Style Points is a weekly column about how fashion intersects with the wider world.
What is balletcore? What does “gilded glamour,” the theme of the recent Met Gala, mean? Which menswear brands are sustainable? Is Lizzo’s new line of shapewear worth trying?
These are all questions the TikTok-only fashion publication Rag Report is attempting to answer. Launched last year, Rag Report, which does not have a landing page or web component but does have 1.6 million followers, is part breathlessly worded explainers and introductions to new designers, and part zoomer swap meet.
Under the umbrella of Gen Z media company Kyra Digital, Rag Report has become an authority by, counterintuitively enough, not purporting to be an authority. “The inception of it was to be a source for Gen Z fashion content, but not in the sense where [we’re] the know-it-alls of the area,” explains Courtney Neal, Kyra Digital’s editor-in-chief. The intention was to create a stability between being “a reputable supply, but additionally a supply for folks to contribute.” Through call-to-action movies, a pitch portal, and a steady of contributors, Rag Report someway discovered a strategy to “create a lane for [readers] to really feel like they’re part of this too, as a result of that’s innately what TikTok is. It’s a platform for creators. It’s not conceptualized to be a platform for publishers.”
Nonetheless, publish it does. And the way in which Neal and her colleagues take into consideration the publication is extra rooted in custom than you would possibly assume. As a millennial who grew up with teen magazines, Neal says, there have been “sure buckets of issues that I seemed ahead to each month,” whether or not it was an recommendation column or folks writing in with their tales. She strives for that impact with common options, like explainer movies (“it truly is boundless, what you’ll be able to clarify in style.”) There’s additionally the chance for fast suggestions—the menswear and sustainability-themed video was made in response to a touch upon a sustainable style put up, asking about menswear manufacturers. “Our viewers likes to see themselves represented in our content material,” she says. “Seeing their very own feedback responded to makes them really feel heard.” A latest video highlighting crocheters on TikTok introduced a flurry of excited feedback from these featured. “They get excited as a result of they’re small enterprise house owners or they’re simply crafting inside their very own little bubbles. They begin to share and tag, and the subsequent factor , our viewers grows organically.”
Gen Z is, in fact, concurrently passionate in regards to the surroundings and one of many greatest customers of quick style. Neal summarizes the publication’s strategy to all issues eco as “maintaining it actual.” Whereas she believes nobody might be one hundred pc sustainable, she feels that it’s one thing that “being a style publication, we do have a accountability to speak about.” Whether or not it’s greenwashing or style’s ongoing variety and inclusion dialog, “we now have to speak about these issues. We have now to have these tough conversations and open that dialogue. And we now have seen that once we try this, in our remark part, folks have dialogue [among] themselves.” Typically that additionally means not shying away from, say, a video explicitly criticizing a quick style model’s environmental toll: “As a publication, we stand on who we’re. That is our tone of voice, and we’re not going to bend or change to make a model comfortable.”
This season, the publication partnered with TikTok for style month, creating movies about, for instance, the historical past of self-expression (which was the platform’s style month theme this previous season), highlighting lesser-known designers. “In fact the popular culture stuff, the Kanye stuff, the Kim stuff, that grabs eyes,” Neal acknowledges. “We put Pete Davidson on one thing and it goes loopy as a result of that’s simply what’s trending. However the technique is to combine it in….We don’t need to go all the way in which popular culture simply because we all know that works.” Throughout Vogue Week, “we did this put up about exhibits that didn’t get press, exhibits you may need missed as a result of they didn’t get the headlines, the large writeup or the large image on the quilt web page, however they had been nonetheless nice.” One other subject that has been unexpectedly partaking for Rag Report’s followers: the crossover between style and psychological well being. Working with Kyra’s psychological well being channel, Glia, it has produced movies on matters like “dopamine dressing.”
The way forward for Rag Report may not be confined to the For You web page. Neal says the publication is planning to experiment with longer-form documentary-style movies, now that TikTok permits 10-minute run instances. It is going to be holding a TikTok-based competitors for up-and-coming designers. However it’s additionally making IRL strikes, wanting into doing in-person occasions and swap meets. “COVID keen,” she says. “Our complete level is neighborhood constructing, so we need to activate in several cities and provides these creators and designers an opportunity to work together with one another in actual life.”
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