Young TikTokers rubbed shoulders with fashion industry veterans and emerging designers, and Clearpay shared its vision with fashion house executives and retailers.
For Clearpay’s cofounder Nick Molnar, the youngest Australian self-made billionaire with an estimated net worth of $2.67 billion, London Fashion Week is a perfect platform to showcase how Clearpay can bring the consumer into a trade event.
“I think what we have been seeing is a huge celebration of the creative industry coming to life,” he said. “We saw the influence of Knwls today. The anticipation of the see-now, buy-now component that we can bring the consumer into the vault, has been an amazing opportunity for the broader fashion industry,” he said.
“The sentiment on the next generation is very important. By 2030, Millennial and Gen Z consumers will represent 50 percent of all retail spend globally. So retail across the world is focusing on this group, who are shopping and spending differently. How we can bring that to life with our partners is the focus for tonight,” he added.
Clearpay entered the British market 2.5 years ago. More than 2 million consumers now use Clearpay when they are shopping.
Caroline Rush, chief executive at the BFC, said TikTok and Clearpay “both have been celebrating and helping us champion talents. We take that role seriously, in terms of identifying and supporting talents. Having two partners to do it is really incredible.”
The dinner started with a performance by 17-year-old emerging singer-songwriter Bea Wheeler, whose TikTok account Beaandherbizness has received over 3.3 million likes for her charming voice. ”Tonight’s setup is amazing. All I want to do is to get to know these people,” she said.
Not far from Wheeler at the dinner table was TikTok sensation Benji Krol, who has amassed 25.8 million followers on the short-video platform since joining in 2019.
“This is my first fashion week, and my first time having a stylist and going to shows. I am going a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I am so excited,” the 20-year-old influencer told WWD. He uses TikTok to show his life, share makeup tips, and sometimes create content around fashion.
“For me, a lot of the fashion and trends actually started from TikTok. When you see the trends on fashion week, a lot of people on TikTok are surprised by what they see. It kind of influences what people want to do in the future. So when you create content around fashion week, a lot of cool trends will start from here,” he added.
The 20-year-old Benji Park, whose account on TikTok is Fashionboy, is considered a fashion guru among his fellow TikTokers. He was sitting next to Japanese journalist Yu Masui, one of the original Internet-era men’s wear influencers that came on the scene around 2005.
Park consulted on the TikTok show space and works with Selfridges, The Face magazine, and TikTok to create content around fashion week.
“I have done fashion week as a fashion week b—h before, but this is my first time sitting in the front row,” he said.
His personal highlight so far is Nensi Dojaka. “I love the fact that she added color to her collection this season, and after winning the LVMH Prize, I feel like it’s just a very nice finale to a very successful season,” he added.
In Park’s opinion, TikTok is making fashion more popular than it has ever been before.
“New influencers like us actually have a reason to be there. We have a voice, a personality, and we are not just a singular picture. We present the designers so much better,” he argued.
British designer Henry Holland, who is overseeing the TikTok partnership with young talents support scheme Newgen, said it has come full circle for him from being the new kid on the block back in 2007 to nurturing the next generation today.
Having been mingling with influencers for over a decade as a designer, Holland said the TikToks are way more business-savvy than their predecessors.
“They know what they are doing. They know what they are worth. They are so much more developed in terms of content creation. They are giving their opinions, thoughts, and feelings and they shine up their talents very well,” he said.
Holland thinks that on a streetwear level, TikTok has changed fashion.
“When we were looking at some of the stats yesterday, the numbers are at the billions for certain fashion-related hashtags and content. It allows people to get into new trends and insights of the industry through content creators as well as us designers,” he added.
Also at the dinner was fashion influencer Bryan Grey Yambao, aka Bryan Boy, who in eight months gained 1.5 million followers on TikTok, and become a fairy godmother figure to all the fashion TikToks who are half of his age.
“My transition into TikTok was fairly easy. For me, TikTok is a very different platform compared to Instagram, where content is more static. TikTok is more about personality,” he said.
The guests enjoyed a retro three-course dinner, with music curated by DJ Fat Tony.