TikTok is largely dominated by trending songs, dance challenges, and overall embracing creativity, but it’s not as well known for its fashion scene. That being said, a stylish community is forming on the app—and Vogue is here to find the most inspiring, and most stylish, creators.
This week’s must-follow account is Wisdom Kaye (@wisdm8), a 19-year-old from Houston, Texas. His outfits riff off the 1970s in a new, modern way and often take cues from Hedi Slimane and Rick Owens, two of his favorite designers. “There is something I love about looking like I am from a different time period,” he tells Vogue. “I think it stems from my love for surrealism—the juxtaposition of the contemporary world against the classic ’70s aesthetic just sits right with me.” I’d go as far as to say that he’s the best-dressed man on the app.
Since posting his very first TikTok in January 2020, Kaye has already amassed over 2 million followers. “[At first], it was just a compilation of the outfits I was wearing the past couple of weeks,” he says. “I posted a couple on TikTok and Twitter, and they actually blew up on Twitter first. After a while, they racked up over a million views [on TikTok]. At that point I saw potential and started making more creative content on TikTok that went beyond just a standard outfit compilation.” Kaye posts at least once a day on the app, and is never short on ideas. “It doesn’t really take that long to make one of my videos because when I get an idea, which typically comes from out of the blue, I immediately think to myself how I am going to make it and take notes on my phone,” he says.
Kaye’s accessible approach to styling makes his account both informative and addicting. Kaye has become known for his videos where he replies to comments that present a style challenge i.e “red and green without making it look like Christmas = impossible.” He proceeds to make it look cool. Kaye will also offer guys helpful tips on how to get runway pieces for less, such as this clever hack for pulling off Saint Laurent-style heeled boots. Yes, men, you can wear heeled boots.
Below, we spoke with him about how his phone is filled with notes and ideas, what he thinks of the current menswear climate, and which of his TikTok creations is his favorite.
Where did your love of fashion begin?
“I became interested in fashion back in 2014, because it was my first year of high school and I wanted to change my appearance to fit in. I used to get bullied a lot for my physical features, so I thought the best way to minimize this would be through conformity. As the years went by, I stopped caring what everyone thought about me and I started experimenting more. I discovered Hedi Slimane maybe around 2018, prior to that I was familiar with his work at Saint Laurent — I just didn’t know who was behind it. I just loved the whole Saint Laurent aesthetic and I’ve tried to implement some of what he does with my style.”
What are your thoughts on the menswear scene right now?
“Men’s fashion is slowly changing and becoming more expressive. But when I say slowly, I mean the same speed of earth’s tectonic plates. I have seen an incredible push from young people for men to be more expressive in their style, and that is very exciting. Personally, I’m tired of looking up men’s fashion inspo online and every guy is wearing black, grey, and brown. It’s rather banal. I look at people like Alton Mason, for example, as someone who is not afraid to be expressive and wear whatever the heck he wants. His style has been truly inspirational for me. One of my favorite looks at the moment is boots with flare pants—this of course stems from my love for ’70s fashion.”
We love your Vogue challenge on TikTok. Tell us about the inspiration for it.
“I didn’t really want to participate at first after seeing some of the earlier challenges. I didn’t think I could compete, but I thought why not give it a shot anyway, and people seemed to really like mine. I just used the most expressive and powerful photos that I had, three of which I took and edited myself, and slapped Vogue at the top. I tried to also incorporate some funny headlines too for a good chuckle.”
We also love this self-made runway show. How did you create this?
“This idea didn’t come to me as a TikTok. I made this runway show out of pure creative drive to make something really, really cool and put it on Twitter and Instagram—but seeing how TikTok is my biggest platform, I decided to make a shorter version to fit on there.