Aly Meghani, perhaps better known by his username @yungalyy, never planned on reaching Internet fame through style videos. Yet with over 100k followers and a total of 2.7 million likes, Aly is now sure never to go back to his restricting old job he used to hold in finance.
Always referred to as ‘young’ by his school mates, the content creator just said “screw it I’m just going to put ‘yungalyy’” (the second ‘y’ being for availability purposes), recalled Aly when we caught up with him. But when Aly first hit that ‘create account’ button, he was far from the content creator he is now. When he first downloaded TikTok, he was “just taking videos and messing around with it”. Then came around the infamous ‘front row’ challenge. “I didn’t have any designer clothes, I thought ‘let me just put my own twist on it’. That did really well. [The comments] were like ‘part two, part three’”. And so, he gave the people what they wanted.
But Aly knew to get to the point he is today, making 90s hip hop style inspiration to recreating Scooby-Doo outfits videos, he needed one thing: a uniquely curated style. Having struggled with a restrictive dress code his whole life, it wasn’t until university that Aly started experimenting with fashion. “I’ve always been restricted in what I can wear. Back in school days, I was in full uniform”, he recalls.
View this post on Instagram
Fast forward to 2019, Aly found himself working a job in finance in New York, where he was forced to wear suits all day. “[It] was annoying, because I used to get in trouble a lot for wearing jewellery all the time”. While he may not have travelled for fashion, Aly’s year-long trip to New York was certainly life-changing. “I saw my eyes open, and I got to wear what I wanted to wear”, he told us. Not only did he find his style, but he started showing it off on Instagram. Getting into fashion through his Supreme-fan friend, and subscribing to brands such as BAPE and Places+Faces, Aly has come a long way in terms of style development. “Before I was quite hypebeast. Logomania, all of that. I’m really open [now], not everything’s about logos, it’s about how you put different items together. That’s how you make your own style. So from then I started going thrifting, and I was like, ‘wow, you can actually find some crazy crazy items for so little money’. Me and my friends were just like ‘let’s take a few pictures’. And I was like ‘let me just post one’ and it got really good feedback”. Kickstarting his social media presence on Instagram, Aly knew finance was no longer the way to go.
As soon as he got back home to London, he looked for a job in retail so he could wear whatever he wanted, which he got, “to an extent”. Yet, he felt as though he was still restricted in terms of creativity. “The only way I feel my creativity out [is] by going home and making something. I always wanted to go into the creative route. I had to put in effort and change what I was doing”. Just like that, Aly now dedicates “between two to four hours” of filming and editing on all on his own every other day, alternating between his day job and his “social side hustle”.
Although it may seem like a lot of work, the payoff is even bigger. Aly has found a creative freedom and support bubble on TikTok, which he never even thought possible. “[TikTok] is where you can be yourself, you forget about what’s happening in real life and you can just do you”, he said. “I feel like it’s more supportive than Instagram. On Instagram you can get a lot of hate when you get reposted on certain pages, whereas TikTok you’ve got your community, they follow you for a reason. They’re going to support you for that reason”.
Continuously growing, Aly hopes to reach a point where creating fashion content for his TikTok becomes his full time job. Wanting to fully indulge into this freedom he feels from the app, he plans to “keep putting in 100% effort to leave everything behind and take that influencer role to the next level”.