The internet gives fashion trends 15 seconds of fame

Viral fashion trends hit the retail rack

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The Future. The grassroots nature of TikTok has made fashion trends seem to appear out of nowhere, as opposed to being handed down the mountaintop by one of the premiere French fashion houses. But just because a trend blows up doesn’t mean people will suddenly rush to buy new products. If anything, the fleeting makeup of organic fashion trends may be better looked at as a viral marketing opportunity than a need for a product strategy shift.

Viral the runway
Business of Fashion spoke with experts on what creates and sustains a fashion trend.

  • When a trend pops up on TikTok, it can last anywhere from a few weeks to years — depending on the accessibility of the trend.
  • And trends seem to oppose each other, which is how culture is both obsessed with “barbiecore” and “quiet luxury” simultaneously.
  • That’s because trends are sometimes a conversation between trends or between customers, brands, and celebrities — call it a fashion remix.
  • And when a trend really takes off, it typically branches off into niche subtrends.

But retailers can rely on one thing: trends that last are typically tied to major moments in pop culture. Cases in point: barbiecore (the upcoming Barbie movie), quiet luxury (Succession), and cottagecore (Taylor Swift’s folklore and evermore, and the game Animal Crossing).

Maybe the best way to catch what will be a trend early is to check the release calendar.


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