As Covid-19 shut down the country and high school students were staying home it became clear that many would miss the events that make senior year so special—from highly awaited prom nights to commencement ceremonies. Teen Vogue wanted to find a way to celebrate these students despite these unprecedented times so we decided to host a virtual prom!
The online celebration took place this past Saturday, May 16 on Zoom and brought together thousands of students from high schools across the country. While these high school seniors weren’t able to hop in a limo to ride to prom together, they were still able to do some of the things that make this rite of passage special: play dress up, wear make-up, dance like no one is watching.
But, putting on makeup looks they’ve been dying to try and slipping on their prom dresses and tuxedos was only the beginning of the process for virtual prom. Little did they know, these seniors were in for a night of dancing, major celebrity drop ins, and exciting chats with our sequined editor in chief, Lindsay Peoples Wagner. After settling into their Zoom rooms and vibing out to music, our prom guests were welcomed by rapper Lil Baby who offered inspiring words to the 2020 grads saying, “It’s now your time to go and show the world what you have to offer and I want you to have a great, great night tonight."
Students’ faces lit up as the celebrity drop ins began, from former Teen Vogue cover star Lana Condor telling us about her cooking adventures during this time to Dylan Sprouse showing off his blonde quarantine hairdo and offering some sage advice.
A virtual prom in 2020 wouldn’t be complete without two major things: TikTok dances and a Prom Court! Emma Chamberlain gave an epic TikTok tutorial to Doja Cat’s “Say So,” while influencer Bretman Rock tried his hand at a popular dance on the app.
Following the dance moves, Teen Vogue’s official prom court was announced. The five students who were “crowned” were submitted by their peers and recognized for the efforts in the work they’re doing in their communities. From being essential workers during the pandemic to offering free senior photos for classmates, each of these seniors stood out and were extremely deserving of their crowning.
To assist with prom-proposals, AXE, a presenting partner of the Teen Vogue Virtual Prom, supported the event to make sure the Class of 2020’s most jaw-dropping, LOL-worthy date proposal ideas didn’t go unseen. Hosting the #bemyAXEdatecontest they give one lucky high school senior the chance to land an extra-memorable prom experience with internet phenom Rickey Thompson. Rickey even dropped in during prom to tell everyone how much he loved the creative proposals.
Students got dolled up donning feather adorned dresses and stunning playful hair looks that they shared on Instagram via our #TVGoesToProm hashtag. Lauren by Ralph Lauren teamed up with Teen Vogue this year to make Virtual Prom extra special, generously donating nearly two thousand dresses to a prom-focused charity that gave prom attendees the opportunity to wear the dress of their dreams. In addition to dreamy dresses—these seniors got to try bold and creative hair looks.
OGX, a presenting partner of the Teen Vogue Virtual Prom, inspired teens across the country to uncap their self-expression and creativity with the help of two OGXperts––makeup artist Kandee Johnson and hairstylist Kahh Spence––who teamed with three high school beauty talents to share styling tips and tricks. Their creative inspiration was definitely seen across the board throughout the student's makeup looks. Ulta Beauty also partnered with Teen Vogue to create a "getting ready for prom" experience on Instagram which gave attendees skincare and makeup tips for their prom night and a co-curated music playlist. A lot of the action look place on Instagram prior to prom; Epic Reads, a division of HarperCollins Children’s Books and the largest online community for Young Adult (YA) book fans, supported the Team Vogue Virtual Prom with a series of Instagram Stories. The anticipation for the big night was real.
To close out the night, Chloe & Halle performed their newest single, “Do It," followed by a Virtual Prom Afterparty with brand super-fan and digital star David Dobrik hosted by Chipotle, the official restaurant partner of the Teen Vogue Virtual Prom, on the Instagram account @ChipotleAfterParty.
Teen Vogue is so thankful for all of our sponsors who helped make this night so amazing and of course, to all of the seniors who got dressed up, tuned in, and had fun with friends. To remember these past four years even more, Shutterfly is teaming with Teen Vogue to help 2020 graduates commemorate their achievements, offering students a special discount on Shutterfly photo books. These moments are truly what you make them. Congratulations Class of 2020!