New York Fashion Week Welcomes TikTokers To The Front Row
TikTok is sending out signals of its ambitions to become a fashion destination as it sends three TikTokers to New York Fashion Week.
Tyler Gaca, a 25-year-old comedian and art teacher, is not the kind of influencer you'd expect to see at New York Fashion Week. For he usually posts comedic sketches that portray him as Victorian, singing the gospels of silk ruffle shirts to his 289K followers on TikTok.
Yet, it is the content like Gaca’s that NYFW hopes will give it the boost of relevancy it needs. In addition to Gaca TikTok is sending Cosette Rinab, a 20 year-old student at the University of Southern California with 1.6M followers on TikTok and Taylor Hage, a 30 year-old blogger from Minnesota.
According to The Business of Fashion, these three TikTokers aren’t the sort of fashion influencers who typically attend the shows but that is exactly the point NYFW is trying to make. TikTok is a rising social media platform for it reported 680 million monthly active users and has everyone from Justin Bieber to Will Smith to the Washington Post hungry for viewers, as reported in November.
Fashion week could help TikTok “grow up a bit” said Vic Drabicky, founder of the marketing agency January Digital. It could also use an injection of fresh blood this season, with well-known designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Jeremy Scott and Tom Ford showing in other cities and many A-listers choosing the Oscars on Feb. 9 over the front row.
“TikTok can’t just be about 15-year-olds dancing forever,” said Drabicky. “It needs credibility and fashion week can help with that. And fashion week on its own is dying and could use the help of cooler creatives.”
Gaca’s plans to create content showing NYFW footage that would compare “unflattering photos of my ballet days that involve sequins and bowlcuts as a fun juxtaposition.” Rinab plans on showing her followers how to recreate runway looks by using clothing from H&M and Zara.
“I’m going to be respectful because I know it’s a prestigious event, but I’ll definitely be making it fun and more casual than the type of fashion content you’d see on Instagram or YouTube,” said Gaca.
TikTok is collaborating with IMG, the producer of NYFW, which has created accounts on the platform, including @NYFW and @FashionWeek. KCD, the PR firm, is handling access as it is ranting the three TikTokers front row seats and backstage admittance to shows like Anna Sui and Rag & Bone, as well as invites the parties hosted by different brands like Bulgari.
“We are always looking for new ways to heighten mobile reach and social media relevance,” Leslie Russo, executive vice president of IMG's fashion events, wrote in an email. “There’s one global stage today, and that’s the phone.”
Bryan Thoensen, head of content partnerships at TikTok US said “fashion trends and style inspiration” do work on TikTok, so long as it “plays into the creativity, individualism and elements of surprise that really resonate with our users.”
Rinab, the USC student and TikToker, brought up the fact that most of her followers are middle and high schoolers who are interested in her posts about fashion.
“TikTok is all about positivity and making your day, so fashion on the platform is about having fun and not taking it too seriously,” Rinab said.
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