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#VogueChallenge: A step in the right direction. But will Vogue take action?6 min read

TikTok has become increasingly popular during lockdown. Numerous trends have been created and instantly gone viral. One of those is the #VogueChallenge, which also trended on Twitter, raising many questions within the fashion industry.

During quarantine I have personally been experimenting on Tiktok. I have been trying to understand how the app works and why it is so popular, particularly amongst young people. The growth of this app has accelerated during quarantine. People have taken on the constant trends that are being made. When a new trend forms on Tiktok, other creators copy the original video but then add their own take to it.

The app is continuously growing, new ideas are constantly circulating, meaning trends don’t last for long. However, the #VogueChallenge was one that gained a lot of media attention. It went from Tiktok straight to Twitter due to the creativity it sparked.

What is the #Voguechallenge?

Created by @dxvidkim on Tiktok, the challenge entails creating your own Vogue front cover. Creators add the iconic Vogue logo to their photos to create their dream cover. The videos were accompanied by Travis Scott and JACKBOYS song Out west, with various covers flashing on the screen in a 15-second video. See an example from the trendsetter here:

@dxvidkimSome of yalls pictures are OUT OF THIS WORLD🤩😫 ##fyp♬ Gimme clout pls – i.i.i.i.i.il

 

The video gained attention via the hashtag #fyp which gets the video on the Tiktok For you page. This is the continues video stream on TikTok, looking like Instagram’s feed, just flooded with videos instead of pictures. This gives the videos more views and essentially helps to make it a trend.

More and more people hop onto the trend even causing celebrities. Both James Charles and Lizzo have taken part in the challenge and made their own mock-up magazine cover. The challenge brings light to different cultures, artists, aspiring models and creators who are all extremely talented (despite the fair few that weren’t serious!)

It also gained momentum on Twitter:

The #VogueChallenge immediately started trending on Twitter with many Black creatives sharing their covers after Anna Wintour’s comment that Vogue hasn’t been giving “space to Black creators”. Artists, models, designers and creators have been sharing their own renditions to amplify Black voices and their work in the media. In the light of the Black Lives Matters movement, the trend allowed Black creators to be recognised as they are often neglected in the fashion industry, including stylists and photographers as well as models.

Salma Noor, a young, black creator made #VogueChallenge trend on Twitter and soon after also posted a Tiktok with her photos. She uploaded her photos with the Vogue logo on Twitter to inspire young black models and photographers to further highlight the lack of diversity on major fashion magazines’ covers. This encouraged other black creators to share their artwork. This, then led to her being featured in a Vogue article and promoted by other magazines to raise awareness about diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry.

Will the #VogueChallenge actually change Vogue and the fashion industry as a whole?

The fashion industry is known for its elitist behaviour, repeatedly having the same models on their covers. However, this challenge has certainly made them question the way in which the fashion industry works. Many creators were able to style and photograph themselves to recreate the challenge, some of which, we could arguably say, are better than what we have seen on official Vogue covers.

 

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Et innlegg delt av VOGUE Challenge (@thevoguechallenge)

The challenge is certainly a step in the right direction. The media attention it attracted has highlighted that models and creators should have more control and make more decisions when it comes to shooting covers. The trend also allowed people to share their culture, especially those where Vogue doesn’t have its own magazine in their home country.

 

The challenge allows people to be artistic. It become an art form and although fashion is an art, I felt as if Vogue sometimes doesn’t portray full potential on their covers. Some are rather basic. I believe it’s time for Vogue and the fashion industry to use their covers to promote young and aspiring creators.

At the very least ask them for ideas to diversify their covers and essentially make them more eye-catching. It is an art challenge, but more importantly a challenge to make a statement. That change is due, and we must keep the momentum going for a difference to be made.

Will it simply remain a social media trend?

Unfortunately, it does seem like a trend that will be forgotten. Frankly, it already has, I haven’t seen it on Tiktok for a few weeks and Twitter trends die out quickly. Momentum seems to slow down, but that doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t happening. New trends are constantly being made.

I do think the change will gradually happen, but only if as a society we constantly remind the fashion industry to take action. We don’t need to see the same models that have had enough recognition. We need more activists, people making a difference and challenging social norms.

 

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Et innlegg delt av British Vogue (@britishvogue)

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av British Vogue (@britishvogue)

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av British Vogue (@britishvogue)

 

An example of a step in the right direction can be seen on the July cover for British Vogue. Although it’s very different from the artistic side of the #VogueChallenge, the covers honouring keyworkers is something that as a society, we need to see. Titled as The New Frontline, the cover is giving a chance to see the heroes who have been fighting during the pandemic. They are using their platform to highlight what matters. They could have easily put a top model on the cover, asking them to shoot at home.

However, some may argue that it shouldn’t take a global pandemic for a relatable cover to be published. Nevertheless, it is a breakthrough moment in the industry, especially in terms of diversity.

Overall, the fashion industry and magazine covers should be about discovering new talent and I hope the #VogueChallenge makes this a reality, promoting diversity and defying norms.

Mansi Vithlani

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