While many others who lived through the era may cower in fear at the idea of wearing low rise jeans again, Smith’s retro fashion sense has clearly struck a chord on the app. (Many TikTokers, in general, are embracing Y2K style at the moment. Browse through the #y2kfashion hashtag for evidence.) Since posting her first TikTok in December last year, Smith has amassed 42,000 followers. At first, Smith tried posting more current fashion and beauty videos, “but it felt unauthentic to me,” she says; she pivoted to embracing her true style identity this year and hasn’t looked back since. “I decided to let people know who I really am: a girl who’s obsessed with the 2000s and celebrity culture,” she says.
She considers herself “to be fame-hungry,” and has always been fascinated with the style of celebrities from the decade, like Megan Fox and Paris Hilton. “2006-2007 are golden and the peak of celebrity culture,” Smith says. “The paparazzi, the tabloids, the magazines were so different and dominating back then.” Smith has even gone as far as photoshopping herself onto a fake tabloid magazine for a TikTok—and her vintage fits are headline-worthy, indeed.
Below, Smith discusses what’s in her closet, her love of thrifting, and why she’s “bringing back” celebrity culture.
1. What’s your process for creating? Where do you get ideas?
My ideas just come to me from anywhere and anything. I can be watching an old movie (Jennifer’s Body and Mean Girls are my all time faves) or see a magazine, music video, concert, and instantly have an idea for a photoshoot or a TikTok. I like to come up with concepts for videos based on outfits or current projects.
2. What is your favorite TikTok that you’ve ever made?
My paparazzi/Star Magazine TikTok. As mentioned, I’m obsessed with paparazzi culture and the tabloids, so making a video inspired by that was so fun. The whole process behind it was very cool and made me develop new skills. I took paparazzi style pictures and videos. I had to learn how to work with Photoshop to make the cover. That took a couple days. I printed the edit, glued it onto a magazine, and snuck it into a store so I could film myself “buying it.” In total, that TikTok took me over a week to complete, with of course, my favorite song “Gimme More” playing in the background. That’s definitely my favorite one and the one that took me longest. It was also my first TikTok to go viral overnight. A second favorite would have to be one of my paparazzi car edits.
3. What are some of your most-worn pieces?
My most-worn pieces are definitely my mini skirts and my Juicy Couture purse. No matter the weather, you’ll always find me in a mini skirt. I will forever be obsessed with brands like Baby Phat, Juicy Couture, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci—everything worn by hottest celebrities back then. One thing that totally connects to the 2000s in my eyes is the Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir Alma bags. I remember seeing Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian with the gold and silver ones and I was so envious. Those bags will always have a special place in my heart.
4. What’s the most special piece in your closet?
As of now, I’d say my Juicy Couture bag, my vintage Dior sunglasses, and my vintage Playboy necklaces. Those are straight out of the 2000s and make me feel like a celebrity from that era. Owning anything that my favorite celebs wore and/or had back then automatically becomes special and a favorite to me. One day, you’ll definitely see me around with a Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir Alma bag.
5. I assume you wear a lot of vintage as well from the 2000s?
I love owning and wearing pieces that are directly from the 2000s. Secondhand stores are the best places to find those. I do make some of my own clothes, too. I recently made a pair of thong pants inspired by Britney Spears in the “I’m A Slave 4 U” music video. I really enjoyed doing this because I love designing my own clothes inspired by this period of time. I was in my element while making them. Especially since it isn’t a thing worn by anyone in this day and age, it felt like I was bringing something back.
6. Your TikTok draws from 2000s celebrity style as well. Which stars do you think embody Y2K fashion?
Paris Hilton, Kimora Lee Simmons, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian were all inspirations to me growing up. They all played a big part in setting trends and they were wearing what’s hot. I remember watching The Simple Life and dreaming about owning the clothing worn by Paris and Nicole.
7. Your music for your TikToks is also on point for the 2000s. Who are some of your favorite artists?
Anything from my personal Y2K playlist. I love Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Fergie, Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, Christina Aguilera. The music from that era inspires in many ways, I have a song for every mood. Blackout by Britney Spears is one of my favorite albums of all time and “Gimme More” is definitely my favorite song on there to create with and listen to. It had such an impact on me. From the sound, to the visuals, to the whole tabloid culture surrounding Britney at that time. It was so mesmerizing to me. Listening to it makes me feel like I’m living a fantasy. At some point, I’d love to start making my own music and make people relive this moment of time.
8. You seem to be a big fan of reality TV as well. What are your favorite shows or reality moments?
I grew up watching reality TV with my grandmother. The influence it had on me definitely made and makes me live my day to day life as if it was my own show. A few of my favorites are Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Simple Life, and America’s Next Top Model. I feel like KUWTK is what really spoke to me as a child, I could really relate to Kim. Seeing her be her most extra self and all the iconic moments like, “Kim stop taking pictures of yourself, your sister is going to jail,” really felt like I was seeing myself on the screen. Her love for the cameras and fame was a mirror image of me.