Welcome back to HotToks. In this edition, we report TikTok's fashion trend cycle, the obsession with Sofia Richie's quiet luxury wedding, and Gen Z creators in the corporate workforce.
Thanks to TikTok, we now have the finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world of (high and low) fashion. From #balletcore leg warmers to #dadstyle New Balances, TikTok is the go-to spot to discover the hottest fashion trends.
It can be hard to keep up with at the rate that trends cycle in and out on the platform. But at the same time, it’s amazing how this platform has had such a profound impact on culture and consumption, reaching all the crevices of society. Seriously, there’s something for everybody.
Trend predictions are some creators’ bread and butter on the platform, and these creators help fuel the trend cycle on the platform and, as a result, on society. Just look at the trends slated for 2022: royalcore, gorpcore, dystopiacore, clowncore (all of these trends have millions of views on the platform); at this point, it’s—as Vox coins it—all just one trend, called “TikTok couture.”
TikTok couture can be anything from teenagers experimenting with clothes they’ve thrifted, older users revisiting vintage clothes, or TikTok trend predictors. With the power of the TikTok algorithm, these videos and creators have the power to shape what is considered stylish, impacting the daily consumer and the demand for goods.
Broken up into micro trends, like #gorpcore, and macro trends, like the yearning for nostalgia and Y2K resurgence, there’s truly no bounds to where TikTok couture can take us. Let’s just consider Miu Miu coming out with these viral satin ballerina flats (13M+ views on TikTok), paying homage to the #balletcore trend.
Fashion houses would be remiss not to cash in on these TikTok moments. And for the brands that thought they were out of style, the good news is cringey things are now cool and cool things are now cringey. Vintage, bulky athletic shoes like these Asics, which I would’ve hated to wear in the fifth grade, are now in. Celebs all over are rocking more vintage Y2K looks, nodding to the hype and longing for the nostalgia they see online. There’s no telling whether fashion will influence TikTok or TikTok will influence fashion—it’s really the age-old chicken-or-the-egg debate.
Living under a rock is the only way you would’ve not heard about Sofia Richie’s lavish, ‘perfect’, straight-up royal, South-of-France wedding this past week. Fans didn’t need to scour the web for deets on her marriage to Elliot Grainge because the bride-to-be officially launched her TikTok channel (which now has 1M+ followers) merely days before the star-studded wedding to share the festivities. Lucky us!
She used her platform to role-play as a relatable TikToker, sharing GRWMs with her stylist and walking fans through her makeup routine. And fans were obsessed: ‘Sofia Richie wedding’ had over 600M views on the platform.
With content clearly well-coordinated (and being featured on Vogue’s Instagram certainly helped), Sofia’s wedding was a social media hit. People are taking to TikTok to praise Sofia and her team for subtly laying the groundwork for Sofia to become a social media it-girl—in a matter of days.
This TikToker broke it down by saying it was so successful because she leveraged the power of real-time (GRWMs on TikTok and outfit posts on Instagram), and her team really took time to plan (with the real-time dress reveals and the Vogue video release), bridging the gap between the average layperson and a celebrity, and setting a new standard for celebrities and social media it-girls. It was a multi-platform activation: we were seeing her GRWM process on TikTok and then saw the final product on Instagram—a recipe for success.
We always nod to this content strategy being super important: the lo-fi, relatable content that connects a creator with their audience. If Sofia Richie Grainge can do it in a matter of days, that just proves how powerful this strategy is. That combined with the fascination (especially on TikTok) with ‘old money,’ ‘quiet luxury,’ and ‘IYKYK’ aesthetic, her team hit the jackpot—she’s now ‘TikTok’s newest it-girl.’
Get ready, because Gen Z tomfoolery is back in. This time, in the form of TikTok marketing strategies. The Duolingo owl on TikTok, this Bose TikTok ad, and ScrubDaddy prove that Gen Z does have what it takes to help with a brand’s social media content strategy.
The story of the beloved Duolingo owl on TikTok (who has over 6M followers on the platform) was a breakthrough discovery; Zaria Parvez, the human behind the popular social media owl, has since been promoted to global social media manager, proving that Gen Z is becoming more and more sought after for brands looking to do something different with their TikTok presence. Brands are realizing that to succeed at TikTok marketing, it might make more sense to stay true to the lo-fi personality of TikTok, which Gen Z is great at doing.
"TikTok's popularity has upended corporate marketing departments to such a degree that they now include a whole category of employee: creators. Now, creators work alongside people who are typically referred to as the 'creatives,' immersing themselves so deeply in the brand that they sometimes embody it, taking it in directions others would never think to go."
- Sarah Lynch, Journalist for The Fast Company.
And brands all over are already starting to incorporate younger talent into their workforce. Nerf hired a 22-year-old “Chief TikTok Officer,” Milo Simpson, at 26 years old, is running the Taco Bell TikTok account, and Olivia West at 24 years old has previously helped run the Dunkin’ Donuts TikTok. These are just some of the Gen Zers refreshing brand image and updating brand voice for older, more traditional brands.
Their creations have all pretty much gone viral: Nerf’s most viewed video (at 9.8M+ views) was created by the Chief TikTok Officer, Sophie Jamison, this TikTok to promote Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries has 1.2M+ likes, and Olivia West’s TikTok idea for Dunkin’ garnered the attention of Charli D’Amelio, leading Dunkin’ Donut’s numbers to skyrocket overnight.
As lo-fi content becomes more prevalent and powerful for brands, don’t sleep on the power of Gen Z to amp up your TikTok marketing strategy.
And… it might be good to know that TikTok is currently testing an in-app tool that helps create generative AI avatars. The tool isn’t broadly available as of yet but is a testament to the platform’s efforts to inspire creativity within its community (throwback to the BeReal-inspired TikTok Now). It will essentially be like a Lensa-like app built within the platform and can be used to set profile photos and create avatars.
Thanks for reading!
Want more HotToks? Check out our last edition here.
Want more social media & industry updates? Follow Fohr.co on Instagram. (Just kidding, we're on TikTok too).