Mar 19th, 2020, 01:52 PM

Fashion Influencers on TikTok

By Moumi Camara
Woman in a gold sleeveless dress. Image credit: Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz / Unsplash
TikTok is quickly becoming the destination for fashion and beauty brands.

Many young consumers have taken a liking to the new social media platform, TikTok. Its catchy skits and popular dance challenges like the renegade and out west have accumulated a million views and video responses to the dance challenges. The app, which was originally known as was bought by Chinese tech giant Bytedance for $1 Billion in 2017. Since its relaunch, TikTok acquired 110 million downloads since its launch in 2018. According to the consumer research firm, Marketing North, 41% of the app’s audience demographic is between the ages of 16 and 24. 

In attempts to reach the app’s large young adult user base, many fashion and beauty brands have begun creating accounts, including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, MAC and many more as of 2020. Instead of posting onto their own pages, many brands have opted for sponsoring hashtag challenges, and commissioning influencers, by encouraging users to submit video responses, all a while promoting the brands. 

@ralphlauren ♬ Clap - TikTok アシスタント

Ralph Lauren made its debut on TikTok in 2019, during the US Open tennis championship in August. It is the first brand to launch a hashtag campaign in relation to a sporting event. The campaign featured actress, Diana Silvers showing off her tennis skills garnered over 700 million views.

TikTok has not only become a platform to bring more visibility towards fashion and beauty brands but it’s become an easy way for brands to work with influencers and popular content creators. During fashion week, TikTok sent three of its creators to shows with full access to front row seats, backstage access and invites to after-parties in a collaboration with IMG Models.

Bryan Thoensen, head of content partnership at TikTok US, told Business Of Fashion he thinks that the emergence of fashion brands on the platform makes for a great collaboration, so long as it “plays into the creativity, individualism, and elements of surprise that really resonate with our users.” 

@charlidamelio ♬ What the Hell - Avril Lavigne

During Milan Fashion Week, Prada partnered with 15-year old influencer Charli D’Amelio, who was invited to their show to capture content and share with her followers. D’Amelio’s most popular post for Prada totaled at 5.7 million likes, 64,300 shares, and 36.8 million views. CEO and founder of influencer marketing firm Obviously, Mae Karwowski told DigiDay in an interview that he believes Prada’s strategy of partnering with creators is smart because “You can test without assigning resources within your own team”. 

With brands increasingly relying on social platforms to reach viewers, many brands still find it difficult to measure if their hashtag campaigns and fashion week collaborations have a direct impact on sales. According to Vogue Business US some analysts, such as Rachel Saunders, director of consumer insights at Magnetic North speculate that the central appeal for brands and marketers is because the rules of TikTok are still being written. Yet, similar to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, TikTok will eventually allow direct sales from its platform. As other brands slowly began to emerge on the app, TikTok is sure to become another marketing tool used by brands for exposure and accessibility to the next generation.