Popular fashion TikTok trends during quarantine
By Alexis Zygan, Staff Writer
It was no surprise that TikTok became the most downloaded app of 2020, surpassing Instagram and Facebook.
In 2016, developer ByteDance launched TikTok to the Chinese market. Four years later, TikTok took the world by storm, gaining success by providing comedic relief. At the same time, the app stirred controversy for unethical data collection.
During the global health crisis, TikTok became a necessary form of escapism from mundane lockdown routines. The social media app lures audiences with an infinite scroll providing endless entertainment on a For You Page (FYP). The FYP is TikTok’s version of a social media timeline. Unlike other social media, TikTok’s FYP generates content from various content creators, not just those users choose to follow. The ethically questionable algorithm can almost guarantee that each new video aligns with a person’s likes. And if they don’t, a user can hold down on a video and press the “not interested” button.
TikTok’s short-form video content is a product of imagination and creativity: dances, lip syncing, fashion advice, and relatable POVs about navigating life are all over the app. These videos created a feeling of connectedness when more than half of Canadians felt alone; it was no surprise that TikTok became the most downloaded app of 2020, surpassing Instagram and Facebook.
TikTok gained overnight success and influence on the fashion world. With events cancelled and postponed until it was safe to assemble, people signed up on TikTok and begun showcasing clothes bought pre-pandemic intended to wear at events.
Fashion and graphic designer Lorena Pages was frustrated with all the cute outfits she could no longer wear to parties because of lockdown restrictions. She turned her frustrations into filming a video of her Italian greyhound Tika the Iggy wearing funky outfits. In the voiceover, she says, “I had so many cute outfits planned for this year, I couldn’t wear. See this; I couldn’t wear it. Loved it, couldn’t wear it” People loved the Iggy video and followed suit, recording their videos mouthing the words said by Pages while showcasing. The footage of Iggy gained viral success on TikTok. Suddenly Iggy got a welcome pass into the high-fashion world modelling for Vogue. Luxury fashion brands are recognizing the influence of TikTok on the fashion industry.
Another fashion TikTok trend showcased what people would wear if they were cartoon characters featuring categories inspired by life-simulation video game The Sims: everyday, formalwear, sleepwear, athletic, and outerwear. People took their take by adding categories such as girl’s night out and the eccentric sexy duct tape man. This trend allowed people to have fun with the content.
To stay relevant to their consumers, fashion brands need to maintain a memorable presence on the fastest-growing social media app. The UK-based fast-fashion brand Pretty Little Thing has amassed over nine-million followers on TikTok due to interactive giveaways. Who doesn’t love free clothes, even when manufactured in factories with unsafe working conditions? Those who prefer to stay away from supporting brands that fail to provide the bare minimum to their employees, TikTok encourages thrifting with videos sharing thrift tips, favourite second-hand clothing items, and how to upcycle the clothes already in their closet.
Tune in next week for a discussion of athleisure on Fashion Tok.