TikTok’s impact on the fashion industry was noted by Vogue and local content creators Ismaeel Bagus and Melissa Willis who have brought their own style and fashion to the online app are getting noticed.
Bagus(@ismaeel.bagus), 19, is a social media marketing intern for a travel agency. When he’s not busy learning the tricks of the trade, Bagus is passionate about content creation and working on campaigns.
Bagus said his love for fashion stems from dressing up for Eid in the month of Ramadaan every year.
“When we would go Eid clothes shopping, my mother would always let me wear what I wanted to. I always had a vision each Eid of what I wanted to wear and would shop according to that specific vision.”
The young creator started his TikTok account back when it was still known as Musical.ly. Now, he boasts nearly 85·000 followers with his content gaining 3.5 million likes. Bagus said fashion helps him boost his self-confidence.
“I saw a niche that needed more male representation that isn’t skinny jeans with a striped shirt or a full suit.”
Bagus has had the opportunity to work with brands like H&M, Superbalist and LG. He said that getting work with these brands has been a blessing.
“I never thought that I could earn money from this and even hopefully make a living out of it one day,” he said.
“Tiktok has the power to boost content creators who deserve the recognition they need.”
Bagus’ aspiration in fashion is to make it to fashion week in Paris, Milan, New York and South Africa, and to launch his fashion brand.
“I want my content to be the photos you save to recreate with your friends, post to Instagram and tag the creator.”
Bagus’ advice is to stay true to who they are and what they want their brand to be.
“Don’t undermine your potential and don’t sell yourself short!”
Melissa Willis(@whatmelwears) is a 20-year old fashion student at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design who hails from Pretoria.
From a young age, Willis has always worn what she wanted to as a form of self-expression.
“I love the way different clothing and styles make me feel. I decided to study it full time because I knew fashion was the right career path for me.”
Willis started her TikTok account two years ago which blew up for videos focused on a day in the life of a fashion student, along with outfit ideas. Today she has nearly 15 000 followers with her content garnering just over 125 000 likes.
“I started my Tiktok account about two years ago. At first it was pretty slow, but it started to pick up when I started posting about what I love.”
The fashion lover has worked with brands like Cotton On Africa and Superbalist. Willis said she enjoys getting to create content that brands and her followers enjoy.
“When I started on social media it was all for fun and I had no idea it could amount to all of this. I am very grateful.”
Her aspiration in fashion is to grow her account and post more fashion content.
“Once I’ve completed my studies, I would like to become a stylist and own a fashion brand.”
Willis’ advice to aspiring fashion content creators is to pursue it only if it is something they enjoy doing.
“You’ll become the most successful if you are yourself on social media and share the things you love with your followers.”