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With Christmas a month and change away, the latest Gen-Z TikTok trend is to post a “Christmas List” on the platform. The hashtag #christmaslist had 394.6 million views as of Thursday afternoon.
“TikTok is home to a new kind of shopping culture that’s fueled by the community’s love of product discovery,” said a TikTok representative. “We’re seeing creators sharing gift ideas and their favorite brands in a simple but entertaining way. It’s inspiring people ahead of the holiday shopping season.”
It actually is that simple. The large majority of videos are set to “Jingle Bell Rock” and feature a creator (usually a young girl) posing or dancing for the camera before launching a slideshow of what they want this year.
That said, it’s likely that their parents and relatives are not on TikTok. The point of posting, really? To serve as a way to telegraph one’s taste and trend awareness.
“TikTok has evolved as a place for product discovery, and people curating products as a way to signal their tastes is a natural extension of, say, posting your Halloween costume,” said Larry Milstein, co-founder of PRZM, a Gen-Z-focused marketing agency. “This is the equivalent, for the holiday season, of a tastemaker building their community to show their recommendations. If you have a solid enough following, people will really care what you pick.” Notably, it’s actually less about what you want to receive and more about “what you want to show to the world,” said Milstein.
As for the products themselves, I watched over 100 #ChristmasList videos to answer a simple question: What does TikTok want for Christmas? I’ll get into the specifics. But first, some general categorical trends. There’s a lot of self-care, a lot of sneakers, and athleisure is still important. Lululemon leggings, plus sweatsuits of one sort or another, pop up in countless videos. Faux fur and fuzzy socks are ubiquitous. Furthermore, “avant basic” isn’t over, and the mid-aughts obsession is still in full swing. I even clocked a number of “Please Return to Tiffany’s” items, which is perhaps the biggest-ever signal that fashion is cyclical. All in all, it seems my wardrobe circa seventh grade would have been very cool this Christmas.
Finally, there’s the question of accessibility. Though many of TikTok’s most wanted items are not super high-end, extremely pricey gifts, these videos are “happening against the backdrop of supply chain shortages,” said Milstein. He noted that “the idea of wish lists are even more powerful and profound because these items are truly coveted and some are truly difficult to get — not because of purchasing power, but because it’s just hard this holiday season to find certain inventory.”
Without further ado, 10 of TikTok’s most wanted:
First Uggs were coveted and cool. Then they were embarrassing. And now, they’re back with a vengeance. TikTokers are obsessed with a number of pairs of the brand’s slippers. The Tazz, as seen on Gigi Hadid, is having a moment, as is the mini version of the classic boots.
Aritizia Melina Pants
The #melinapant, a $148 faux-leather style, has a life of its own on TikTok. The hashtag for the pant, which is cut like a straight-leg jean, has 13.3 million views. Finding dupes of the Melina has become a TikTok pastime, with Abercrombie frequently mentioned as making a good substitute.
New York Yankees Baseball Hat
Surprisingly (or not) Yankees “dad caps” are on lots of lists. Takes on the “normcore” essential have been trending for years, but the fact that Urban Outfitters is selling a ’47 New York Yankees Classic Baseball Hat ($29) drives the point home.
North Face Puffer
The classic style (which hovers around or over the $200 mark) is becoming as popular and coveted now as it was in the early aughts.
The Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag
Marc by Marc Jacobs no longer exists, with The Marc Jacobs taking its place. But in the early aughts, the former brand was everywhere. Now, wearing the designer’s name is decidedly cool again, with its cheeky, self-declarative “The Tote Bag” bags.
Smiley Face Slippers
Though items like UGGs and The Marc Jacobs’ tote bags are easily identifiable, others are not. Take, for example, the fuzzy smiley face slippers that are ubiquitous on TikTok. A quick Google search yields countless, virtually indistinguishable pairs.
Nike Air Force 1s
Though the Air Force 1 style was first introduced as a basketball sneaker in 1982, the retro style is the most ubiquitous Nike trainer on TikTok.
The Five Minute Journal
Intelligent Change, the company behind this journal, says it’s sold more than a million copies. With its minimal beige hue and simple prompts asking the user to note three things they’re grateful for — i.e, “What would make today great?” or “3 amazing things that happened today” — the journal has become a mainstay in picture-perfect TikTok bedside table shots.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
The classic sneakers are never out of style, but they’re certainly having a moment. At the $55-$60 mark, they’re fairly affordable for young shoppers, too.
Seen on everyone from Kylie Jenner to Tinx, Set Active’s monochrome workout sets (especially that one-shoulder bra, $45) are in strong demand this holiday season.
Collab of the week
Another day, another (highly covetable) brand collaboration. Eddie Bauer tapped designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott of The Great for a year-long partnership. The first collection includes outdoorsy essentials that will likely get just as much play indoors. “We launched Tuesday at 9 a.m., and by 9:06 a.m., we were stocked out of most styles,” Current said. The work-from-home-ready colorful fleeces are a standout.
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TikTok is obsessed with Tom Ford Beauty’s Traceless Soft Matte Foundation
…and it has the Mikayla Nogueira stamp of approval.
“Did I spend $89 on a foundation because a comment told me to?” Nogueira asks in a late October TikTok post. Nogueira is beloved for her reliability, which was at its finest when she says, “Honestly, the only reason I know of Tom Ford is because of Jay-Z.” She then tests the product in real-time and deems it impressive. Her conclusion: “I, 100%, just found my wedding foundation.” The post has been viewed over 3 million times.
Tomato-scented candles are the chic home trend to score now
Tomato is having a moment. Not the fruit itself, but the note used in fragrance. “The tomato concept may be resonating more now as customers are looking for fresh-forward, herbaceous scents that go beyond the conventional rosemary, thyme and lime basil type of fragrances,” said Abigail Cook Stone, founder of candle brand Otherland. “Tomato adds an elevated, bright twist to easy-to-burn, refreshing, nature-inspired scents and a move away from the ultra-sweet, gourmand bakery type of fragrances.” In addition to Otherland, with its Tomato Terrazzo candle ($36), brands like Nette, Boy Smells, Loewe, Carriere Freres and Flamingo Estate (which recently became one of Oprah’s favorite things of 2021) have tomato-based candles, as well.
Trend of the week: Red lipstick, as worn by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift influences beauty trends, even without a celebrity makeup brand
Last week’s re-release of Swift’s 2012 album, “Red,” broke all sorts of music industry records. It also reportedly led to a 669% increase in Google searches for “red lipstick.’” Clearly, a Swift-created lipstick line would sell out instantly. Popsugar published an article speculating about which products might be Swift’s faves. TLDR: In 2015, she said she loved MAC’s classic Ruby Woo shade, but she could also be supporting her friend Selena Gomez and wearing Rare Beauty’s Inspire.
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