What started as a simple influencer partnership for Hollister and Charli and Dixie D’Amelio quickly turned into an entirely new brand launch for the company, according to Jacee Scoular, senior director of brand marketing at Hollister Co., who spoke today on a panel during the NRF Retail Converge conference. That’s the power of TikTok.
Scoular noted that what goes viral on TikTok comes down to one word: distinction. Take the D’Amelio sisters, for example. They have a combined following of more than 170 million TikTok followers and are the co-founders behind the Social Tourist lifestyle brand, which launched last month.
Social Tourist is housed within the Abercrombie & Fitch Co. portfolio and is sold exclusively through Hollister stores globally. But unlike many brands, TikTok is setting the standards for the brand’s success. For example, the D’Amelios showcased their latest product drop last week with a live fashion show on Charli’s TikTok channel. Models included other TikTok stars: Avani Gregg, Madi Monroe, Markell Washington, Curtis Newbill, Caroline Ricke and Phoebe Hines.
🚨 TONIGHT is the world premiere of the @socialtourist TikTok Fashion Show! Tune in on @charlidamelio ’s TikTok tonight at 9PM EST // 6PM PST 🚨
“TikTok is a tool for 360 integration into business,” Scoular said during the NRF conference. “Our product team looks at the platform and that translates into design and line ideas. We are looking at it for how to connect with and acquire the new consumer. It’s less about KPIs — we are looking at it holistically and how consumers’ behavior [on TikTok] can push business as a whole.”
Meanwhile, for Kate Spade, it has found success by leaning into TikTok’s creator marketplace. “Creators have the expertise. They have the deep relationships,” Amanda Bopp, VP of digital marketing and CRM at the brand, said during the panel. “TikTok is a great way to observe the consumer and see how she leverages [our product] for self-expression.”
And for Kate Spade’s upcoming summer campaign, the brand is taking a social-first approach by tapping TikTok personalities Happy Kelli and Todderick Hall to help steer the campaign creative from the get-go.
“[What goes viral] are posts that are made by fans and of our novelty product. We see that immediately the product sells out. The entire [social and online] ecosystem lights up. Now, we know what product will get people talking,” said Bopp.
In terms of commerce opportunities for brands, Matt Cleary, TikTok’s vertical director of retail and restaurants, said that the platform has democratized access to the fashion world. “People who may not have participated participate because [style content doesn’t have to be] the perfect shot. It’s how you [personally] approach style and fashion, and it’s real,” he said.