Who do you follow on TikTok? Do you even have it yet? If not, it might be time to log on. TikTok has been a welcome quarantine distraction for celebrities including Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid and Jennifer Lopez, who have taken to the platform to master their dance moves. And since it looks like our time spent under lockdown may be longer than expected, you might as well seize the moment.
TikTok started life in 2012 as a quirky lip-sync app and is now a global sensation – it hit 680 million active users at the end of last year. In 2017 it made a play for the US teen market by merging with another lip-sync app, Musical.ly, a move that sent its expansion into overdrive. Now, you can see everyone from Romeo Beckham to Britney cropping up in TikTok’s addictive feed, comprised of short videos in which users mime to songs, showcase dance routines, or take part in viral challenges like the #oldtownroadchallenge, inspired by Lil Nas X’s monster hit.
As part of its efforts to become a fashion destination, TikTok sent three of its most popular users to New York Fashion Week, where the micro-influencers documented the happenings at the shows in their own unconventional style. Tyler Gaca (@ghosthoney, 583.1K followers) told the Business of Fashion that his footage would feature “unflattering photos of [his] ballet days that involve sequins and bowl cuts as a fun juxtaposition”. College student Cosette Rinab (@cosette, 2.1 million followers) and Taylor Hage, a 30-year-old blogger from Minnesota (@tayhage, 903.5K followers), were also dispatched to New York.
Brands are already waking up to the opportunity to capitalise on TikTok’s young and highly engaged audience – especially following the introduction of shoppable video content at the end of 2019. Celine even made TikTok star Noen Eubanks the face of its campaign in December. He was an unconventional choice for the French powerhouse, whose past campaigns have featured the likes of Joan Didion and Margaret Qualley, but Hedi Slimane recognised the power wielded by Gen-Z figureheads – Eubanks has some 10.9 million followers watching his every move.
Other fashion giants to tap into TikTok include Guess and Burberry, which announced its arrival on the app with last summer’s #TBchallenge, inviting users to interpret the label’s iconic monogram with their hands. Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and MAC have all also signed up, suggesting the TikTok fashion takeover is set to continue.