It’s no secret that Hedi Slimane is changing things up at Celine. But his latest move is shaping up to be his most interesting choice yet. This week, the brand announced a new face, and unless you were born after 1996, it’s probably not who you’d expect: 18-year-old Noen Eubanks, a TikTok star from Atlanta.
According to Google's Year in Search, e-boys and e-girls, two concepts that were born around the same time as Generation Z, were among some of the most searched categories of 2019. And if there was ever a place where these groups of people could find each other, it would be on TikTok. So for brands like Celine that are looking for new ways to stay relevant among younger shoppers, choosing a TikTok e-boy like Eubanks is a good place to start.
According to one TikTok influencer, Gen Zers flock towards the app because of its authenticity; it's not a charade. “While Instagram has grown into a well-established platform, TikTok has a young demographic that doesn’t care about the whole perfect shot thing,” Vicky Banham told Business of Fashion.
It’s interesting that a brand like Celine, whose success very much hinges on people wanting to buy perfect things, would choose someone like Eubanks, who is making a living being anything but perfect. Looking at Eubanks’ TikTok feed, you’ll find him doing a number of very real, unfiltered activities: brushing his teeth, dry shampooing his pink hair, hanging out at a suburban mall, and taking selfies with his best friend. Not exactly the golden-hour manicure shots or perfectly edited outfit pics that flood your Thursday morning Instagram feed.
But maybe that's just what the luxury fashion landscape needs: something less high brow and polished, and something more true to life. Don't get us wrong, we're not ready for Celine's curated Instagram content to go anywhere. But we also wouldn't be mad if they paved a more authentic future with Noen Eubanks at the helm.