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From Anna Wintour to TikTok: the new fashion industry storytelling

Former assistants, models, designer and employees spill the tea

From Anna Wintour to TikTok: the new fashion industry storytelling Former assistants, models, designer and employees spill the tea

The fashion industry has always looked like a very closed industry, a small and elitist circle very hard to get in, impossible without the right contact, a glam and glossy universe that looks like a dream, at least from the outside. Instagram has always portrayed this aspect of the sector, on a platform created to show one's work and oneself, by networking, posting reworked images, apparently perfect, showing an often fake and unattainable ideal. TikTok, on the other hand, is turning out to be the "true social", where to tell real experiences, nightmare jobs, interviews that went wrong, and bosses worthy of The Devil Wears Prada.  

It may happen, therefore, to come across the videos of Lily Gildor, Anna Wintour's assistant for a year and a half, who gives advice on how to best face an interview, what to say to impress and what to avoid, providing a direct account of one of the most coveted and feared job of the industry. "Speaking from my own experience, I feel like Instagram has that glossy, aspirational portrayal of the fashion industry that can be glamorous and fun but it can be intimidating! I am still new to TikTok but I love seeing so many interesting and diverse fashion stories. We all have so much to learn from one another and Tiktok seems to really facilitate that", Lily told nss magazine. 


Lessons from the devil wears Prada ##annawintour ##highfashiontiktok ##voguemagazine ##lifelessons ##businesstips ##freelancedesigner

original sound - Lily Stav Design Studio

After a year of a social uprising on topics such as diversity, inclusivity and civil rights fights that invested the fashion industry as well, causing great changes and discussions at the top - and in the front row - of the industry, as reported a few days ago by The New York Times, the change seems to be vertical, an evolution that has eradicated the role of Instagram as the only social of fashion because, even at this juncture, there is a desire to see something (and someone) new, not just ultra photoshopped shoots. And above all, you'll want to do it on a social network in which fashion brands are still struggling to gain a foothold because they can't figure out its language and formats, and where the average users are not interested in their presence there, seen as forced and almost unwanted, that end up being ignored, preferring other types of fashion stories. 

So it might happen to come across videos of former Condé Nast employees who tell what it's really like to work for the group - no nails in bright colours, always a pair of black heels ready to use in case of a meeting with Anna Wintour, "bold" haircuts to be approved by human resources, and so on -, top models who tell their early days in the business and what it's really like to work on a set, young girls who tell - NDA permitting - the true reality of fashion publishing, in a sort of amplified version of Diet Prada in which everyone can participate. TikTok is seen as an escape valve, a safe place in which to show oneself and spill the tea, it's no coincidence that the accusations against Alexander Wang started from here, from a video of a model that went viral. 

So @official.c0m tells the story of the "super-rich kids' club" portrayed by magazines like Nylon, The Cut or Refinery29, magazines that praise entrepreneurs and designers who declare themselves self-made, when they are actually descendants of very wealthy families, while @erinmcgoff gives useful advice on the answers to the thorniest interview questions, up-and-coming model @bentleymescall recounts a typical day in the life of a model in New York or recalls when she first walked the Valentino show. Lily Stav recounts what she learned working for Anna Wintour. "I started these Tiktok videos because I wanted to share business tips/tricks I learned from my time as Anna Wintour's assistant, and share something different from the usual discussions around how demanding the job is. I started my textile design business last year and every day I use information that I learned from Anna, even though I'm not working in "fashion" anymore". 


Reply to @t.h.e.c.u.l.t don’t give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. Do exactly what you’re asked and paid for and nothing more.

original sound - Grace

Even @devwindsor, one of the most famous supermodels in the world, has told in several TikToks what it really is like to be a model, stories echoed by those of @bridgetmalcolm, a model with a much more troubled past, and a career, between Victoria's Secret and Playboy, marked by anorexia, drugs and sexual harassment. Reports and messages that seem to find great resonance both among those who would like to enter and work in that world, young girls and boys with the dream of fashion, as well as among those who already work in that world, and look for people they can relate to, to share joys and sorrows of this work. 


My Q and A is open to anyone who wants to ask me anything. But this is why I haven’t spoken up before now.

original sound - Bridget Malcolm

One of the great merits of TikTok is the space it provides to tell experiences and anecdotes in a very direct, simple and open way, both with images and with words, a format that would be difficult to replicate on Instagram, where Stories last 15 seconds, where nobody watches Reels, and where those who follow you know exactly who you are and what you do. There's also the unspoken idea that here what you tell can have more resonance, that it can reach a huge and unimaginable audience, of people you don't know but with whom you could have a lot of points in common. A sentiment also shared by Lily, who says: "The reaction has generally been positive! It is wonderful connecting with young people who want to get into fashion/media and it's gratifying to share what I’ve learned in my life thus far."