TikTok woos Luxury brands

5 mins read

In a groundbreaking move aimed at revolutionising Fashion Month, TikTok, the social media juggernaut, has unfurled its grand design to provide brands with distinctive content opportunities during this fashion extravaganza. As New York City set the stage for Fashion Month’s commencement, TikTok has been reverberating with sartorial symphonies since September 7th, as evident by the meteoric rise of the hashtag #TikTokFashion, which has garnered a staggering 1.2 billion views.

In a staggering display of TikTok’s appeal, luxury brand Burberry opted to live-stream its catwalk from London’s Highbury Fields on the platform, drawing an astounding 160,000 viewers. This, in contrast to its 20 million-strong Instagram following, where only a mere 7,000 tuned in to witness the brand’s Instagram livestream of the same show. Concurrently, fashion titan Tory Burch embarked on an extensive TikTok content spree surrounding its New York Fashion Week showcase on September 11th. A prolific posting strategy of over 70 content pieces, including day-in-the-life glimpses and behind-the-scenes reels, has already generated more than half a million views.

In a bid to streamline the user experience for navigating Fashion Month-specific content on TikTok, the platform has introduced a “Fashion Month Hub.” Accessible through search keywords such as “Fashion Month” or “Fashion Week,” this hub boasts tailored tabs like “From the Runway,” “Trending,” and “Behind the Scenes” to facilitate seamless content exploration.

In addition to refining content discovery, TikTok is directing considerable resources towards nurturing its creator base. The recently launched TikTok Collective, comprised of 33 fashion-centric creators, represents an earnest effort to connect these creators with both the creative spark of Fashion Week and the influential gaze of brand behemoths. Vanessa Craft, TikTok’s global head of lifestyle and education, stated, “We have tried to connect our creators not just to the amazing creativity and inspiration that comes from Fashion Week and being part of that conversation, but also by getting them in front of brands.”

To bolster this initiative, TikTok is orchestrating a quartet of networking-focused events in the world’s fashion capitals – New York City, London, Milan, and Paris. These events feature a unique blend of meetings, panels, and what Craft dubs as “brand speed-dating.” Craft elaborates, “The creators get five minutes with various brands and publishers to either pitch themselves or learn about what the brands are interested in.”

The London event, held on September 16th, forged connections between industry titans such as Farfetch, Isamaya Beauty, and Jimmy Choo and creators like Saeedah Haque (236,000 followers) and Bernard Garby (438,000 followers). It’s noteworthy that the creators constituting the Collective are far from conventional fashion influencers; they encompass diverse talents and perspectives. For example, Haque is renowned for her athleisure-inspired abayas and her collaboration with Nike in crafting its inaugural abaya sportswear collection. She is a vocal advocate for inclusivity, recently using her platform to decry the lack of diversity at the Vogue World event on September 14th.

In contrast, Garby adopts a unique approach by delivering fashion news and dissecting pivotal developments such as the Balmain collection theft and the departure of Sarah Burton, creative director at McQueen. His succinct analyses, presented through “coffee chat-style” videos, have cultivated a niche yet highly engaged community.

TikTok’s endeavours have not gone unnoticed by luxury brands. Vanessa Craft attests, “We see how engaged luxury [brands] are with TikTok. They want to speak to the creators directly. This has shifted in the industry, in general. Luxury brands are seeing the excitement of their followers around creator content.” Craft emphasises that entrusting creators with storytelling reigns is pivotal to building engagement, success, and a robust TikTok community.

As TikTok’s “speed-dating” event unfolds in Milan, the likes of Versace, Gucci, and Ferragamo are poised to grace the occasion. This season, TikTok proudly holds the mantle of official sponsor at two of the Big Four fashion weeks – Milan and Paris. With this bold foray into the realm of high fashion, TikTok has undeniably become a formidable player in shaping the future of Fashion Month.