The ‘TikTok Necklace’ Sparks a Vivienne Westwood Renaissance


First got here the TikTok lights, then the TikTok yoga pants and at last, this summer season, the TikTok necklace: a three-strand Vivienne Westwood pearl choker first proven in 1990 that has popped up in sure trendy corners of the app.

The necklace, which imbues prim pearls with a little bit of punk, is one among many classic Westwood objects which have discovered younger followers on-line, because of a mixture of things: well-known brand-boosters (Rihanna, Zendaya, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid and Lisa Manobal of the Okay-pop group Blackpink, to call a few); nostalgia for clothes constituted of the ’90s and mid-2000s; and the resurgence of a trendy anime tv sequence from that period referred to as “Nana.”

Released in 2006 and primarily based on a manga sequence by the Japanese creator Ai Yazawa, the present follows two girls of their early 20s, each named Nana, who meet on a practice and grow to be roommates. One of them is the entrance lady in a punk band and wears plenty of Vivienne Westwood jewellery and clothes.

“I was into the Sex Pistols, and in high school a friend introduced me to ‘Nana,’ which combined my love for punk music and Vivienne Westwood,” stated Skylar Rae Echard, a 20-year-old pupil in New York City who has posted in regards to the model and the present on TikTok. For her, Westwood — with its slinky corsets, low-waisted trousers and spiky assertion jewellery — “has been the definition of edgy cool for a long time.”

Sydney Brams, a 23-year-old from West Palm Beach, Fla., stated that one among her hottest TikTok movies options a Westwood corset prime that her pal purchased at a thrift retailer for $65; comparable items can go for a whole bunch and even 1000’s of {dollars} on Depop, 1stdibs and eBay. Discovering a piece like that in a store, Ms. Brams stated, is “like finding a unicorn.”

Millie Adams, 23, who owns an internet classic store referred to as Studded Petals, noticed a comparable response when she posted a video by which she unboxed a 1991 Westwood bustle skirt. “I’ve been a fan since I was a teen and admire that her pieces were unique,” she stated.

“In my small way, I’m doing my part for our environment, and I’m glad to support a brand that holds the same moral values I do,” stated Emily Vu, a 24-year-old social media supervisor in Los Angeles, who has posted about her Westwood acquisitions on TikTok.

Some followers are extra singularly targeted. “I like her jewelry because of ‘Nana,’ I admit it,” stated Caroline De Moura Gomes, 23, who is predicated in Lyon, France. In a TikTok video, she surveys her assortment of the model’s orb earrings and armor rings and corresponding scenes from the anime.

Tahsin Zahra Hussain, a 20-year-old trend pupil in London, initially found Westwood’s work by way of Tumblr, nevertheless it wasn’t till she started watching “Nana” that she discovered about particular person items. Through the anime she got here throughout the designer’s Rocking Horse footwear, which she later purchased and revealed in an unboxing video on TikTok.

It’s common for merchandise to go viral on TikTok and set off shopper frenzies. Fashion is not any exception: Pleated tennis skirts and Prada’s chunky loafers are among the many objects which have offered effectively following enthusiastic opinions on the platform.

Fervor for Westwood has induced searches to rise on resale websites. “We saw an 80 percent spike in queries for Vivienne Westwood between December 2020 and January 2021, and it has remained stable,” stated Michael Ford, a senior tendencies researcher at Depop, citing celebrities as a driving drive.

Poshmark has seen comparable curiosity. “Searches increased 131 percent from last year with Vivienne Westwood bags up 310 percent. The term ‘pearl necklace’ is up 38 percent, and we hypothesize that TikTok has an impact for the drive in demand,” stated Steven Tristan Young, the corporate’s chief advertising and marketing officer.

“We’re obviously delighted that another generation is discovering Vivienne’s work,” stated Christopher Di Pietro, Vivienne Westwood’s international model director. “Young people have always found her passion and singular vision very attractive.” (The designer herself was not out there to remark.)

Pandemic idleness has performed a function, too, within the rise of TikTok-inspired buying. “I’ve been exposed, due to the algorithm, to more things I’d buy,” Ms. Hussain stated. “We’ve been sitting at home with nothing to spend money on except material goods, so if I see a piece that I find pretty, I’ll get it.”