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Costco is taking over fashion TikTok

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Costco is famous for its hot dogs and jumbo-sized products. But the big box store is making waves on TikTok right now for its fashionable clothing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

JESSICA STROPLE: This week's best Costco fashion finds. The Lole sweatshirt and jogger sets are already on sale - 14.99 for the pants and 18.99...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: These Columbia Sports are so cute, and they're only $30. It comes in...

JENNIFER MALDONADO: Hey, shoppers. Soft doesn't even begin to describe these Eddie Bauer quarter-zips. You compare them to...

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The search term Costco clothing finds has 1.7 billion views on TikTok. And though Costco declined to speak with us about the phenomenon, we caught up with fashion writer Frances Sola-Santiago.

FRANCES SOLA-SANTIAGO: There is a lot of hype about, you know, shopping at Costco.

CHANG: She wrote a piece for Refinery29 called "The Unexpected Appeal Of Costco Fashion."

SOLA-SANTIAGO: I think a lot of people are just really interested in the affordability, the convenience and then kind of taking part of this hype, which is kind of a very interesting phenomenon for Costco.

SUMMERS: Jennifer Maldonado is one of the TikTokers creating that hype under the handle @CostcoCouture. You heard her earlier talking about those oh-so-soft Eddie Bauer quarter-zips.

MALDONADO: Now that people are working from home and a little bit more budget-conscious, they don't want to spend a lot of money on, you know, expensive items. They want to be comfortable. They want to know that they're getting a good deal, and they want to know that what they're wearing is also fashion-forward, too.

SUMMERS: And if you are skeptical about that fashion-forward part...

MALDONADO: A lot of my clothes that I wear I get compliments on every single day. And I always say it's from Costco, and I get the same response - like, a blank look on their face. Like, really - Costco? Heck yeah.

CHANG: Heck yeah. And as the 100-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel once said, fashion you can buy, but style you possess. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Taylor Hutchison
Christopher Intagliata is an editor at All Things Considered, where he writes news and edits interviews with politicians, musicians, restaurant owners, scientists and many of the other voices heard on the air.

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