These Hypnotizing Chinese Street Style Videos are Taking Over Tik Tok
Trending videos from Douyin, the Chinese version of Tik Tok, have made an official crossover into the international app — and people can’t get enough.
If you’re on Tik Tok, you’ve probably seen the videos by now — an endless loop of incredibly-dressed Chinese influencers walking down the streets of the fashion districts of Beijing and Chengdu. When each person turns to look toward the camera, the video goes into slow motion, making their already icy-cool stare-downs seem even more badass.
Everything about these videos is enthralling — the fashion, the attitudes, the high-quality production, the K-Pop and Chinese hip-hop soundtracks… and of course, the novelty of seeing people in head-to-toe, capital-letter LOOKS at a time when many of us are spending our days at home in pajamas.
The most popular videos, shared by users @eromei and @elly.xia, are compilation cuts of videos found on Douyin, China’s version of Tik Tok. Douyin is the fastest-growing social media app in China, with 400 million daily users, according to TechCrunch. It’s similar in many ways to its international version, but until now, the content, trends, and popular creators on each app have been very different. The sudden explosion of Chinese street style videos on Tik Tok represents an interesting moment of crossover between the two apps.
So what’s the deal with these videos anyway? As @elly.xia helpfully explained on Tik Tok, they were likely filmed in the fashion districts of Sanlitun in Beijing and Taikoo Li in Chengdu, which are known for nightlife, restaurants, shopping, and great fashion. Photographers and videographers hang out in these areas hoping to capture shots of amazing street fashion, and the fashionable locals often show up specifically hoping to be photographed and filmed. Sometimes they are caught unwittingly on camera, but other times they are asked to be filmed for a video.
The fashion ranges from classic streetwear to traditional “hanfu” clothing reinterpreted in fresh, modern ways, and worn with a signature confidence and attitude that comes across especially strong when the slow motion effect is on.
One of the breakout stars from these videos is model, makeup artist and fashion blogger @ergoozhang, who frequently appears in amazing outfits with her equally stylish girlfriend. As the videos became popular on Tik Tok and spread across other social media platforms, she went from 194 Instagram followers on July 11 to just over 14,000 today.
As concerns over Tik Tok’s data collection policies mount, and companies like Amazon have asked their employees to uninstall the app, the future of the video sharing platform — at least in the U.S. — is uncertain. It’s possible the app will be banned altogether in the U.S., or that Tik Tok will break away from its Chinese parent company, Byte Dance Ltd., and become an independently-run company under its new CEO, former Walt Disney Co. executive Kevin Mayer.
But the popularity of these videos has shown that there’s an appetite and interest in Douyin content outside of China — and that perhaps the audiences for the two apps are more alike than previously thought. In fact, in true Tik Tok style, there are already tons of users making their own Chinese street style-inspired videos, with just as much swag.