In the left corner of Jenn Evans’ bedroom, a rack of shirts, jeans and dresses are neatly organized as her outfits for the week.
Every week, Evans plans different outfits with clothes she purchased and others that were sent to her for the fashion haul and outfit inspiration videos she makes on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Evans, a senior advertising major, is a content creator producing niche content including fashion inspiration, vlogs, clothing haul and gaming videos across various social media platforms.
In August, Evans’ social media presence garnered the attention of the clothing brand Urban Outfitters, and she was hired as their college brand ambassador. As a campus ambassador, she will be creating events throughout the semester to promote the company’s clothing collections.
“We had an event about two weeks ago called ‘College Night,’ we had students make their own tote bags, gave out free snacks, Urban goodies and discounts,” Evans said.
At 16, Evans began to cultivate a social media following by making YouTube videos. It wasn’t until the growth of TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic that Evans saw a spike growth in followers.
TikTok changed the way creators could gain followers with its more user-friendly algorithm as anyone could go viral with quick and aesthetically pleasing videos, Forbes reported. Evans began posting every day on TikTok and Instagram in 2020 and got her first brand deal with Neutrogena in June 2020, she said.
“I was so hype about it, because it was like my first paid deal,” Evans said. “Like, Neutrogena knows who I am? I’m freaking out and ever since then, it slowly started going up.”
In December 2021, Evans created a TikTok joking about men going on a date wearing a casual tracksuit versus women going on the same date after getting ready for 2 ½ hours. The video went viral, gaining more than 1.5 million views, and she grew from having 10,000 followers to more than 51,000.
“My whole life has changed from working at a restaurant four days a week to working from home,” Evans said. “All I do is record videos, take pictures, and edit. It’s a lot of work, but I’ve been blessed to work with brands like Urban, SKIMS, Maybelline, NYX Professional Makeup, Samsung and Revolve.”
Amanda Smith, a senior media studies and production major, has been friends with Evans for only a year, but in the short time she’s known her she’s seen Evans’ progress in her career.
“I have seen her make content and helped take pictures for Instagram,” Smith said. “But she truly is the mastermind from start to finish while she juggles school, working on the side and her social life.”
Evans, a Black woman, never saw women who looked like her representing fashion brands like Urban Outfitters, Aritzia or Zara.
“I’ve done ads for Poshmark who barely post like black girls on their page,” Evans said. “I hope there is a younger version of me somewhere out there in the world that sees me and is like ‘Oh I can dress like this,’ or ‘I can do this.’”
Most of the representation for Black women in the fashion industry is seen in brands like Fashion Nova or Shein, which are known primarily as fast fashion brands whose target audience is the young party girl,” Evans said.
Jessica Hubbard, a senior human resource management major and Evans’ roommate, has been friends with Evans since their freshman year and has been a valuable support system by encouraging her friend when her work became too overwhelming.
“I’ve always let her know that she was amazing and that she would and is doing great things,” Hubbard said. “I just made sure she knew how important her process and work was and what an impact it made.”
After graduating, Evans plans to focus more on content creation about travel fashion and showcasing different fashion designers around the world while balancing her busy work schedule with more personal travelling experiences.
“I’m hoping that even though I am working hard, I am able to travel and experience life and appreciate the people who come into mine,” Evans said.