How TikTok Remade the Runway

How TikTok reinvented the runwayPierre Suu/Getty Images

Thom Browne affirms that he doesn’t intend to go viral when he puts on his fashion show. He doesn’t even think about how they play on the internet.

Instead, he creates shows. It’s actually a bit like a piece of theater, telling the story to the people in attendance. “For me, it’s more interesting to have a more intimate experience of what the collection says or what I want to say through the collection,” says Browne.

Still, casting Golden Globe-winning actress Mikaela Jae Rodriguez as a modern-day Cinderella and sending her off the runway in a pink tulle Cadillac to close out the show, as Brown did with her Spring 2023 collection. , you must be enchanted. More than a few eyeballs online. Also, TikTok has a lot to offer. With the hashtag #fashionmonth alone, he has amassed a staggering 228 million views in September 2022.

A blonde model in a blue shirt and yellow pants walks the Loewe Spring 2023 runway in front of an oversized anthurium sculpture

Loewe Spring 2023’s pixelated look is a nod to the digital world.Peter White/Getty Images

Fashion has always found its way onto social media through the in-depth analysis found on archive-obsessed Tumblr accounts and high-fashion Twitter. Of course, Instagram, with its reputation for glossy images, has been a long-time choice. But armed with its video-focused ethos, TikTok is poised to take over.

“Instagram feels very controlled, like a traditional media outlet,” says Alyssa Mosley, a stylist and content creator who found an audience as a TikTok creator (@alyssamosley_). “[TikTok] It’s like a platform for people. ”

Whether intentional or not, the Spring 2023 season was filled with eye-catching moments perfect for successful bite-sized videos on TikTok. ‘s catwalk took the form of a dystopian landslide. I think some big brands are doing a little bit more to make those viral moments happen,” says Mosley. “A lot of brands enjoy creating and designing sets for attention.”

A pair of twin models walking at Gucci's Spring 2023 show

Gucci’s Spring 2023 show featured 68 pairs of identical twins.Gucci via Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

But perhaps no show demonstrates the power of going viral quite like Koperni. In August 2022, the #coperni hashtag performed brilliantly, recording nearly 1.9 million views. And at the end of September, the brand wrapped up its Spring 2023 fashion show on a high note. As soon as Bella Hadid stepped onto the platform, she was sprayed with a white substance.By pulling her shoulders and cutting the front to expose her legs, Hadid took her finale walk for a minute. In no time, she was literally wearing a dress that was made for her body.

The moment went viral everywhere, and the proof is in the numbers on social media. On TikTok, #coperni hit 7.3 million views in September, and a staggering 123 million views in October. (Hadid also gave power to her name, with #bellahadid rising from her 272 million views in August to her 524 million views in October.)

Another shortcut to viral success? Using celebrities, of course. Celebrities have been fashion staples for decades, but brands that want their A-list names known go a long way. Dolce & Gabbana partnered with Kim Kardashian for her Spring 2023 collection, while Balmain and Versace brought big-name faces to the runway (Cher and Paris Hilton, respectively). Brown tapped actress Gwendoline Christie to play “Charming” alongside Rodriguez’s “Cindy.”

And TikTok has spawned so many celebrities that designers are inviting hot creators to the front row of their shows, like Givenchy’s Addison Ray and Ralph Lauren’s Wisdom Kay. “A lot of brands really tap into their celebrities, especially young people, so TikTok stars who weren’t traditionally in the fashion world are being invited to different shows because they’re getting more attention,” says Mosley. says Mr.

However, true fashion fanatics needn’t worry. The focus remains on clothes: Loewe’s punchy trompe l’oeil pixelated work cuts through the noise, as did Maximilian Davis’s reddish debut in Ferragamo. Going viral on TikTok is another way designers can spread their message to an entirely new and apparently engaged audience.

“I love putting provocative ideas out in public. I think it’s important to open up people’s minds and think really differently about clothing and what’s going on culturally.” I like to have, yes, if I only get mediocre reactions, I’m not doing my job.”

This article appeared in the February 2023 issue of ELLE.

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