TikTok is hosting its own digital fashion month

The app will live-stream two shows a week from some of the biggest names in the industry, an attempt to challenge Instagram’s reputation as the internet’s go-to fashion content hub.

Trying to organise a fashion runway show during the era of social distancing is an impossibly absurd task. How do you pack a room full of press and influencers to watch models saunter down the runway in Chanel couture? Difficult times call for innovation – and the show must go on.

Moving to fill the void and the latest to get involved with fashion’s ever-evolving integration with technology, TikTok is offering a rather novel response that converts the runway into an exclusively digital experience designed to comply with Covid-19 safety regulations. It will be an entire digital fashion month, a first for the industry that could break new ground and resonate with Gen Z consumers.

‘Given that the majority of people are still quarantined at home and limiting their social engagements, brands have had to quickly pivot to discover new ways to connect with their customers while also bringing creative streetwear and runway to fans,’ said TikTok’s Fashion Content Partnerships Lead, CeCe Vu in a press release. ‘That’s where TikTok comes in.’

Online showcases are currently the most economically viable option for businesses and are a progressive, practical solution to the industry’s unnecessary promotion of detrimental environmental practices.

So, how exactly is a video-sharing platform expecting to host its own fashion month?

Kicking off in the coming days, TikTok has partnered with luxury giants JW Anderson, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent to live-stream upcoming collections with a range of style sessions, exclusive drops, and virtual catwalks twice a week.

Puma is also onboard, having worked specifically with Black creators on its new line and has pledged to donate $10,000 in proceeds from all sales to the Equal Justice Initiative.

‘This is just another way for our brand partners to leverage the platform’s authentic and community-driven approach to showcase their art, creativity and personalities in a unique and truly TikTok way,’ adds Vu. ‘It’s emerged as an amazing platform for creative expression merging the worlds of fashion, music, art and design.’

#TikTokFashionMonth has already amassed 1.5 billion views and is aiming to bring fashion to a wider, younger audience, transforming the app into a go-to fashion content hub that rival’s Instagram’s reputation as the Internet’s favourite location for all things style.

And, in their reluctance to give up on the traditional fashion calendar, participating brands have also taken this opportunity to tap into a younger market, well aware of their extensive spending potential.

‘Up until very recently, fashion was an industry slow to adapt to the platform because I think brands were unsure of its marketing possibilities,’ says Jessica Schiffer, contributing editor of Vogue Business. ‘The lack of stylization probably seemed antithetical to fashion, which loves the polished, carefully curated confines of platforms like Instagram.’

Alice + Olivia co-designed their exclusive capsule collection with TikTok.

The presence of such significant names in fashion shows how important TikTok has become to the luxury market. Dior, Balenciaga, and Fendi are amongst the growing number of labels to tap into its huge user base by creating official accounts, and the industry is steadily reinventing what luxury fashion means to culture by becoming increasingly more accessible through our screens in quarantine.

Throughout the month’s many scheduled events, viewers will be encouraged to share their thoughts with the hashtags #Fashion101 and #GetTheLook in preparation for the final ‘Runway Odyssey’ where influencers will strut their stuff on the virtual catwalk.

Oh, and #TikTokFashionMonth will conclude with an online after-party, because who doesn’t love to celebrate what’s set to be a very exciting few weeks?

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