How Instagram and TikTok are enhancing the fashion world

4 mn read Fashion trends in the past were introduced only on runway shows or magazines that were exclusive to the public. After years of brand deals, discount codes and giveaways from fashion influencers and models — Instagram became the main outlet for influencers and fashion brands to find or set the latest trends. According to Business Insider, brands are expected to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. The impact of social media on the fashion industry is undeniable, as recent studies show that around 90% of millennials say they would purchase a garment if it has been recommended or posted by a fashion influencer they follow. Especially when it comes to using Instagram as a resource to find inspiration for outfits, by getting a glimpse of what’s in style each season. Fashion influencers also use their platforms to tell personal stories about brands and the products they buy to millions of target consumers. This helps brands who seek to stand out in the competitive market to stand out and gain traction on different platforms. The rise of TikTok however, could steal Instagram’s spotlight for fashion content as millions of users go viral showing their shopping hauls after buying clothes from their favorite stores or sharing DIY ideas for sewing. The wardrobes of stylish TikTokers play a big role in the popularity of certain styles, with the latest examples being tie-dye t-shirts, oversized hoodies and the flashy comeback of Y2K fashion, which was caused by users on the app generating over 70 million views on videos related to the trend. Although most shopping trends tend to be from fast fashion brands such as Zara, H&M, and Shein — many TikTokers have brought attention to more sustainable brands and eco-friendly fashion options. The hashtag #Upcycling has 5.5 billion views and #Vintage has over 9.4 billion views, showing Gen Z’s fascination with thrifting and repurposing clothing. In the past year, the platform has taken off the pressure of needing to follow any particular fashion standards — as Tiktokers tend to set some of the biggest trends themselves.
Rebecca Ko showing her style on Instagram.
Fashion content creator, Rebecca Ko, uses TikTok to gear her content toward a Gen Z audience and aims to help them feel comfortable expressing themselves through fashion, while on her Instagram she has promoted brands such as Princess Polly, Forever 21 and Tillys. As for her own fashion sense, “I’d say I’m a very versatile person, I love dressing in almost every aesthetic,” said Ko. “It really depends on my mood! Of course I stay within trends but I love branching out and putting some twists to my look.” Ko shares fashion tips, outfit ideas and recaps of her weekly clothing with over 860,000 followers on TikTok, who also sometimes enjoy picking which outfits or pieces she should try on next. “TikTok is definitely the most effective in reaching a larger audience,” Ko told Eat News. “The algorithm is very helpful in pushing my content out as well.” She also shared that the videos where she usually receives the most engagement are relatable and humorous ones that help her followers feel identified with their own style or personality. A content creator in the midst of the fashion world must stay on top of the constant trends circulating and changing on the platform, but Ko finds it “quite simple” to stick to her own style while seeking inspiration. She advises people who are starting to discover their own style to pay attention to which trends would fit them the most, out of all the ones that usually come and go. “Don’t try to fit into every trend,” Ko added. “Also, putting your twists on trends might help to stick within your own style!” Ko’s main goal is to teach confidence through fashion, the way it helped her discover her authentic self, “Expressing yourself through clothing is a form of self love and it could really help people find themselves.” The app is a sure way to gain global exposure quickly, whether it’s working with fashion influencers or fashion lovers on TikTok — businesses started to recognize how easy it is to cultivate relationships with potential customers online and use the benefits of social media to create a voice for their brand. The global influence with younger audiences on TikTok will continue to rise and dictate many of the future style trends for the upcoming seasons. High fashion brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent and Prada, have also used the platform as a way to live stream some of their runway shows from last year during the first-ever #TikTokFashionMonth and Fashion Week hosted on the app. The same way that models and influencers on Instagram become brand ambassadors, young models on TikTok can now also be scouted by modeling agencies and collaborate with brands as well. Along with that, consumers are now getting behind-the-scenes looks of how fashion designers sketch, design and make collections through video tutorials on the app. Designers and brands have been taking full advantage of this opportunity to connect with younger audiences by taking part in challenges and marketing campaigns that allow them to directly sell to consumers the clothing they want to wear. Although Instagram will still be utilized as one of the main tools for brands to reach and communicate with potential customers, they will have to keep striving to keep up with TikTok. The creative and inspiring trends on the app could turn TikTok into the most influential fashion platform that younger generations have been waiting for.

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Victoria Gonzalez is a U.S. correspondent for Eat News who covers a variety of topics about the entertainment world and politics.


Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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