How TikTok influencer Noah Beck went from DIY lighting to Paris Fashion Week
It all started with a DIY lighting installation. Noah Beck – the 20-year-old Arizona-born TikTok star with nearly 30 million followers – made her first videos for the social media platform improvising late at night in her bedroom. That was about a year and a half ago, as he returned home on vacation from the University of Portland, Oregon, where he studied both business and played soccer.
Fast forward through the onset and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic – the hyper-increase in downtime has given the “creators” of TikTok, as app users are called, a captive audience – and Beck is now one of the most famous people on the platform.
In January, Beck was invited to watch the virtual Louis Vuitton fall 2021 menswear show as a VIP guest. Credit: Vinny Mui / Louis Vuitton
Its rise is marked by popular content trends that proliferate in the TikTok digiverse; videos of short dances, lip-syncing, and largely unfiltered moments from the creator’s life. That’s part of TikTok’s appeal: unlike those who have become influencers on Instagram, the world a TikTok creator presents doesn’t have to be polished and perfect. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t.
But it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why Beck went ultra-viral, and he’s the first to admit it.
“It’s crazy how fast I grew up,” he said. “I don’t know why. There’s really no secret behind it. I was consistent and posted things that I liked to post, whether it was trending or just things that I liked. made you happy. ”
He’s also blunt about a particular motivator: “There’s the attention that comes with posting a video and the serotonin of getting notifications on your phone. That’s what drives us as a. that generation now. As ridiculous as that sounds. “
Beyond the regular and frequent posts to attract the platform’s algorithm, Beck’s beauty (though not so good-looking as she is alienating or traditionally modeled) and her confidence are a likely draw. (During our interview, two adoring fans cautiously approached him asking for a selfie or a TikTok – Beck accepted the first.)
He is apparently quite comfortable being visible (often shirtless) to millions of followers and seems to present himself as both an aspiration and an aspiration in the eyes of his fans – the dance videos are shot in the kitchen or in front of a cupboard. mirror, often alongside his girlfriend, social media personality Dixie D’Amelio who, for the record, has double the number of TikTok followers.
He also joined Sway House, a TikTok creative hub and designer residency in Los Angeles, in July 2020. There, with roommates who also had popular profiles, his audience was further increased. In Beck’s case, the past year has ended in some sort of ultimate optimization of the social culture and characteristics of Gen Z – and it appears that a number of players in the mode take note.
Dixie D’Amelio onstage at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Christopher Polk / NBC / Getty Images
The recent fashion adoption of TikTok is notable, but it is not universal. And the hesitation makes sense. The association is fundamentally odd: The luxury goods industry has long been built and empowered with high-gloss finishes and big-budget precision, especially when it comes to imaging and inaccessibility. TikTok is low-key and mainstream, which makes it – for starters – more effective at reaching younger potential customers.
At Celine, the brand’s creative director, Hedi Slimane, booked TikTok creator Noen Eubanks for a campaign in late 2019, a move that made several headlines among mainstream fashion headlines. Another star named Wisdom Kaye, known for her style-centric posts, is a model signed by IMG and has also partnered with Amazon Fashion. Tiktok stars were also starting to appear front row at Fashion Week, until Covid-19 called off most in-person events.
While there are many examples of successful partnerships in this space, there are also issues that need to be addressed.
Another guest at the Park Hyatt in Paris was Bryan Gray Yambao (known as BryanBoy online). He’s been an influencer since the early days of fashion bloggers in the mid to late years. With over a million TikTok subscribers and long-standing relationships in the industry, he’s someone that many luxury brands have engaged in creating content with.
Beck has caused a sensation in the fashion world as more and more brands realize the selling power of TikTok. Credit: Vincent mu
“Some brands have given designers control, which I really appreciate,” Yambao said. “For me, when I worked with Gucci, Dior, Prada or Valentino, they gave me complete freedom on what works for my audience and what works for my account.” But, he added, others are not ready to do without the polish. “If they’re super specific, if they’re reluctant to hand over control, if they give you a million hashtags, (that) doesn’t work.”
Continuing, he said, “If you look at the most successful people on TikTok, they’re doing things that you can relate to. They’ll never be perfect. They’ll never show a perfect existence. Some brands are reluctant to give up on that. “
With Beck, attention and momentum seem to come together. In January, he revisited the Louis Vuitton men’s fall / winter show for Vogue. In March, he was pictured on the cover of VMAN, a New York-based independent fashion magazine. On this one, he wore smoky eyeliner, fishnet stockings under jeans and high heels. The creative director of the photoshoot was Fashion Director Nicola Formichetti, who is perhaps best known for her work on Lady Gaga’s style.
“It was exciting to work with someone who is very confident with who they are and open to exploring and challenging different types of fashion,” Formichetti said. “There’s something about Noah. He’s the new generation Marky Mark.”
Beck was in Paris to attend the spring men’s fashion shows. Credit: Vincent mu
VMAN’s coverage, however, did not land without criticism. Some netizens called the shoot an example of “queerbaiting” or an opportunistic marketing tactic in which the LGBTQ + identity is involved as a sales tool.
That backlash, along with other criticism (he grabbed a lot of criticism online for taking a trip to the Bahamas late last year amid the pandemic), must sting, but Beck said he had quickly learned what to engage with and what to let slip.
“I don’t take negative comments personally because they don’t know me personally,” he said, adding, “If someone leaves a hateful comment on any of my posts, I would love to m “Sit with him for five minutes. If they still feel the same, that’s fine, I did what I could.
“But I would also be lying if I said I didn’t watch some comments. I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me sometimes.”
In Paris, however, Beck was elated. It was his first time in the city – his first time in Europe, in fact. He had been asked by the AMI brand, founded by Alexandre Mattiussi, to participate in a series of videos designed to present the brand’s new collection while following Beck and another social media influencer, Larray, in the French capital.
Naturally, his time in the city is extensively documented on TikTok, there are videos of the crowd of fans gathered outside his hotel to see him, traditional French pastries and his many outfits – courtesy of AMI (a pause from his usual university – children’s loungewear). A video of him playing football at the Parc des Princes has racked up more than 11 million views.
Last year Beck was an official partner of ASOS. Credit: courtesy of ASOS
The first of three YouTube videos from her AMI sponsored trip to Paris is now on her channel. Part 1, with over 350,000 views, is a video blog of about 8 minutes of his journey – “I feel like I’m in ‘Ratatouille’ right now,” he says, his eyes wide. , as he is driven through town.
Beck said he sees at least part of his future in fashion – and has even expressed interest in designing. He dropped merchandise (hoodies and sweatshirts under the nickname Ur’Luvd) on his social media, but he said, “I want to get to the point where people buy clothes that I design, without even knowing that it has something to do with my name. I think it’s the coolest thing. I would probably feel more accomplished that way. That’s the goal. ”
For now, however, it’s all about enjoying the ride while still – still – that deeply applies factor. “[When the phone is off], I do the same things everyone else, “Beck said.” At the end of the day I shower, do a little skin routine, maybe watch a bit of Netflix. It’s still a normal life. ”
Top image: Noah Beck for Louis Vuitton, photographed by Vincent Mui.