The “Outfit of the Day”, or OOTD, videos of North East students rose to fame on TikTok in January when student fashion clips began attracting hundreds of thousands of views.
Behind the fashion-filled TikTok page is Ada Chen, a combined freshman business administration and psychology major. Her love for all things fashion inspired her to create @adach3nshe says.
Modeled after “Watch New York”, a TikTok account dedicated to “capturing candid street fashion from NYC,” Chen set out to highlight the student fashion scene in her “What College Students Wear in Boston” video series.
“I see so many people walking around in really cool outfits or styles on campus and in the Boston area in general,” Chen said. “I just want to get to know them and have a platform where people can share their fashion ideas and style inspiration.”
Chen started the series January 17 when she was in the dining hall of the international village with a friend, and they noticed a peer wearing a nice outfit. Chen immediately knew she wanted to interview him.
“We waited 20 minutes because I was so nervous,” Chen said. “But we went up to her and she was super nice. It was a really fun experience.
Chen said her love of fashion and creative self-expression through clothing blossomed when the lockdown began.
“I would describe my style as minimalist street style. I usually draw inspiration from Scandinavian and Danish streetwear fashion and 90s TV show characters,” Chen said. “I wear a lot of neutral tones with patterns on them, like a basic tank top with a little pattern. I love neutrals because they go with everything, but the special details give me personality.
Chen is involved in The Northeast Fashion Society and will be a stylist for her fashion show on the theme “Alice in Wonderland” April 17 at 7 p.m. Chen is also a stylist for The Avenue Magazineor Northeastern’s “first fashion and culture magazine,” according to its website.
Active in Northeastern’s fashion community, she believes the pandemic has caused many to seek innovative ways to explore their identity through fashion and other mediums. And drawing attention to it on social media has proven popular.
“Part 7” of Chen’s 20-part “OOTD” series has garnered a lot of attention with approximately 378,200 views and 568 comments.
Kaden Du, a combined first-year electrical and computer engineering major, was the star of the popular video. In the clip, he describes his stylish outfit, which included pants from Goodwill and a reversible denim jacket.
Du, who met Chen through The Fashion Society, didn’t expect the video to explode like it did.
“When mine came up, it was really funny. I didn’t expect anything, but a lot of my friends from back home and here started seeing the TikTok and sent it to me,” Du said. “Some of my friends were putting comments like ‘Venmo got me $5 for his Instagram.’ …I gained probably 100 followers on [the video].”
Few weeks later “Part 14” from the ongoing series dropped on February 8 and was another hit, racking up around 307,600 views and 259 comments.
The video featured Leo Kong, a second-year business administration and design student combining a major and minor in global fashion studies. Kong, also a member of the Fashion Society, said her friendship with Chen was never short of laughter.
“There are a lot of jokes,” Kong said. “I have the impression [the TikTok interview] was probably the first serious conversation and probably one of the hardest conversations we had, simply because we couldn’t really keep laughing during the interview.
Chen said she’s excited to share her love of fashion more with the community she’s cultivated on TikTok.
While Chen’s TikTok shines a light on the personal fashion journeys of college students in the Northeast, building an identity through clothing isn’t always easy, she said.
For those interested in fashion, Chen recommends using Pinterest to find inspiration for personal style. She also highlighted the importance of buying sustainably and ethically while saving money. Chen suggests stewards visit “Boomerang“in the plain of Jamaica and”Good will” in Roxbury respectively.
Chen plans to continue making his TikTok videos and seeks to broaden the scope of his interviews by asking what inspires student fashion and how much students spend on their clothes.
“I think it’s been great seeing this content that I post building a bit of community on my TikTok,” Chen said. “It’s amazing and so much fun.”