A turning point is coming in who gets to set the next trends and dominate the front rows of New York Fashion Week. For decades, they were the esteemed editors of top fashion magazines. Eventually, the best department store buyers and stylists joined them.
With the acceleration of the internet came the birth of the fashion blogger, with top fashion bloggers, such as Bryan Boy and Chiara Ferragni, joining the esteemed ranks of the fashion industry elite on the front rows of Fashion Week. The blogger era evolved into the Instagram influencer era when Instagram took over as a top social media platform. Instagram also became the fashion industry’s favorite social media platform as it is a highly visual medium. Fashion, of course, is all about visuals.
Now, with the next decade coming, the next generation of influencers, and TikTok is in a rivalry with Instagram over who will claim status over the fashion industry’s favorite social media platform. This war is clearly present during Fashion Month – as the front rows and who the brands court change.
The Small Business Blog did a study that showed some of the pros and cons between Instagram and TikTok that brands should think about. TikTok appears to have the best average session duration compared to other social media applications.
US TikTok users open the app more than 8 times a day. 13.15 percent of the 3.8 billion social media users use Instagram daily and 11.01 percent of the 4.54 billion internet users worldwide use Instagram daily. Instagram also has 1.3 billion users from TikTok’s 1 billion, but in 2021 TikTok had 745 million downloads to Instagram’s 545 million. Still, 89 percent of marketing professionals prefer Instagram over TikTok for digital marketing.
Brands like Coach love courting the next generation of top trending influencers. TikTok star and model Wisdom Kaye was seen front row at New York Fashion Week during Coach’s show. He has also been known to receive lavish gifts from designers, such as Rick Owens, who want to see him wear their clothes at Fashion Week events.
On the other hand, brands like Nicole Miller, which are more attuned to the millennial and the up-crowd, have historically favored Instagram influencers, like Christina Caradona, on their front rows.
Gen Z model and influencer Cole Etgen, who both attended as a model at New York Fashion Week, has 70,000 followers on Instagram and over 468,000 on TikTok. While he has a decent TikTok following, brands he’s worked with find him more on Instagram. “Instagram is the first fashion platform, so people there take fashion more seriously,” he said. “If you are seen as attractive on TikTok and have fashionable clothes on TikTok, you are doing well. On Instagram, people are less concerned with being found attractive and more attention is paid to the actual fashion.”
Other influencers, such as Martin Soto, who has 244,000 followers on TikTok, are finding that brands are courting them more through that platform. Some brands see TikTok as a more authentic and less curated platform.
“TikTok is better for brands because there is more authenticity in the app,” he said. “Brands can share their products in unique ways. An example is the storytelling aspect of TikTok, where videos can show how a company starts its day. There’s also the ability to share behind-the-scenes video during things like Fashion Week, and videos can use trending sounds on TikTok to match their content.”
Some of Soto’s feelings were also shared by Justin Kline, co-founder of influencer agency Markerly, in an interview with Forbes. “Looking at brands, Reels received higher engagement and we speculate that this is due to the presence they have established and cultivated significantly longer than on TikTok,” he said. “TikTok has made a name for itself with authentic, fun, and creative content led by real people, so it’s no surprise that individual users are still winning over brands on the app — TikTokers come to see dance challenges, songs, and jokes, not overtly proprietary content. ”
Instagram is a much better managed problem with images edited to certain standards, and the platform has only just shifted its focus to its Reels video component to compete with TikTok. While Instagram may still be going strong as a fashion platform, the need for something less compounded to connect with consumers, like TikTok, is something that designers and executives are recognizing. (Both Instagram and TikTok did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.)
“If we look at it from a business perspective, and purely economics and eyeballs, I just don’t see how a creator can continue posting in [Instagram] feed,” Vanessa Flaherty, president of influencer management firm Digital Brand Architects, told Business of Fashion. “It’s kind of a dying breed right now.”
“I’ve noticed that TikTok has a bigger eye on it now, and I’ve received a lot more orders from TikTok than Instagram.”
— Adam Dalton Blake
Fashion designer Adam Dalton Blake, who has shown at New York Fashion Week in the past, told The Daily Beast: “I’ve noticed that TikTok has more eye for it now and I’ve received a lot more orders from TikTok than Instagram. not the same amount of interaction as I used to on Instagram, and I now prefer TikTok because it’s more fun and creative.”
Seat allocations at New York Fashion Week are also getting a relaunch. Last season, the TikTok account @nyctrends posted several videos of front row guests arriving at shows like Tory Burch and Collina Strada. There were occasional comments on the “Who’s That?” video. regarding guests. Many of them were rising or current TikTok stars.
Influencers who have made big names for themselves on Instagram have managed to translate their success to TikTok and move on to the next. Bryan Boy now has 3.9 million followers on TikTok, where we see brands courting him with gifts such as designer bags. Fashion editor and stylist Caroline Vazzana, who has 335,000 Instagram followers but more than 550,000 on TikTok, is known for “Get Ready With Me” videos showing people how she’s getting ready for Fashion Week in her Carrie Bradshaw-inspired outfits , donated or lent from the brands.
“The war between Instagram and TikTok will ultimately be won by two things: visibility and who helps brands generate a return on investment.”
Certain brands also tend to court Instagram influencers over TikTok influencers and vice versa. In February 2020, before TikTok gained popularity, the app teamed up with IMG, the producers of New York Fashion Week: The Shows, and sent three TikTok influencers to cover shows, including Tory Burch, Alice + Olivia, Rag & Bone. , e1972 and Zadig. & Voltaire. This opened up these brands to the world of Gen Z.
On the other hand, Instagram sent two stars from the Netflix show that same season cheersnamely Lexi Brumback and Gabi Butler, to be part of backstage footage and capture it on various front rows.
The war between Instagram and TikTok will ultimately be won by two things: visibility and who helps brands generate a return on investment. Instagram currently has the larger audience, but TikTok is outpacing the platform in terms of new users. Currently, most social media stats sum up all channels including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter, so it’s hard to say in terms of engagement where one is doing better than the other.
However, if brands look at individual influencer metrics to see where their best return on investment is, there will ultimately be a clear winner. Until then, the battle between Instagram and TikTok continues.