What is the Gen Z TikTok Fashion Publication Rag Report?
Style Points is a weekly column on how fashion intersects with the rest of the world.
What is balletcore? What does “golden glamour”, the theme of the recent Met Gala, mean? Which men’s clothing brands are sustainable? Is Lizzo’s new shapewear line worth trying?
These are all questions that TikTok-only fashion publication Rag Report attempts to answer. Launched last year, Rag Report, which has no landing page or web component but has 1.6 million subscribers, is part of jaw-dropping explanations and introductions to new designers , and a zoom exchange part.
Under the umbrella of Gen Z media company Kyra Digital, Rag Report has become an authority by, quite counterintuitively, do not claiming to be an authority. “Creating this was meant to be a source of Gen Z fashion content, but not in the sense that [we’re] space connoisseurs,” says Courtney Neal, editor-in-chief of Kyra Digital. The goal was to create a balance between being “a credible source, but also a source of people’s input”. Via call-to-action videos, a pitch portal, and a stable of contributors, Rag Report has somehow found a way to “create a pathway for [readers] feel like a part of it too, because that’s what TikTok naturally is. It is a platform for creators. It’s not designed as a platform for publishers. »
Yet publish it. And the way Neal and his colleagues think about publishing is more steeped in tradition than you might think. As a millennial who grew up with teen magazines, Neal says, there were “certain buckets of things I looked forward to every month,” whether it was an advice column or people writing with their stories. She strives to achieve this effect with regular features, like explainer videos (“it’s really limitless, what you can explain in fashion”). on a sustainable fashion post, asking about menswear brands. “Our audience likes to see themselves represented in our content,” she says. “Seeing their own comments answered makes them feel heard.” A recent video featuring crocheters on TikTok drew a flurry of enthusiastic comments from those featured. “They’re excited because they’re small business owners or just creating in their own little bubbles. They start sharing and tagging, and the next thing you know, our following is growing organically.
Generation Z is, of course, both passionate about the environment and one of the biggest consumers of fast fashion. Neal sums up the publication’s approach to all things ecology as “keeping it real.” Although she thinks no one can be 100% sustainable, she thinks it’s something that “being a fashion publication, we have a responsibility to talk about.” Whether it’s greenwashing or the ongoing conversation about diversity and inclusion in fashion, “we need to talk about these things. We need to have these difficult conversations and open this dialogue. And we’ve seen that when we do that, in our comments section, people engage [among] themselves.” Sometimes that also means not shy away from, say, a video explicitly criticizing the environmental impact of a fast fashion brand: “As a publication, we stand by who we are. is our tone of voice, and we’re not going to bend or change to make a brand happy.
This season, the publication partnered with TikTok for Fashion Month, creating videos on, for example, the story of self-expression (which was the platform’s Fashion Month theme for the season). latest), spotlighting lesser-known creators. “Of course, the pop culture stuff, the Kanye stuff, the Kim stuff, eye-catching stuff,” Neal acknowledges. “We put Pete Davidson on something and it’s going crazy because that’s exactly what’s trending. But the strategy is to mix it up. We don’t want to go all the way in pop culture just because we know it works.During Fashion Week, “we ran this article about shows that didn’t make it to the press, shows you might have missed because they didn’t make the big headlines, the big writing or the big image on the front page, but they were still great.” Another topic that sparked unexpected interest among Rag Report followers: the intersection of fashion and mental health. Working with Kyra’s mental health channel, Glia, she’s produced videos on topics like “dopamine dressing.”
The future of Rag Report may not be limited to the For You page. Neal says the publication plans to experiment with longer documentary-style videos now that TikTok allows 10-minute runtimes. It will run a TikTok-based contest for up-and-coming designers. But he’s also making IRL moves, planning to do in-person events and swap meetups. “COVID ready,” she says. “Our goal is to create a community, so we want to activate in different cities and give these creators and designers a chance to interact with each other in real life.”
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