Vivienne Westwood’s “TikTok Necklace” Sparks Rebirth


First came the TikTok lights, so TikTok yoga pants and finally, this summer, the TikTok necklace: a Vivienne Westwood three-row pearl choker first presented in 1990 which has appeared in some stylish corners of the app.

The necklace, which imbues the prim pearls with a bit of punk, is one of many vintage Westwood items that have found young fans online, thanks to a combination of factors: the famous brand boosters (Rihanna, Zendaya, Dua Lipa, Bella hadid and Lisa Manobal from K-pop group Blackpink, to only cite a few); nostalgia for clothing made from the 90s and mid-2000s; and the resurgence of an elegant animated television series from that era called “Nana”.

Released in 2006 and based on a manga series by Japanese author Ai Yazawa, the show follows two women in their twenties, both named Nana, who meet on a train and become roommates. One of them is the singer of a punk band and wears a lot of Vivienne Westwood jewelry and clothing.

“I was a fan of the Sex Pistols, and in high school a friend introduced me to ‘Nana’, which combined my love for punk music and Vivienne Westwood,” said Skylar Rae Echard, a 20-year-old student in New York City. who posted on the brand and the show on TikTok. For her, Westwood – with its tight corsets, dropped pants and spiked jewelry – “has long been the definition of avant-garde cool.”

Sydney Brams, 23 from West Palm Beach, Fla., Said that one of his most popular TikTok videos features a Westwood corset top she bought at a thrift store for $ 65; similar coins can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars on Depop, 1stdibs, and eBay. Discovering a piece like this in a store, said Ms. Brams, is “like finding a unicorn.”

Millie Adams, 23, who owns a vintage online store called Studded petals, saw a similar response when she posted a video in which she unwrapped a 1991 Westwood bustle skirt. “I’ve been a fan since I was a teenager and I admire how unique her pieces are,” t she declared.

“On my small scale, I’m doing my part for our environment and I’m happy to support a brand that shares the same moral values ​​as me,” said Emily Vu, a 24-year-old social media manager in Los Angeles. Angela, who posted about his Westwood acquisitions on TikTok.

Some fans are more singularly focused. “I love her jewelry because of ‘Nana’ I admit it,” said Caroline De Moura Gomes, 23, based in Lyon, France. In a TikTok video, she examines her collection of the brand’s orb earrings and rings of armor and the corresponding scenes from the Hanime.

Tahsin Zahra Hussain, a 20-year-old fashion student in London, first discovered Westwood’s work via Tumblr, but it wasn’t until she started watching “Nana” that she discovered individual pieces. . Thanks to the Hanime, she stumbled across the designer’s Rocking Horse shoes, which she then bought and revealed in a unboxing video on TikTok.

It’s not uncommon for products to go viral on TikTok and trigger a consumer frenzy. Fashion is no exception: Prada’s pleated tennis skirts and chunky moccasins are among the items that have sold well following rave reviews on the platform.

The fervor for Westwood drove up searches on resale sites. “We saw an 80% increase in queries for Vivienne Westwood between December 2020 and January 2021, and it has remained stable,” said Michael Ford, senior trends researcher at Depop, citing celebrities as the driving force.

Poshmark has seen similar interest. “Searches are up 131% from last year with Vivienne Westwood bags up 310%. The term “pearl necklace” has increased by 38%, and we hypothesize that TikTok is having an impact on the growth in demand, “said Steven Tristan Young, chief marketing officer for the company.

“We are obviously delighted that another generation is discovering Vivienne’s work,” said Christopher Di Pietro, Global Brand Director, Vivienne Westwood. “Young people have always found his passion and his singular vision very attractive. (The designer herself was not available for comment.)

Pandemic idleness has also played a role in the rise of TikTok-inspired shopping. “I was exposed, because of the algorithm, to more things than I would buy,” Ms. Hussain said. “We sat at home with nothing to spend money on other than material goods, so if I see a room that I think is pretty, I’ll get it.”


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