Joe Ando-Hirsh, a fashion designer in New York who didn’t want to give his age because he acts too, believes that this disconnect between the technical process and the final garment was further reinforced by the marketing of fashion week, where the focus is largely on documenting shows and celebrities and not what goes into the creation of the collection. With TikTok, Mr. Ando-Hirsch tries to give couture a modern influence.
He was planning his senior fashion show at the Fashion Institute of Technology and was hosting a summer internship when the coronavirus hit. Mr. Ando-Hirsch moved from Brooklyn to his parents’ house on Long Island, setting up a studio in their garage. His model girlfriend Niamh Adkins suggested he create a TikTok profile on sewing. On March 14, he shared the process of sewing a red jacket with heart details for his birthday. In the months that followed, he gained over 800,000 subscribers and also started posting tutorials on YouTube.
“I’m glad these videos are giving some kids permission to pursue whatever they want to do,” Mr. Ando-Hirsch said: “Because there are so many people commenting and saying, ‘Dude , I’ve always thought about fashion but went to medical school instead and I really regret it. ‘ ‘
Currently inspired by mixing the creme colors of desert environments with the oversized masculine style of Wall Street of the 1970s, Mr. Ando-Hirsch takes custom orders and hopes to start his own business focused on unisex fashion. He hopes to appeal to younger generations who are more fluid in their clothing choices and especially men who are more and more willing to take fashion risks, experimenting with color and tighter styles.
“All of that is changing right now,” he said, “I think other than the pandemic it‘s a really good and interesting time to be a designer because there are more people out there. who are open to what you do. ”
Brandon Hayden, 24, a fashion designer in Atlanta who runs Happily Dressed, a wellness brand, also has that mindset. Mr. Hayden has a fraternal twin and wanted to distinguish himself by wearing thrifty outfits that mix more masculine and feminine styles. Couture enables her to envision clothing beyond narrow fashion choices for men and also to take a stand against environmentally damaging fast fashion cycles. He destroys most of his fabrics, often using curtains, tablecloths and other unexpected materials: upholstery fabric with safari animals became a short jacket, and a Carhartt denim coat was turned into a bag chain.