Graphic by staff graphic designer Alyssa Bello.
*Disclaimer: The writer appears in some of Vivian Nwigwe’s TikToks.
If you’re on TikTok, you may have came across a fashion-related video pop up on your For You page.
TikTok has become a hub for creative expression — especially for the fashion community. From styling tips to sustainable fashion hacks, TikTok has provided a platform for fashion enthusiasts and designers to showcase their talents and share their knowledge with a global audience.
TikTok is a great platform to keep up with current fashion trends. With trends spreading faster than ever, the fashion community on TikTok has become a force to be reckoned with, shaping the way how many approach their style while also encouraging inclusivity and diversity within the industry.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of fashion on TikTok — or “fashiontok” — through the lens of a local designer and explore how this platform is changing the game for fashion enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Vivian Nwigwe, also known as Yen, is a self-taught, New Jersey-based designer. She is an advocate for conscious fashion and passionate about sustainable developments and initiatives. She specializes in sourcing her own materials, upcycling, and garment redesign. For her, TikTok has allowed her to share own brand and creative process with others.
Nwigwe has created her own fashion brand, YEN. YEN is an innovative, independent sustainable fashion brand. She produces handcrafted one-of-one pieces made from ethically and sustainably sourced material. YEN helps to encourage zero-waste and slow fashion by repurposing old fabrics into her new and unique designs.
Nwigwe told Slice of Culture that she’s always been into thrifting and it’s a major source of inspiration for her style and brand. Most of the time while thrifting, a piece will stand out and call to her which initiates her creative process. She even makes videos where she shares some of her favorite thrift finds to give inspiration to others.
She started her TikTok account in hopes of sharing her creative process with others while offering viewers a realistic perspective.
“People often think designing and creating clothing is a quick and easy process but, more often than not that isn’t the case and I wanted to emphasize this. I enjoy showing my process on TikTok because we are able to capture viewers’ attention quickly and deliver our message concisely while still making the content fun,” she said.
Her videos range from before and after of her creations, thrift finds, tutorials, fit checks, the behind-the-scenes footage of being a small brand and more.
Yen’s latest collection, “Precious Cargo” was actually inspired by one of TikTok’s many trends.
“Tiktok actually inspired my latest collection where I repurposed cargo pants into cargo skirts. I first noticed cargo skirts becoming a prominent piece in a lot of GRWM (get ready with me) videos and decided to try and make my own,” she added.
The collection consists of 26 skirts ranging in all sizes and colors.
Even though she has her own cargo skirts up for sale on her site, she even provides a tutorial on how to make them for those who wanted to try it out on their own.
Nwigwe’s fashion TikToks have gone viral several times on the app, which has allowed for thousands of people to be introduced to her work.
A viral TikTok video can have a significant impact on a brand by rapidly increasing its exposure and reaching a wide audience. If a brand’s product or message is featured in a TikTok video that goes viral, it can result in an increase in brand recognition and awareness, as well as a boost in sales.
While Nwigwe views her fashion and TikTok as a hobby, she would ideally make this a full time career for herself.
“Although I would love to do fashion full-time it sometimes feels like it might not be the most realistic thing. Capitalizing off something that originally started just as a hobby can take the fun out of it and I would love to avoid that. My priority is to find the perfect balance between my professional career and my hobbies,” she said.
Once a hobby becomes a source of income, it can change the way one approaches and enjoys the activity. The pressure to make money and meet customers’ demands may detract from the pleasure and creativity of the hobby. While it’s possible to turn a hobby into a successful business, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks and make an informed decision.
You can keep up and shop with YEN at yenchives.com.
TikTok — which has about 150 million American users — has become a powerful tool for fashion enthusiasts to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and styles, discover new and small brands and connect with like-minded individuals in the fashion community. This is just one of the many communities that would be impacted if the United States successfully bans the platform, which was created in China but is now headquartered in California, but that’s a topic for another time.
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