You never know what you’re going to come across when you open up your TikTok app. Some days you might see a dog howling along to Olivia Rodrigo’s hit single Drivers License, while other times it could be couples playing pranks on one another in the car. On the fashion front, however, there’s one thing to keep an eye out for. Beaded iPhone strings are the underrated accessory that you’ll start to see everywhere on your For You Page (FYP) soon. Yes, beaded chains are making their way down from sunglasses and masks and now landing on phones. And according to users, the eye-catching piece is only going to get bigger.
Leading the pack on the trend is London-based brand String Ting, founded by Rachel Steed-Middleton. As it turns out, she never anticipated her at-home living room business to be a celebrity favorite. “String Ting is a happy accident,” the founder tells TZR over the phone. “It started as a fundraiser during the pandemic, really as a way to teach my kids about giving back and just keeping them busy. It was the equivalent of a lemonade stand.” Even after the charitable initiative, she kept on beading, which further led to String Ting being born.
“I think the reason String Ting has been so successful is that I guess it goes back to the brand’s [ethos] ‘bright things for shady times’ — it’s been a weird year and people gravitated towards happy, comforting little talismans that transmit good energy.” Fans of the label’s pieces include everyone from Kendall Jenner to Dua Lipa. And on TikTok, you’ll see the strings on both content creator Brittany Xavier and her 14-year old daughter Jadyn, proving that the accessory is for both millennials and gen Z alike. In addition to String Ting, brands like Hang On Bling and Chaos are putting their own spin on the colorful strings. For creators who are constantly filming themselves on the go, the piece serves not only as a practical way to keep your phone close, but as a way to show a little personality, too.
With the continued popularity of personalized jewelry (which brands like Brinker & Eliza and Bing Bang NYC have championed), it’s no surprise that the trend has also evolved to include these iPhone accessories. In fact, if you search for customizable phone strings on Etsy, you’ll be greeted with a slew of vendors. One seller who is dominating in this area is Michelle Spaniol, aka StarlightshineUS on the website. The Miami-based shop, known for its handmade accessories, has made over 30,000 sales to date.
“In general, names and nicknames are the most requested,” Spaniol says about her personalized pieces. “And we [also] have the favorite beads, a smiley face is the number one, then yin yang, evil eyes, butterflies, flowers, fruits, hearts, and stars are at the top.”
This up-and-coming piece might remind you of the phone charms you bedazzled your flip phone with back in the early 2000s. But, according to Steed-Middleton, the accessory serves a different purpose today. “I don’t think of them as a trend, I think of them as an accessory that’s really here to stay,” she explains. “I think they are beautiful, but also functional.” As phones back in the ‘90s and 2000s were mostly meant for quick calls, Steed-Middleton notes that today they’re a crucial part of everyday life (see: they can include your keys, bank card, and email). “Phones are no longer an afterthought in terms of styling, I think they are a core part of our look,” she adds.
If you’re sold on the emerging trend, below, shop six beaded iPhone strings. And get ready to see even more brands come out with the colorful accessory.
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