TikTok’s Class of Palm Beach Showcases Style of the Ultrarich

As a personal assistant to a well-to-do retiree, Nora Szigeti is tasked with much of the usual fare: managing a calendar, booking travel, running errands. But after her 70-year-old boss recently came across an Instagram post shared by the account Class of Palm Beach, which documents outfits people have worn around that wealthy town, she took on another duty: publicist.

“My boss would be a perfect person for your site,” Ms. Szigeti, 50, recalled writing in a message to the account in November. Soon after, her employer, Oblio Wish, appeared in a video shared by Class of Palm Beach, in which she showed off her wardrobe full of items from Dior, Gucci and Chanel.

She is one of the hundreds of Palm Beach residents and visitors — whose ages have ranged from 20-something to 80-something — who have been featured on Class of Palm Beach’s Instagram, TikTok and Facebook accounts since they were started last March. Its accounts on those three platforms now have a combined audience of more than one million followers.

On the 14-mile-long island, Class of Palm Beach functions for some as a sort of social-media-age Shiny Sheet, a nickname for the Palm Beach Daily News, a paper that fills its pages with photographs from society galas and luncheons.

For others, like Ms. Szigeti, its accounts offer a near-daily glimpse into how the ultrarich dress. (A report from the U.S. Census Bureau listed the median household income in Palm Beach between 2018 and 2022 as $190,824.) Brunello Cucinelli, Zimmermann, and Hermès are names often uttered by people featured on the Class of Palm Beach accounts, many of whom can be seen clutching Chanel bags.

“For them, it’s so ordinary: ‘Oh, today I’m wearing a Rolex, and it’s just a Birkin,’” Ms. Szigeti said of how casually some of the accounts’ subjects can refer to watches and bags most people only dream of owning. “I have to save up two years to buy even half the Birkin.”

Devorah Ezagui, 28, who lived in Palm Beach for part of her childhood, started the Class of Palm Beach accounts after moving back to the area last year. She had previously been living in New York, where she had been juggling personal training and marketing gigs, and where she would often ask people on the street about their outfits, she said.

The fashion in Palm Beach involves the same labels worn in other wealthy enclaves, but the way people wear them evokes a certain lifestyle, Ms. Ezagui said. The accounts, she added, were meant to showcase that lifestyle and offer an escape, as well as fashion inspiration.

Alanna Strei, a real estate agent in San Diego who discovered Class of Palm Beach on Instagram, said she appreciated its aesthetic of “old money glam” and its aspirational tone. Ms. Strei added that she also likes how the account features a breadth of people, not just “Real Housewives of Miami” types, as she put it.

Ms. Ezagui’s videos for Class of Palm Beach are mostly man-on-the-street interviews in which she probes subjects about their clothes, accessories and fragrances while filming them on her iPhone. The approach is similar to that of other social media accounts that have started documenting outfits in well-heeled locations like Madison Avenue in New York and Greenwich, Conn.

Ms. Ezagui, whose wardrobe includes Celine flats and Maison Margiela denim shorts, is also a personal stylist to clients in the Palm Beach and New York areas. She said she spent at least four hours a day managing the Class of Palm Beach accounts, which have shared sponsored posts paid for by brands.

The accounts have also featured a few of the clients Ms. Ezagui has styled, she said, but most subjects are strangers she has encountered while out and about, whether shopping at a local Publix grocery store or at stores on Worth Avenue, a ritzy retail strip.

Though she has been to Mar-a-Lago, the residence of former President Donald J. Trump, she has yet to document any outfits there. “It was actually something I wanted to look into,” she said. But there are “strict rules” about “going over to other people’s tables” at the private club, she added.

The types of people she looks for have effervescent personalities and appear to have “really put intention into their outfit,” she said. Ms. Ezagui added that about 70 percent of those she has asked to feature have agreed.

Most of those people are white women, a trend some followers of the accounts have pointed out in comments. Ms. Ezagui said the demographics of those featured was less reflective of her choices than it was of Palm Beach’s population. A recent Census Bureau report found that about 94 percent of the town’s residents were white and zero percent were Black.

“There’s not everybody in this area,” Ms. Ezagui said.

Some followers have also asked that she focus on a younger crowd. But Ms. Ezagui said that videos of older subjects reliably got more attention. “I know what will do well,” she said.

On a rainy Saturday in January, as she was walking along Worth Avenue, Ms. Ezagui stopped to praise the outfit of a passerby, Carolina Paulino, who was wearing Zimmermann separates, Loro Piana shoes, an Hermès handbag and Cartier bracelets. Then came the question: Would she want to be filmed for a video?

Ms. Paulino, 28, who had come to have lunch in Palm Beach from Miami, agreed. She later said the outfit she was wearing was meant to evoke a “vibe of luxury, but beach.”

Ms. Ezagui said that some people had asked her to feature fewer subjects in designer clothes and more in stylish items from affordable retailers like TJ Maxx. But to her, luxurious labels are a key element to Class of Palm Beach’s success.

“People are trying to look for inspiration,” she said.



Sumber: www.nytimes.com