The social media platform recognises its most important audience. Image via Adobe Stock

Month-long digital fashion event hosted by social media platform TikTok

In a bid to rival the physical fashion weeks that take place around the world, as well as an attempt to topple Instagram’s supremacy over fashion content online, social media platform TikTok has announced its own digital fashion month.


The social media platform recognises its most important audience. Image via Adobe Stock

Beginning on Friday 11 September and ending on 8 October, the month-long event is set to feature a wide range of live videos such as a live stream of two fashion shows a week from top labels like Alice + Olivia, Saint Laurent, and Louis Vuitton. JW Anderson will debut their women’s spring/summer 2021 collection on TikTok.

The social media platform was launched in China in 2016 and has become one of the world’s most popular platforms with young people, however, the fashion industry has been slow to adapt to the platform.   

Contributing Editor of Vogue Business, Jessica Schiffer says when TikTok first started taking off outside of China it was a platform filled with non-famous individuals creating still, off-the-cuff content.

“I think [fashion labels] were unsure of its marketing potential,” she said. “The lack of stylisation probably seemed antithetical to fashion, which loves the polished confines of platforms like Instagram.”

Coronavirus pandemic changes the face of fashion

When the coronavirus pandemic brought the fashion industry’s usual furious pace to a screeching halt, online fashion became the new beating heart of the industry.

Physical fashion shows were replaced by short, arty films made by fashionistas, and, surprisingly, the most compelling fashion trends moved on to TikTok. The endless fashion content that was created went viral and a new online industry was borne.

Some of the most popular fashion movements that took over the online fashion platform and went viral during the lockdown include the spirited, outdoorsy #cottagecore movement, which fielded over three billion views, and the gothic #darkacademia which saw 61 million viewers.

The all-embracing #harrystylescardigan challenge saw TikTok users trying to create the rainbow JW Anderson cardigan the singer Harry Styles wore on US TV.

Fashion Content Partnership Lead at TikTok, CeCe Vu said they had seen “the fashion industry re-invent what luxury fashion means to culture and society through their platform by bringing fashion into the homes of our community during quarantine.”

TikTok takes on Instagram

While Instagram has a reputation for being a carefully curated and traditional platform in the fashion world, TikTok has been seen as the belligerent rebel who has bulldozed its way onto the fashion scene.

The differences between the two social media giants are significant and while TikTok is adamant its not in direct competition with Instagram, it’s certainly making its mark.

TikTok’s creator communications leader, Lauren Jenkins, says that the TikTok experience is completely different from other social platforms and that uniqueness is a real draw to fashion labels.

“TikTok is where authenticity meets creativity and people are genuinely comfortable sharing their true selves, from personal style to fashion,” she said.

The majority of TikTok users tend to be between the ages of 13 and 24 and have huge spending potential. They also have a big influence over what their older parents purchase, dictating everything from what food is eaten in the home to what clothing brands should be purchased.

“Getting in the good graces of Gen Z now, as their marketing power is building, is the smartest move a brand can make,” said Schiffer. “[TikTok influencers] will become just as, if not more, important than Instagram influencers for fashion marketing,” said Schiffer. “We’ll see them lining the front row, starring in high-fashion campaigns and hosting brand events.”