UA college and college students mirror on TikTok’s scarf development

A silk scarf can be wrapped around the torso as a shirt, which is a popular summer style seen on the University of Arizona campus, but a scarf can also be handy for protecting your hair and scalp from the scorching sun in Arizona .

When the weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining brighter and brighter, the practical and timeless headscarf has already caught people’s attention in the summer, as shown by a viral TikTok trend in which users drive to Mike Posner’s “Please Don ‘t Go. ”

In the past, headscarves have been used for religious and cultural purposes, according to Elif Kavakci, assistant professor of science and technology in the fashion industry at the UA School of Family and Consumer Sciences and a fashion designer for Kavakci Couture.

“Scarves have always been a part of clothing in different civilizations and societies,” said Kavakci. “Ever since headscarves have been used so often, they have evolved into fashion accessories.”


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Audrey Hepburn was a timeless celebrity best known for her on-set and off-set use of headscarves, featured in the Netflix documentary “Audrey”. Gingham or cotton fashion scarves are also popular with the cottagecore internet aesthetic, which recreates rural life through vintage clothing and accessories and simple daily chores like gardening, baking and sewing.

The practical headscarf again caught the attention of the fashion world in summer and autumn 2021. As Vogue reports, Versace and Dior presented headscarves and babushka scarves as accessories for their autumn 2021 collection.

Another trend forecast for the headscarf was its spread on TikTok.

“Social media is the biggest factor influencing trends in the fashion industry,” said Kavakci.

Kavakci teaches a course at the UA entitled “Digital Revolution and Cultural Trends: The Influencer Phenomenon”. The class explores the digital revolution that has occurred due to social media and influencer culture.

“Consumers want to see clothing from real people, their favorite influencers, and shop for their favorite influencers’ clothing,” said Kavakci.

While the fashion world used to be about fashion magazines and celebrities, it has changed from fashion blogs to social media.

“Influencers have become figures of authority,” said Kavakci.

TikTok has become the number one social platform as one of the most downloaded apps of 2020. High-end fashion brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton have started streaming their catwalk shows live on TikTok.

Beyond brand names, people of diverse backgrounds and interests have become fashion writers because of TikTok’s virality factor and its adaptability to niche interests or tastes.

“Social media offers a platform for the decentralization of fashion from the small circle of fashion authors,” said Kavakci.

As one of the largest social platforms, TikTok influencers have become fashion writers for their followers, which can run into the millions.

Elizabeth Heuisler, Assistant Professor of Practice at the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, has worked in many areas of the fashion industry, be it as an intern with a designer, as a teacher for a sewing course, or as a designer herself.

Heuisler describes herself as a traditionalist and has a different approach to social media than Kavakci. Heuisler said she sees comparisons on social media as influencers photograph what appears to be a perfect life with luxury and branded clothing.

“We are sending this message that everyone has to be fashionable,” said Heuisler, “and that is not necessary.”

UA TREND Fashion Club’s creative director, Zoe Armbruster, took a different approach. “Social media has opened this new level of creativity and fashion,” said Armbruster.

Historically, according to Armbruster, there were fashion booms after a period of darkness or war.

“People just get stuck for too long. People express themselves differently and you can see that on TikTok, ”said Armbruster.

Armbruster said that SHEIN has become a popular brand thanks to its popularity on TikTok. SHEIN is a fast fashion retailer that makes large quantities of inexpensive, trendy clothing. Armbruster admits to having shopped at SHEIN himself and said: “People will buy what other people buy”.

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Trends are changing fast and social media hasn’t helped slow the process down, Armbruster said.

“Whether you are interested in fashion or not, the trend is fast. You want a fast-paced career, you want a fast-paced life and I think it all comes from social media, “said Armbruster.

Trends like biker shorts, decorative hair clips and lederhosen are trends that have come and gone on campus. Armbruster said she saw people wearing bandanas or scarves for shirts on campus, but not many people wearing headscarves.

“It’s more like people on the east coast,” said Armbruster. “A classic, chic look.”

Social media and influencers continue to impact the fashion industry and the recent TikTok trend appears to have played a role in trend projection of the headscarf resurgence. While the headscarf trend may come and go in fashion, the headscarf still has a cultural and religious meaning while also serving consumers functionally and fashionably.

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