A day in the life of a TikTok star in the fashion sphere isn't all camera flashes and perfect poses. After over a year of working with TikTokers behind the scenes, stylist Tabitha Sanchez sat down with POPSUGAR to discuss the ins and outs of curating eye-catching looks for influencers and what it was like to style the platform's Labyrinth Runway Finale. The event, hosted by Frankie Jonas on March 18, capped off TikTok Fashion Month with a virtual runway show designed to promote diversity, body positivity, and inclusivity in the fashion industry. Oh, and did we mention the looks in the show are shoppable?
"Because I work in fashion, I know that it's not the most accessible or most inclusive space for many reasons. But this changes that a little bit," Tabitha said. "I think that TikTok is changing the way we consume entertainment, especially in the past year because of COVID. I just think that it's a genuinely entertaining platform and everyone's creating such incredible content in different ways . . . The visibility that the platform provides is really amazing. People from all over the world are blowing up on TikTok and creating art and entertainment and creating possibilities for themselves and futures that maybe wouldn't have happened without social media."
"That was a really fun and important way to showcase that you don't have to just wear new designer clothing to be in fashion."
Prior to styling the virtual runway show, Tabitha — whose background is in fashion research and marketing — had worked with TikTok clients like Jordan Huxhold, Maddy Crum, and Quen Blackwell, making her work for the event a piece of cake. "The entire process was so seamless," she said. "I had many calls with the TikTok team about styling and who was wearing what. Then there were Zoom calls for every look and every person . . . It's very much a collaboration and it's fun to do." Custom outfits for the show were created by Black designers Victor Glemaud and Carrots by Anwar Carrots, and TikTok creator Joe Ando, which Tabitha then styled with a vintage twist.
"I wear almost entirely vintage every day and I try to bring as much vintage into my work as possible," she said. "And I think that is the difference between celebrities and TikTokers. [TikTokers] are mostly teenagers and they're so down to just wear thrifted and vintage clothing. I think it's really important because of the state of the world and the fashion industry as a whole." For the runway event, Tabitha helped host Frankie Jonas track down a stylish look from a vintage archive in Brooklyn called Gabriel Held Vintage, and noted that it's one of her favorite online vintage shops.
Out of the camera's view, the LA-based stylist says she and her clients-turned-friends often frequent thrift shops and flea markets in search of sustainable secondhand pieces and vintage clothing to style shoots, listing Silverlake Flea, Vintage Vortex VV, and the Melrose and Fairfax flea market as some of her favorite places to track down eye-catching pieces. "[Thrifting] was a really fun and important way to showcase that you don't have to just wear new designer clothing to be in fashion," she said. "I love sustainable fashion, and TikTok actually is really great for this, but I feel like if a brand says that they are sustainable or that they are using recycled material, you have to investigate a little bit to see what that actually means. So I feel like there's a lack of transparency sometimes. And luckily, when you're thrifting, you don't really have to think about that lack of transparency, it's already out of store."
Since the runway show, Tabitha has continued to style TikTok stars and has even styled a few music videos that are currently under wraps. To experience her work for the Labyrinth Runway Finale, see WNBA stars A'ja Wilson, Kahleah Copper, Lexie Brown, and Te'a Cooper model some of the most memorable outfits from the show here, and shop them for yourself ahead. And, if you're in the market for some more fashion inspiration, check out these TikTok stars' dream Fashion Week outfits.