Nina Chapman is currently in her final year at Parsons but also doubles as a TikTok star with over 50k followers and 2.9 million likes. Nina focuses on fashion-related content consisting of hauls, e-Bay finds and all things fashion. After going viral several times, Nina now uses TikTok as a creative outlet to pursue her love for fashion and design.
Here, Nina discusses her start on TikTok, how her style evolves as she grows and trends to watch out for.
Post-college, what would you like to do?
I’m not sure! I’d love to stay in fashion and creative direction of some sort. I feel like I’m also just seeing where this social media thing takes me.
How did you get your start on TikTok?
Almost as a joke, I told my friends I wanted to be TikTok famous. I posted two random videos to try and figure out the app. Then I was at work one day, I just made one and it was like “day 1 trying to get TikTok famous at work”. The first one didn’t work but then I did it again and I got 300k views. I was screaming in the store and that’s kind of where it started. I knew I had things to say and things to post. I started posting shopping hacks, hauls and I just kept going.
What do you like to do for fun?
From a young age, I’ve always loved doing fine art so if I’m not actually making a video, or at work or at school I don’t have that much time. I love doing beaded work! I feel like in my time off I spend a lot of time in social media and I definitely do a lot of market research. I want to know what I should be basing my videos off of and keeping on top of trends and the rest of my time I’m trying to catch up on Instagram. Even I feel behind.
If fashion and design weren’t in the picture, what would you want to pursue?
I guess it would be running my own business. When I was younger I’d always want to have my own cupcake shop. I don’t think a cupcake shop would be an option now but I’d definitely want to have my own business. I was going to say I love the MoMA store but I guess that is design. I mean in a way, baking is design but we don’t have to get philosophical about that. I love doing any kind of craft, so even organising parties, interior design or personal shopping. As long as I’m doing something creative I’d feel okay.
What is the biggest thing you’ve gained from 2020?
I think it showed our generations strength and the biggest thing I learned was to keep going. Even if you can’t see the destination, keep going. Also connections – being connected with my friends and people are so important. At the end, the only thing we really have are our connections.
You’re originally from Ohio and moved to NYC, how would you say your style has changed since making the move?
I feel like my style was always geared towards certain things that weren’t towards the normal. I remember seeing people wearing Uggs and thinking I would never wear those, even though they’re kind of making a comeback now hahaha. I feel like my style came from music- my background is in music. I’ve always loved the pop punk era and r&b was a big part of it as well. Those genres definitely inspired the range of styles I have. I remember I used to dress in all black but now I’ve added heaps of colour. I think it’s about combining different tunes and melodies and mixing it all up. As I grew, specifically out of a location, I learned different things and experienced different things and I feel like I’m always changing. My style next year will be completely different.
And trends – what is your favourite and least favourite?
Oooooh, I’d say my favourite trend is collars. Ganni and Zara have been doing these big collars, I think they’re like Swedish or Scandinavian. I find adding it onto something like a t-shirt adds to it really well.
I never want to say that I dislike any specific trend. A trend that I don’t like is probably being behind on trends. It’s sadly had it’s time and it’s passed.
Can you give us a styling secret?
I feel like I always have to start with one piece of clothing at a time. For example, okay I want to wear these pants today so then I’ll base the outfit off of these pants. Then I’ll move onto the colors – do I want it to be monochromatic, complementary or contrast? Adding it piece by piece slowly definitely makes the process easier. There are definitely days where I cry at my wardrobe and have nothing to wear.
I also feel like layering is underdone, maybe because there’s no ideal weather climate but I definitely feel like layering is the way to go.
I know this is probably a tough question but what’s your current favourite item in your wardrobe?
That is hard! I’ve been collecting a lot of ready to wear but my heart will always lie in handbags. I call myself a bag-whore, it’s who I am. The latest one that I’m absolutely obsessed with is the Gucci Jackie x Chateau Marmont. The Chateau is known for an outpour of creativity, scandals, music and so much more. I knew I had to get it.
Interviewed by Anna Lowe