Downtown LA’s “Elegant Fashion” shop faces criticism over TikToks – CBS Los Angeles

At Elegant Fashion in the Fashion District, the phone is always recording.

The store streams live on TikTok everyday from open to close, with signs everywhere saying “Smile you’re on camera.”

“We wanted people to feel more comfortable about what they’re getting themselves into,” owner Joanna Torres said. “By them seeing themselves live everyday they get to see how we interact with customers and what styles we have.”

Torres said one of the main reasons she started streaming live was because interactions with rude customers were becoming more common. She said customers would complain when one of her workers didn’t speak English.

“She is an older lady and doesn’t speak English very well,” she said. “If you want to bully us, you better do that on camera.”

So far, Elegant Fashion’s live TikToks have been successful, with one of their videos receiving 17,000 likes. The business believes the videos help it stick out among a sea of dress stores.

However, with all the exposure comes some criticism. Some have posted videos criticizing their customer service. Torres and her friend Crystal Orta admit they don’t filter their interactions.

“We’re both Capricorns. We’re both earth signs,” Orta said. “We keep it very real and very honest.”

However, the dress shop strives to be inclusive by selling dresses up to size 26.

“Especially being on TikTok live, you get to see if its a person who identifies as transgender they are comfortable coming into this space because they see other people like them coming into this space,” Orta said.

Torres said that if a customer is uncomfortable being on TikTok they don’t need to leave the dressing room or book a private appointment. However, the store said they won’t hit pause on their live stream for anyone and reserve the right to refuse their business.

“Everyone is entitled to do whatever they want,” Torres said. “So, who am I to tell them how to run their business. This is just how we run things at Elegant Fashion that work for us.”

Lesley Marin joined the CBS2 Los Angeles news team as a general assignment reporter in November 2019. She also helps anchor CBS News Los Angeles on the weekends.