How TikTok and Gen Z is changing the fashion industry • Art de Vivre

How TikTok and Gen Z is changing the fashion industry

6 minutes to read
Oct 03, 2023

TikTok is responsible for a lot of changes in recent times. It’s stolen most of our brain power, made people famous for doing something for 15 seconds and it’s also at the forefront of fashion trends. TikTok is renowned for its viral trends and challenges, which also extend to fashion. When a particular style goes viral on the app, it can lead to a considerable surge in that item's demand often meaning it sells out overnight.

Tiktok has been responsible for the move away from skinny jeans, making the Gap logo hoodie popular, the Skims dress, viral Birkenstock clogs and countless micro trends that are constantly rising and falling. 

How TikTok and Gen Z is changing the fashion industry

Gen Z is in control

The fashion industry can’t really stay away from TikTok, but it’s not just TikTok - it’s Gen Z who have their hands on the pulse. Gen Z have serious concerns about environmental causes and due to their voices on social media, it’s easy to see the impact on brands responding by integrating social and environmental themes into their products. The views of Gen Z consumers are integral, forming in 2020, 40% of global consumers. They know when something is a gimmick and something is authentic. It’s reported that 62% of Gen Z prefer to buy from sustainable brands and are willing to pay more for ethically produced goods. 

We all know that Gen Z  is at the forefront of the world’s biggest changes, and you can either get on board or fall behind. Brands have to do more than just be brands, they have to take responsibility for their place in the world and act accordingly. They need to have a strong set of values that are having some sort of positive impact - which, if anything, is a wonderful change. 

What does this mean for the fashion industry and its loved designers? 

It’s difficult to tell. Fashion trends come and go far quicker than they ever have before on TikTok. Where once something was “on trend” for a long period of time, now 3 months is generous. There’s also such thing as microtrends which are fast-fashion brands that can produce clothes and have them in store within 3 weeks. In some ways, it’s harder than ever to make a lasting statement in the fashion world given this criteria, but it’s also never been easier to go viral. 

Influence of TikTok on us

How do designers stay creative?

This isn’t just a problem for creative designers, but writers, filmmakers and any other creatives. It’s so easy to get instant validation or feedback from consumers where creatives can test the market, deciding whether the item is liked before investing more time in it. In some ways this is helpful, but so much of the creative process is about failing. Failure allows us to reflect on why, making “bad work” liberates us to make “good work” and failing reminds us that the goal isn’t to reach perfection but to take part in the creative process. There’s a gravitational pull towards consumerism and the idea that if it doesn’t sell, it isn’t worth it. But what about the fashion that stays beautiful regardless of whether it’s worn or liked by everyone?

Timeless style is a far cry away from TikTok’s touch, there are some styles that will always cease to go out of style and will remain fashionable forever. Perhaps that’s not the intention behind fashion anymore, but it should be. With fashion shows coming up, we should lean into appreciating a human’s creativity to produce such beautiful shows and the time that goes into them. Fashion is a form of expression, whether it’s short-lived or lucky enough to be in our hearts for longer, let’s remember it’s sole purpose is it creatively express our personality through clothes regardless of whether we fit into a trend. 


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Photo Credits: © Shutterstock

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