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INTRODUCING

CECE VU

CeCe Vu is the Fashion & Beauty Partnerships Lead at TikTok where she has established a foundation for the two verticals and continued to educate the industry on platform’s best practices while sharing their brand narratives. CeCe directly onboarded some of the industry’s most in-demand luxury fashion houses such as Balmain, Dior, YSL and Balenciaga. With a deep passion for diversity, inclusion & representation for creators of color in Fashion & the world of digital video, she was instrumental in crafting many innovative brand partnerships and various elevation opportunities for TikTok creators such as TikTok Fashion Month 2020. CeCe began her career in social media & creator partnership strategy on the creative agency side and later transitioned in-house at musical.ly and Netflix. She has been featured in Vogue Business, WWD, NYLON, and more.Now that’s a Bossbabe.

The Interview

CECE VU

How did you get to where you are now? Can you pinpoint the moment where things changed for you?

I graduated from USC in 2011 with an Econ/Finance degree and was ready to enter the business world starting with an investment banking internship. As soon as I realized it wasn’t my path, I gracefully pivoted. I started at Dick Clark Productions as the Sponsorships coordinator where I encountered my future bosses at Mobli Media as they kindly asked if I’d be interested in a position at their NYC HQ.Mobli was a photo and video-sharing app invested by Leo DiCaprio at the time and the world of online videos really fascinated me. Little did I know, that was a life changing moment as I packed my bags and moved cross-country and demanded an on-site interview as soon as I landed in JFK. My CEO didn’t hesitate to give me big tasks from the get-go with my very first project at NYFW 2012. That was one of the key moments when I found my deep passion for social media and fashion. Fast forward to 2018, I was recruited to manage social at musical.ly, then took on creator partnerships at TikTok and transitioned to lead Fashion & Beauty in Oct 2019.

What do you see next for Fashion & Beauty brands on TikTok?

TikTok as a platform is designed to inspire -- with authentic, creative content that could only be on TikTok, and that reigns true for both fashion and beauty content on the platform. TikTok is reinventing people's perception of fashion which successful brands can be more authentic and less aspirational than you might see on other platforms. For the Beauty community, they look to TikTok as a platform to express themselves and share their opinions on their favorite products and give honest reviews on ones they've recently discovered. It's because of this community-driven content that we've seen such a meteoric rise in skinfluencers and brands started leaning into these individuals who are at the heart of our TikTok community.

TikTok vs reality: describe your style IRL?

My style IRL is very relaxed casual. I enjoy an oversized trench coat over a comfortable tie-dye sweat set (very TikTok) and a pair of black combat boots.

Talk to us about the intersection of social media and activism. Where is the line between furthering a cause vs. exploiting a trend?

It is important for one to use his/her platform to raise awareness and further a cause genuinely and productively. I find that by focusing our energy on accountability, our social community would benefit more from helpful, relevant resources to combat injustice and discuss social issues than just a series of empty platitudes or merch with slogans.

What is the best piece of advice you have even been given?

“Virality is fun but consistency pays the bill.” Said Kudzi Chikumbu – my former boss and mentor. The views, the engagement come and go and it’s important not to get caught in the extreme moments but rather focus on showing up every day.

What comes after influencer culture?

‘The creator culture’ as we refer to them, at TikTok. Creators are truly the masters of their crafts from start to finish. That includes ideating, filming/editing within TikTok and most importantly, engaging with their community, rather than prioritizing vanity or self-promotion. Brands can learn that post-platform consumer experience is real and how important the call-to-actions in creators' content can be. TikTok audience gravitates toward content that provides some kind of added value to them, even if it's comedy and having a laugh, so they can learn something new or have actionable insights after watching.

CECE VU

What is your current favorite TikTok trend?

My favorite TikTok trend is the #FashionEdit or as the internet also referred to as Hot Seat where users highlight traditional outfits from different cultures around the world.

You’re quite the traveler, where is your dream destination post COVID-19?

I am originally from Vietnam and still have family & business in Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi. Post COVID-19, I cannot wait to visit the motherland and perhaps also pay a visit to our famous beach town, DaNang and stay at my favorite resort – the Intercontinental Peninsula DaNang.

What advice would you give a young girl who wants your role some day?

Be kind. Though the social media world is heightened with creativity, and ambitious talents, we are also responsible for our community sentiment and accountability. It’s important to be kind and genuine to everyone you meet along the way. You’ll never know whom you are helping and who might be helping you in the future.

You’d never know that I...

am allergic to adhesive bandaids and of course, racism.

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