Irish FashionTok superstar @matthewlenehan2! has made waves in the Irish FashionTok scene by showcasing his unique style, pushing boundaries and advocating for people to show their individuality through what they wear. When we caught up with him, Matthew shares how he got into fashion, TikTok and his top tips for owning your individual style!
Q: What sparked your interest in fashion and why did you decide to start making fashion content on TikTok?
A: My interest in fashion was kind of a natural segway from always being into shoes/trainers. From a kid I always loved getting new shoes. My outfits always started from the ground up. Then I discovered that I could match the colour of my shoes to my top and it was a real game changer for 14 year old me. Fast forward to 2019 and this is where my love for fashion really took off. I had just finished college and this was another huge influence on my personal style. It helped me develop the confidence to start stepping outside the box with my outfits. Then when lockdown came around, this was when I began making fashion content for TikTok. Probably like a lot of creators, it started out of boredom. I would spend all day watching fashion videos and eventually thought ‘‘I could definitely give this a go.”
Q: Which other Irish TikTok creators inspire you and in particular influence your sense of style?
A: Some of my favorite Irish content creators are @damienbroderick, @laurenwhelxn, @Nia_gall and @tomovyov. Seeing the endless different ideas from these, both in content creation and in styling encourages me to try and keep up. Their success and originality inspires me and I love to see Irish creators reaching the levels that they have.
Q: How do you see Irish fashion developing and changing in the next five years?
A: I think the fashion scene in Ireland has the potential to really blow up. There are so many talented creatives today, from designers to content creators to stylists, and I think people are seeing this and are being drawn in. I personally think Ireland is in a spot where so many people are just figuring out what ‘personal style’ really is. All it takes is a walk through Dublin City to see the difference between people's ability to express themselves through fashion today compared to maybe 3 or 4 years ago.
Q: What ways do you think TikTok and FashionTok have changed the way young people in Ireland are dressing?
A: I think the most important thing is that it has helped people find the confidence to dress how they want. Just like myself, I think people see others expressing themselves on TikTok and it’s inspiring. It takes courage to start and I feel FashionTok has shown people that there’s nothing to be scared about. Fashion is for everyone, not just this niche ‘fashion scene’. I think TikTok played a huge part in connecting like-minded people. It’s a community and it really is just all about expressing yourself and having fun.
Q: What’s the most important or interesting thing you’ve learned from making fashion content on TikTok?
A: The most important thing I’ve learned is that you have to make the content for the enjoyment of it and not for the numbers. Of course having a nice popular moment is fun, but if you catch yourself stressing because your videos maybe aren’t getting as much interaction as you hoped for, your content suffers. Again, it’s about having fun and being involved within the community.
Q: What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
A: This is probably my favourite TikTok I have made. It was my first video to have huge engagement and it was such a thrill at the time. It is what got me started with making fashion content. Then, through making fashion content, I have made so many new friends and worked with some of my favorite brands. So this video for me really was the start of a lot of great memories that I am so grateful for.