TikTok’s Booming Contribution to Fashion and Beauty

The Short-Video App drives high Media Impact Value for the brands.

Digital marketing

14 September, 2023

Table of contents

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, was founded in 2018. Ever since that, the app has been downloaded over 3,5 billion times. The most popular audience is Gen Z, especially between the ages 16 and 24 which accounts for 34,9% of the total users. The age group 25-34 follows them with 28,2% and 35-44 with 12,8%. Trendsetters such as Kardashians and Hadids have posted on the app and brands like Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent have live-streamed their fashion shows on it. Moreover, many small businesses, designers, influencers, beauticians, and models have set up their strong base in TikTok.

The short video app has been an outlet for everyone to express themselves in their comfortable spaces. Some influencers on TikTok have seen a stellar breakthrough in their career driven by it. For instance, Khaby Lame owes his success to TikTok where he became the most followed user in June 2022.

Apart from China which holds more than 730 million users, TikTok is popular in the United States (150 million), followed by Indonesia (113 million), Brazil (84,13 million), and Mexico (62,44 million).

TikTok in Fashion

TikTok is a crucial factor in driving trends (like abandoning skinny jeans) and popularising a product (like Skims dress and Gap hoodie) in fashion. When the skinny jeans for women moved away and loose fit entered the trend in 2021, the mom jeans by Aeropostale received more attention on the platform. The brand sales growth went from 7% to 40% in 2021. A year before that, Von Dutch products like tennis skirts, sweater vests, and mini purses went viral just because some users decided to go with their own style rather than following others.

Gucci participated in its own hashtag #Guccimodelchallenge by posting the Gucci looks of the creators on its official TikTok account and garnered more than 210 million views. JW Anderson witnessed huge popularity with his patch cardigan clothed by Harry Styles on the platform. There is Olivier Rousteing of Balmain who posts behind-the-scenes posts that show what really has been cooking behind the brand’s products. It also gives the young upcoming designers inspiration. On the #TikTokFashionMonth, many bigshot brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton live-streamed their fashion shows. The top posts from Zara include a customised candy-making video to commemorate the opening of its first retail store in Cambodia.

Creators and influencers who showed up to this world through the app are being used as official brand ambassadors for major brands. Wisdom Kaye, who is known to be TikTok’s best-dressed man, is working with labels like Dior and Balmain. IMG Models, one of the well-known modelling agencies that hired Kennedy Jardine and Wisdom Kaye, were looking for new faces in the app.

Many sustainable brands are utilising the platform to gain more consumers. The hashtags #vintage and #upcycling have reached over 8 billion views. Since Gen Z customers are looking for thrifted and repurposed clothes, the labels that are coherent with that topic are famous.

TikTok has opened a sub-platform named TikTok Shop for the creators and the brands to buy, sell and discover new products. This platform will give the brands access to promote and sell their products to the community of the app. It offers free shipping, free listings, and 0% commission fees for the brands in addition to the warehouse storage. In 2022, TikTok shop hosted the #TikTokFrontRow event which released EGO’s Summer Drenched collection that was available to buy on TikTok Shop UK for a day.

In 2023, TikTok is making wide-leg jeans trendy which was seen on the Balenciaga runway. Instead of wearing matching shoes, the wrong-shoe theory is gaining popularity. Brands like Salomon, and Loewe are becoming ideal ones to buy those shoes. From Kendall Jenner’s recent looks with no pants, the boxer shorts are highly rated on the app. It further establishes lingerie slip dresses, crossbody bags, and silver accessories as the trendy styles.

In 2021, Prada sponsored the Prada Bucket Challenge which encouraged the users to do a video wearing the label’s bucket hat worth £420. Many famous personalities such as Brent Rivera, Bella Poarch, Just Maiko, and Lil Huddy have participated in this challenge. The challenge’s hashtag had over 1,6 billion views as of October 2021 with 1,1k videos posted as of November 2021.

Despite their high performance on the platform, luxury fashion brands were always in a dilemma. They were speaking for themselves but for the consumers in TikTok. All their efforts were dominated by the fast-fashion industries. Even though they posted some famous posts like Prada’s challenge with bucket hats, there were some failures like Chanel’s advent calendars that received mockery in 2021.

In Q1 2023, many luxury brands set their base structure stronger than ever by growing their media impact value by 11%, outdoing the 7% increase in fast fashion. Labels such as Gucci, Dior, and Prada earned higher media attention between January and May 2023 with Louis Vuitton already achieving higher MIV than that of 2022.

The major part in these elevated results is played by the influencers who own around 70% of the media impact value that the brands earn. Dior reached the biggest hit by creating content with Jaadiee, an old-age influencer who does videos on unboxing and streetwear styles. The house invited him to its Spring/Summer 2024 show.

The official pages of brands faced an increase of 4,5% yoy in media impact value with the share contributed by influencers falling 8%. Louis Vuitton had a similar result with successful events such as the first men’s runway of Pharell William. However, the most popular post was the behind-the-scenes with J-Hope at its show hosted in June. Even though it hasn’t posted a single feed, Chanel became the 9th most talked about brand in 2023. The most famous post for this brand was from Becky G, who wrote a song on its name. However, Balenciaga’s MIV dropped from $38 million to $4,5 million due to the ad scandal.

K-pop celebrities are becoming a reliable resource to generate traffic among brands. The campaigns with these stars by Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Dior went viral.

TikTok in Beauty

In June 2022, at the time of the annual “618” shopping phenomenon in China, Tik Tok unveiled a self-operating beauty shop to offer luxury beauty products. At the same time, TikTok Shop hosted an event with the hashtag #TikTokFrontRow. The campaign was from the 7th to the 13th of June. Together with L'Oréal Paris and Look Fantastic, the app brought a ‘Masterclass’ with make-up artist Sir John (whose clientele includes Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Chrissy Teigen).

By November 2022, the platform recorded an average of 330 million views on a daily basis for the e-commerce short videos of the beauty sector and the live-streaming went over 130 million views every day. From December 2021 to November 2022, Douyin's beauty sector has earned over 100 million new users.

TikTok totaled 176% year-on-year growth in the beauty sector. In that industry, the most successful posts were from renowned influencers and/or celebrities like Ariana Grande and Kylie Jenner. The Global State of Beauty report ranked LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton at the top with a global media impact value of $144 million, followed by Shiseido Company, Limited at $113 million and The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. at $112 million.

According to Launchmetrics 2022 report, Dior was in first place for using celebrity-driven marketing which became a massive hit. The collaboration with Jisoo Kim was well received. L'Oréal Paris was next with its strong performance in China. Then came the Lancôme and MAC Cosmetics. The eighth rank was grabbed by Puig SL's Charlotte Tilbury with a 20% boost in media impact value. Fenty Beauty faced a 24% decline in value. In the fragrance department, Viktor&Rolf holds the first position due to its collaboration with Anya Taylor Joy. The next labels were Escada and Montblanc.

People believe and rely on the content posted on TikTok. Over 52% of users choose their beauty products from the app. In mid-2022, the brands Glossier, The Ordinary, E.l.f. Cosmetics and Maybelline were in the top slots due to their creative, entertaining, and educating short videos. Glossier reposts its fans’ posts and constantly replies to customers’ comments. The Ordinary’s interactions and its way of following the trends by keeping its identity at the core were appreciated by the users. The ‘e.l.f. It Up' campaign released an original song and insisted its followers make a video with this song to participate in the competition. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt made Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara the No.1 trending product. #skyhighmascara received around 260 million views.

In 2023, the app is drenched in Monochromatic makeup, simple nails, micro beauty, faux freckles, face yoga, and bold brows. With that, brands like Ere Prez, Vida Glow, Inika, and Eye of Horus which are offering products that help in these trends are getting the limelight. #RareBeautyBlush earned 1,2 billion views, enabling a sales hike in Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. Revlon One-Step Volumiser has 68,2 million views, whereas Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask became a sensation with 216,6 million views. With 290 million views, Clinique’s Almost Lipstick garnered a 2.000 5-star rating on Amazon and a Sephora rating of 4,8/5 stars.

Cover Image: Recent Videos of Leading Fashion and Beauty Brands, courtesy TikTok 2023