With its large youth audience and informal nature, TikTok seems like a perfect platform for streetwear brands to engage with young customers. But the biggest brands in sneakers and streetwear post sporadically or aren’t there at all. Resellers, on the other hand, are building followings.
Brands and resellers in streetwear have often had an unspoken, mutually beneficial relationship, but there have been rifts in the past. By ignoring TikTok now, brands could lose out both on driving sales and owning their brand’s voice on the platform.
For example, Nike, despite being the dominant brand in the sneaker space, has only a cursory presence on TikTok. The company’s account posted regularly, almost every day, starting in February, then posted only two videos in March, then nothing until Monday. Most of its videos feature athletes like Giannis Antetokounmpo in short comedic videos or showing off their athletic prowess. Nike did not respond to request for comment on this story.
Other brands like Adidas and Louis Vuitton have accounts but have not posted any videos, while Supreme and Off-White, arguably two of the biggest brands in all of streetwear, don’t have a presence at all.
Champion has no official, international presence, yet Champion Australia & New Zealand has an account. It posts giveaways and content in the form of dance videos and product showcases with influencers like Jackson Jansen and Lakota Johnson, who have 1 million and nearly 2 million followers on TikTok, respectively. David Robertson, Champion’s director of brand marketing, said the team has “closely monitored TikTok’s growing popularity in the social space” and has “plans to expand our engagement with the platform this year.”
Streetwear resale companies have done a far better job of making their presence known on TikTok. Where brands have been quiet, resellers have amassed large followings and begun working with well-known streetwear influencers like Michael Pelchat, a TikTok influencer with 2 million followers. He’s worked with streetwear companies like GOAT and apps like Bopdrop.
GOAT has nearly half a million followers of its own, thanks to regular posts and collaborations with big name influencers like Tony Lopez (who has more than 20 million followers of his own), mostly in the form of dance videos, product showcases and tutorials. StockX has more than 60,000 followers, thanks to its product showcases and tutorials, though the company has yet to work directly with any big name influencers.
Madison Hartman, Stadium Goods’ director of social media, said that the company started posting on TikTok in November after several months of conversations with the TikTok team on how to engage a new audience. She said the company saw positive results in audience growth and engagement almost immediately upon joining, amassing more than 50,000 followers in just a few months. (StockX started in June and GOAT in March.)
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