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A TikTok star is the new face of 74-year-old French fashion house Celine, and it shows how luxury brands are courting Gen Z

A TikTok star is the new face of 74-year-old French fashion house Celine, and it shows how luxury brands are courting Gen Z
A TikTok star is the new face of 74-year-old French fashion house Celine, and it shows how luxury brands are courting Gen Z

On December 11, the luxury brand announced that 18-year-old TikTok influencer Noen Eubanks would be the face of its latest fashion campaign.

On December 11, luxury brand Celine announced the new face of its latest fashion campaign via Instagram: 18-year-old Noen Eubanks, best known for his lip-sync videos on the popular social media app, TikTok. Eubanks has amassed more than 7 million followers on the platform, earning him the title of "teen idol," a designation Celine echoed in its Instagram post announcing the partnership. 

The brand's decision to partner with a TikTok star isn't surprising, given the app's ever-growing impact and reach.

Data analysis firms Business of Apps and Sensor Tower report that TikTok has been downloaded over a billion times since its launch three years ago and has 500 million global users — 66% of whom are under the age of 30. And as the fashion industry actively tries to court a younger generation of shoppers — whose wants and needs are vastly different from their older counterparts — fashion marketing was bound to follow where members of Gen Z are spending their time, in the hopes they'll also come to spend their money. 

Celine is not the first — and likely won't be the last — high-end brand to tap into TikTok

Celine follows other major companies like Burberry, Calvin Klein, and Guess that have used TikTok to promote their brand, signaling that the fashion industry at large is beginning to take the app more seriously in terms of its global reach to younger consumers. 

In June, Burberry created a TikTok account to coincide with its Thomas Burberry Monogram collection. On the social platform, the brand launched the #TBChallenge, which asked users to recreate the Thomas Burberry Monogram with their hands. As of the most recent count, Burberry's TikTok video has over 200,000 likes and over 4.5 million views. 

"It's important for Burberry as a brand to be where our consumers are, and we need to constantly be evolving what spaces we play in," a Burberry spokesperson told Business of Fashion in June."We thought long and hard before launching on TikTok … We wanted something that felt really tapped into the space, and would be about a broader consumer education and invite people into our world."

In September 2018, Guess launched its #InMyDenim campaign on the social platform and promoted it with popular TikTok creators like Madison Willow, who has over 1 million followers on the platform, and @ourfire, who has 5.5 million. And in February, Calvin Klein made its TikTok debut with a #MyCalvins video campaign featuring pop star Shawn Mendes, actor Noah Centineo, model Kendall Jenner, and rapper A$AP Rocky.

"Lo-fi content featuring celebrities and influencers seems to resonate," Marie Gulin-Merle, Calvin Klein's chief marketing officer, told Business of Fashion in June. "We believe that the future is video-based."

Luxury retail could tap into a whole new market on TikTok

TikTok has been leaning into all the attention from the retail industry. Adweek reported in November that TikTok has begun rolling out "shoppable video content" open to "a select few influencers"— similar to the "Instagram Shopping" feature introduced in September — that allows users to buy directly from businesses within the app's interface.

But even as TikTok opens its doors to shoppable content, it seems many luxury fashion brands are still ambivalent about running through, with some even saying they wouldn't advertise on the platform at all. 

In an interview with Business Insider, millennial luxury eyewear designer Garrett Leight, whose frames are beloved by celebrities from Brad Pitt to Selena Gomez, said he has no plans to advertise on TikTok. Leight believes an influx of advertisements and marketing would "ruin" the fun of the app. "[Right now, TikTok is] just a place for endless silly content," he said. "So obviously somebody'll ruin it ... That's just the gentrification of the internet." 

If anything, there are many fashion brands who would do well on the platform. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and even Amazon Fashion have yet to advertise on the platform, but lead in search results. Louis Vuitton has nearly 137 million hashtag views, trailing behind Gucci's astounding 304 million and Amazon's 251 million.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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