The TikTok profile of a fashion house versus that of a TikToker: which storytelling is more appreciated by users?
"This is a very difficult question because in reality there is no real distinction. When a fashion house also opens its doors and speaks with sincerity, revealing the behind-the-scenes, the unseen, and telling its story in a language akin to our mood... then there is no longer a difference. TikToker or fashion house, a creator is a creator. A good example is the fashion house Valentino, which in platform has codes very close to those of TikTok: this allows the brand to be perceived as a creator. And around this perception its success is built."
To bring fashion closer to users, what values should storytelling focus on?
"It is experimentation that helps to figure it out. You have to figure out for each brand or professional what the winning formula is. Signals in platform though are the hashtag #BehindTheQuinte with billions of views, volumes are always positive signals. Then there is also the know-how of the maisons, in turn told in simple language that brings the audience closer. #LearnWithTikTok is another hahstag that has an educational nuance, for example, and is very popular with the public."
The #shopping hashtag has surpassed nearly 390 million. But in the end, does TikTok really have an impact on our shopping choices as well?
"This is a very delicate terrain, it would be presumptuous to say that thanks to TikTok we sell more. However, we should not forget that TikTok reaches one billion people (that's the monthly active users, ed.), the audience is wide and within it there are also those with purchasing power. There is then a desire to discover projects and products, I mention for example the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. TikTok accompanies the consumer's buying journey in his or her everyday life, regardless of whether it may translate into a purchase tomorrow or in the future or not."