TikTok’s Young Men’s Style Advice

TikTok is an insatiable platform, and menswear content abounds, much of it entry-level: style tutorials, product recommendations, video listings, and endless and endless amounts of fit photos, or fit videos, or videos of fit photos. There are established role models and role models, like Wisdom Kaye (@ wisdm8), who started out by posting on TikTok.

This niche of creators, however, shares its own interests and its own language. They mock each other good-naturedly, mocking signature shticks. They regularly roll their eyes on certain items of clothing, such as the Comme des Garçons Play “Heart shoe bad” logo sneakers. They debate the ethics of replica sneakers, or if you can ever wear an open jacket.

Sometimes they unearth an improbable hero’s outfit: Wrangler Wrancher dress jeans, Chef Cookman pants, an empty tote bag. Every now and then, using the duo feature of the app, a whole chain of men will try out the same outfit fit – sometimes sincerely (adding a tote bag to a look), sometimes ironically (wearing a tank top). and simple pants).

Many of these designers have also built an impromptu community from the app: Mr. Martinez started a group chat on Instagram that now includes Mr. Boutilier, Mr. Bolduc, and a dozen other TikTok fashion designers. The scene also has a native podcast, A pair of Kings, which regularly presents the main players. Mr Martinez recently posted a video of him slapping one of Mr Boutilier’s stickers on a storefront on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, a gesture of goodwill across the country.

This microscene is small and still throbs under the radar of most of the big fashion companies. It’s only in the past few weeks that some members have received free branded products, a familiar benchmark for influencer influence. But TikTok is still widely regarded as an app for teens, and many established companies, deaf to the media’s internal rhythms and jokes, are still struggling to figure out how to present themselves. (The goofy Ssense TikTok is a running joke among these fashion TikTokers.) And many of these designers crave something nobler and less gratuitous than pure attention and scale.

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