Ever wondered who the youngest couture designer is, or the true story behind the House of Gucci? Our latest creator spotlight focuses on @fashionboy (176.5k followers) who is on hand to answer all your sartorial queries.
His striking and informative content covers all the latest fashion updates; from a roundup of all the red carpet looks at Cannes Film Festival, to deep dives into renowned designers such as Alexander McQueen.
Catch Benji on his TikTok channel covering the latest viral fashion trends on the platform (Bridgerton inspired outfits anyone?), as well as partnering with The Face Magazine for a roundup of standout looks from The Grammys and Oscars.
If that wasn't enough, he's recently launched a series titled 'Fashion School', covering tips and tricks on clothes and styling. So if you want to know your Chanel from your Schiaparelli, he is definitely one to follow!
With London Fashion Week coming up, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to sit down with Benji and ask him what inspires him, as well as what he thinks of TikTok's partnership with NEWGEN, to support the next generation of emerging British design talent.
Check out the full interview below....
What are you most looking forward to during London Fashion Week?
Seeing the incredible show venue. The sheer amount of work that has gone into the space to make it a truly immersive experience is befitting of London Fashion Week’s real post-COVID debut. Between Blonstein (the talented fantasy-actualising production company) and TikTok, this event is like a lovechild of technology and good old fashion glamour! The NEWGEN designers have worked hard over lockdown to keep their creativity alive and not only survived, but thrived. The sneak-peeks of their designs and ideas that I’ve been shown actually give me chills and make me excited to be in fashion…and if any of you follow me, you’ll know that’s no easy thing to do! It’s been such a gift to be able to work in collaboration with everyone to make this event what it will be. Watch this space for sure!
Why do you think TikTok & NEWGEN are such a great partnership?
Both TikTok and NEWGEN have the same ethos - it’s all about supporting the independent and the emerging. I started TikTok as a little gay kid at 18, making videos chatting about random runway collections I’d seen on instagram, but I had a voice, I had conviction and I genuinely love talking about fashion. TikTok allowed me to feel like I was just chatting to friends and people engaged with that. Now, a little over a year later, I’ve broadened my knowledge massively, gained so much insight, written for major publications and am attending fashion week. In a similar way, NEWGEN takes on emerging designers and gives them that platform and launch pad to actualise their uncapped potential. There’s a reason the likes of Alexander McQueen, Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane, Bethany Williams, Martine Rose and Charles Jeffrey (to name a few) all come through NEWGEN!
Why is TikTok right for fashion content?
Because regardless of your aesthetic or taste you can find your community. TikTok has taught me more about personal style than any publication or fashion resource. Clara (@tinyjewishgirl) has shown to just go for it and take the risk, Nina (@ninamendoza28) reminds me that dressing up should be laugh, @zakheath has taught me to f**k gender-norms, @juliee_world and @coconut_cracked has shown me the wonders of thrifting, @decadendz has shown me how to use silhouettes and layering. I could go on forever but it’s been a crash-course of style and an inspiring community!
What do you love most about TikTok?
The reach. I like that I get small designers, independent voices, real people talking to me on my 'For You' feed . It’s not the traditional synchopantic media or carefully curated instagram crowd, it’s genuine dialogue and authentic thoughts. This is so rare and its such a gift. Never in my life have I been given such accessible and real information about the history of the hijab as a feminist symbol or had someone discuss with such incredible analysis how the ‘old money’ aesthetic has been underpinned by a history of white supremacy, for example!
What is your favourite recent challenge or trend on TikTok?
Any challenge where people show their culture's traditional dress. It’s a privilege to see that clothing in motion - that is fashion in its highest form of purpose. Traditional dress represents hundreds of years of culture, tradition, history and symbolism woven into fabric. I feel as though I’ve sat through a thousand Lunar New Year's dinners and seen the qipao in motion, been privy to a real pow-wow and been transported by the intricate beadwork and feathering, walked through the Forrests of Siberia where I swear I felt I could almost touch the fur trim on the detailed thick coat. TikTok has opened up a more accessible and clear portrayal of culture, that is more controlled by the actual people of those cultures as opposed to the widespread western media and that’s special.
What is your goal on TikTok?
To make fashion less scary, less serious and more accessible. Plain and simple. What’s the point in fashion if we’re too scared or intimidated to enjoy it!
What else or who else is on your TikTok For You feed?!
My feed is a mix of fashion runway edits, @morganlynzi’s intoxicating recipes, @tinyjewishgirl’s mesmerising outfits, and the iconic @talkswb being pink and intense. I’m also randomly getting loads of the country of Romania’s official TikTok at the moment.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
My ‘identifying fashion’ series was so much fun to make and it got such a lovely reaction. The joy I felt hearing people say that they could identify brands because of my videos was unmatched! I’m used to serotonin crumbs but that was like eating the whole damn serotonin cake! I felt like I’d really created a little community after that series.