Welcome to Favorite Follow, a series highlighting NYLON's favorite creators and the stories behind some of their most memorable content.
Multidisciplinary creative Pierrah Hilaire, known for her TikToks on Black fashion designers, first became interested in clothes by watching her father pull ‘fits.
“My dad still to this day is very stylish and really showed me and my twin brother the importance of developing your own style, but also the importance of investing in quality fabrics,” she recalls over Zoom. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to look good.”
When it came to entering the fashion industry herself, Hilaire’s mother, a former model, encouraged her daughter to follow in her footsteps. This propelled Hilaire into the fashion world, leading her to start modeling as a teen. Once in these spaces, an entire universe of opportunities presented itself to the bright-eyed Hilaire, who soon realized that she would be happy being involved with fashion in any creative capacity.
“Any way I could be close to fashion, I wanted to do it,” she says. “So whether it was helping out at a show, supporting a designer, modeling, I wanted to do it.”
After moving to New York in 2018 to continue modeling, Hilaire’s path was once again altered by the discovery of a now-household, then-underground label called Telfar. From there, she voraciously began researching other Black fashion brands, and her interest quickly grew into a passion during the 2020 resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement when Hilaire realized she could create actionable change by encouraging her followers to buy from Black brands.
Due to her affinity for visual creative practices, Hilaire felt that TikTok was the right platform to bring awareness to these designers, and began posting compilations of her favorite brands in different categories — menswear, gender-inclusive, sustainable, to name a few. Her meticulous efforts to research and curate these brands, as well as highlight Black designers throughout history, began to pay off when a TikTok video on her Black-owned bag collection went viral, which currently sits at 690K views.
While Hilaire hopes to eventually expand her creative endeavors outside of TikTok, the impact she has made on the platform in bringing exposure to Black designers is ever apparent. Below, Hilaire shares with NYLON her thoughts on going viral, inclusivity in fashion, her future plans, and more.
On the research process for her TikToks
“The curation part of the compilation videos is something I’m always actively look for. When it comes to more profiles or historic information, I think the point is for me to be accurate. So what I tend to do is I have to pull from traditional sources — I’ll go to the museum, I’ll pull from the library. I do want to shout out the Black fashion historians who are already cultivating and building these databases because that’s also a lot of my sources, as well. I want to call them out, too, because it’s not just me pulling things from nowhere. Most of the information is from us.”
On the importance of highlighting inclusive brands
“I’ve talked about this with my fellow creator friends, the fact that it’s so hard to source size-inclusive or gender-inclusive fashion. I feel makes those types of videos are even more valuable in the sense that I want to show people like, yes, you have options. I have friends who have told me how hard it is, how they have to go towards more fast fashion retailers because they just don’t see the options there. Sometimes doing the extra work requires a little bit more digging, but there are designers there who are trying to fill that need, and they’re just not that well-known. What I love about a lot of the Black brands that I showcase is that they’re very inclusive by nature. And if you are inclusive by nature, that also has to mean the sizing, as well.”
On her viral Black handbag designers TikTok
“When I notice people are commenting, ‘Oh, I bought this bag because of you,’ it’s like, what I’m sharing actually has value, it can actually help the brand out, too. A lot of the brands now, they’ve grown so much, but in the beginning didn’t have the audience or the following they do now. So I just love seeing the brands grow and how much people actually love them, because the material speaks for itself. The piece and the product itself is already gorgeous, it’s just a matter of me curating that for [the viewers] so they know this is actually something worth investing in.”
On what’s next for her
“I’m excited about collaborating more with other creatives in the space, doing more projects, more deals, but also expanding the work to other platforms. I’m really excited to go do a deeper dive on the knowledge and educational videos that I do around Black fashion history; taking that to YouTube and really blowing that up is what I’ve been working on immediately.
Long- term, I really want to support the brands, but I also want to just continue to support other Black creators. Any initiative that aligns with those goals of supporting each other is what I want to focus on for the next few years. On top of supporting Black brands and creators through my content, I also want to champion a Black-owned lifestyle and shopping more with intention. Leading by example, I hope that someone considers investing more in Black-, women-, POC-owned, and sustainable businesses the next time they decide to shop.”