There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Edikted, but Gen Z clearly has. The #edikted hashtag has 183.6 million views on TikTok, though the brand is just a year old.
So, what’s driving the buzz? And is it just another fast-fashion brand?
To start, Edikted is the brainchild of L.A.-based CEO Dedy Schwartzberg, who created it with a team he had worked with for 10 years at another fashion company, Adika. “Within the first month [January 2021], our KPIs were 10 times greater than what we had expected,” he said of the company’s rapid success, though he declined to elaborate.
As he tells it, the team behind the brand simply excels at appealing to Gen Z.
“Gen Z is a very complex generation, because they are so different from any other generation prior,” he said. “We didn’t have the same access to technologies that this generation grew up with, where everything is possible at the touch of a button. Gen Z is very trend-focused, and trends have been moving very quickly. As we understand the demand for trend-led pieces, we have learned how to deliver the trends fast.”
Schwartzberg said the brand gets inspiration from the fashion scene in L.A. “[Plus] we are constantly monitoring social media, celebrity and street style fashion, and fashion shows to see what’s new, exciting and likely to trend in the fashion space,” he said.
He differentiates the brand from fast fashion, claiming that it’s “zero waste.” “Although we produce affordable fashion very quickly, we have a very different production method from traditional fast fashion brands,” he said, explaining the brand’s go-to “try and repeat” method. “When a new style is introduced, we only manufacture a minimal number of units. Only based on customer demand do we scale production,” he said.
The company just closed a second investment round, he said, declining to share specifics. He said that Edikted is now 2-3 years ahead of its plan, but again declined to elaborate.
In addition to fast production times, the final ingredient in most any Gen-Z-related success story is the agile use of social media, which Edikted (pronounced “addicted”) has mastered. It has not paid TikTok influencers and instead owes its success instead to aggressive gifting and paid advertisements on social media. (TL;DR: Edikted sent products to influencers including Addison Rae, who often wear the brand but don’t tag it. Edikted can then repost Rae wearing the brand’s clothing). TikTok has been of the utmost importance in growing the brand, according to Edikted CMO Dana Israeli. “Covid changed everything in the social media world. The video platforms became more popular than the others, because of the entertainment aspect,” she said.
When #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt went viral last year, Israeli said Edikted seized the moment and was successful due, in part, to its eye-catching pink packaging. “We reached out to influencers and customers and began asking them to create hauls and unboxing videos that included our iconic pink packages. After a few weeks, it became a viral trend that was all over TikTok. The customer wanted to be part of the movement and the community, and without even having to ask them, they all joined in,” she said.
When you scroll through those millions of TikToks, you notice a homogeneity in not only the styles but the prototypical customer. She’s young — around 18- to 25-years-old — very thin, conventionally attractive and willing to dance on camera in the brand’s bra-esque, abs-bearing tops. She favors the currently in-vogue Y2K aesthetic. Think: Britney Spears-reminiscent pants with cutouts running down the legs and graphic shirts with phrases like “Shit just got real.” Many offer unique discount codes when they post about the brand, though according to Edikted, these are not affiliate codes.
“We don’t have an affiliate program at all. When we’re collaborating with influencers or content creators, we’re asking them if they want to give their followers a coupon code. If not, it’s fine. If they use the code, it’s like an extra bonus for them to give their friends or followers something from them. And it’s not mandatory that they post the coupon code,” Israeli said.
In addition to prioritizing TikTok, the company has made sure to make it easy for Gen-Z customers to connect with the brand by meeting them where they are. “We have 24-hour customer service via our Instagram DMs,” Israeli said. Isaeli answers many herself, though said Edikted plans to add more members to its team as it grows. The team currently stands at about 60 members. “Overall, we’re always engaging with followers and customers and answering any questions. We believe it is extremely important to be attentive and personal when it comes to customer service.”
In researching the company, I came across a 23-minute video posted in early November 2021 by 23-year-old content creator Cassie Diamond (733,000 followers on YouTube), and was impressed with her informative, fair review. The video is appropriately titled “Spilling the TEA on EDIKTED! Is it REALLY worth it? Edikted Haul + Review!”
I reached out to Diamond to ask why she deemed the brand worthy of such an in-depth video. Diamond said she was not paid for the video and had purchased the featured clothes. “I like to be very careful about what I promote,” she said. When asked how she first came across the brand, she said, “It’s almost like a little phantom; it comes out of nowhere. You’re like, ‘What is this?’ And then, all of a sudden, it’s in Instagram ads, TikTok ads, it’s everywhere,” she said. She said she started to see tons of her fellow influencers promoting the brand, and was curious to check it out for herself. “A lot of these companies are connected to each other,” she said, before mentioning Adika (which has 854,000 followers on Instagram). She introduces her video accordingly: “Yet another targeted Instagram ad clothing company, with the claws of capitalism pulling me in once again. Cheers to capitalism, my friends.”
In my favorite part of Diamond’s video (at the 14:40 mark), she tries on an Edikted sweatsuit emblazoned with the letters “ED.” “I just realized ED also stands for something,” she says, before cutting to a crickets sound. “I’m gonna Google its meaning … Hi, guys! These are my erectile dysfunction pants! I’m gonna go ahead and return these.”
“It’s really cute stuff,” Diamond said, speaking not just of Edikted, but also of its competitors. “But why would I buy a $40 top for it to literally break after three wears?” Also, she said, “They didn’t have a lot of plus size [models] or models of different ethnicities and backgrounds, which bothers me.”
According to Israeli, when the company receives quality complaints, it “[reaches] out to the customer and apologizes, asks how we can improve and offers to re-send the product.”
“This is a rare occurrence, as we have solid quality control in our supply chain. The products are much higher quality than other fast-fashions brands on the market, which is why they come at a higher price point,” Israeli said. Prices range from $3-$120.
Many know Edikted because of the viral Luna Flare Faux Leather Jean, which are currently on sale for $44.50. Diamond has a pair. And for her post labeled “Styling the Edikted Luna Faux Leather Flare Jeans,” TikToker @quinnoel_ used the caption, “@edikted sponsor me.” Clearly, TikTok wants in on the cult of Edikted.
The trend cycle is shorter than ever. “It’s like two months,” Diamond said, adding that the quickness of it all also has an impact on mental health. “You’re just comparing yourself [to others], because you see viral pants on TikTok.” Edikted’s Aly Mesh Corset Top has also been a hit. Its sizes top out at large.
Fast fashion might be changing, and more sustainable than it once was. But it’s certainly not dead.