If you're not on TikTok yet – you're missing out big time.
What was initially regarded as a platform for "kids" has become one of the biggest social media apps, establishing itself amongst giants including Twitter and Instagram, and luxury brands have finally started taking TikTok seriously as a result. With over one billion users, there's of course, also a lot of money to be made.
In the US, TikTok is said to have around 80 million monthly active users, with 60% being between 16 and 24 years old. 26% are between 25 and 44, meaning that the app's main pool of users is Gen Z – a group that is currently being targeted by brands worldwide.
Over the past year, luxury fashion brands have ventured to TikTok, including Hedi Slimane's CELINE, which cast some of the app's biggest stars for its show appropriately titled "The Dancing Kid," Dior that streamed its various runways on the app, as well as Prada, who is responsible for the biggest trend of the moment – the #PradaBucketChallenge.
With over 1.6 billion views, the hashtag features some of the app's biggest creators, including Bella Poarch, Lucas and Marcus Dobre, Lil Huddy, and so on, grabbing a signature Prada hat and transitioning into a full Prada runway look from the label's FW21 collections.
Although the trend has evidently been paid for by Prada, and the stars have all been gifted (or loaned?) the ready-to-wear looks, it is catching on. A quick scroll through the hashtag tells me that creators who aren't working with Prada are also participating, using items from their wardrobes to create similar looks to those worn by the TikTokers.
Last week I spoke to my younger sister, who's turning 17 this year. She told me that she and her friends had heard of this cool brand called Miu Miu through two influencers – 20-year-old vlogger and influencer Olivia Neill and 18-year-old Mia Reagan, who were both invited to the label's latest Paris Fashion Week show and were, of course, also dressed by the brand.
Miu Miu has been around since 1993, and Prada since 1913, so they're certainly not new, but they're both having a social media rebirth.
I'd like to imagine that Miuccia Prada is sat in her beautiful home scrolling through her TikTok "For You" page and that she's constantly browsing social media, but sadly, I don't think that's the case. Regardless, she and her team know the power of the young customer, and that's what makes Prada unstoppable.
By using TikTok and using it right, Prada sales are about to skyrocket due to the so-called Bucket Challenge, and every 15-20 year old is about to put the hat on their wish list ahead of Christmas. The hats start at $595 a pop and come in multiple different styles and materials, so there's a lot of money to be made.
Although plenty of people in fashion are still "too cool" to give credit to influencers and social media stars, brands that are recognizing their value are the ones who manage to last – and grow. Catering to the new young consumer is arguably more important than just satisfying existing buyers, and by introducing Prada and Miu Miu to the younger generation, pieces are flying off the shelves thanks to social media.
Prada's viral challenge is just scratching the surface of TikTok's powers, and it is only a matter of time before the other luxury brands catch on. And I hope they do because, at this rate, Prada is the only brand that's got Gen Z wrapped around its elegant little finger, and it was a little too easy.
That's all for now, I need to run and film my own version of the #PradaBucketChallenge. And if you think it looks easy, try to record the transition and you'll quickly be humbled.