Pickleball to Eras Tour prep: How Taylor Swift’s skorts helped Popflex go viral

Talk about a Swift sellout.

Following last Friday’s release of her new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” Taylor Swift took to YouTube Shorts to share some rare behind-the-scenes footage from her personal life, including a several-second snippet of herself playing pickleball in a tutu-style lavender skirt.

Despite the clip’s brevity, it took mere moments for Taylor Swift Style blogger Sarah Chapelle to ID the singer’s activewear as the Popflex Pirouette Skort ($60) — and just 15 minutes for the style to sell out completely in Swift’s lilac shade. Before long, it was wiped out of stock in all 11 colors.

“I was in shock. Pure shock,” the activewear brand’s founder, Cassey Ho, tells Page Six Style. At the time Swift posted the video, Ho was at the hair salon with her phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode, so she missed the first handful of calls from her husband as he tried to alert her of the major moment.

“It finally went through because when you do that on iPhone, it counts as an emergency,” she says, quipping, “This was an emergency.”

In an effort to meet the overwhelming demand, Ho enabled preorders for the lavender skort on her Shopify site — “we never do this,” she says — and has since sold “about 7,000” of the Swift-approved style. Since they’ll all be made from scratch, the skorts will ship in August.

“I don’t want to rush through anything; I want to make sure everyone who’s ordering the skort gets the same quality that Taylor got,” she notes.


But this was no flash-in-the-pan stroke of fortune for Ho and her brand — Swift returned to YouTube Thursday to share a compilation of clips from her recent Eras Tour rehearsals, which happened to be peppered with Popflex pieces.

In one scene, she pairs her Pirouette Skort with the brand’s Corset Bra ($44); in another, she takes the streamlined Twirl Skort ($54) for a spin, while a third shows her striking a confident pose in the Crisscross Hourglass Booty Short ($45).

Popflex Corset Bra

Popflex Twirl Skort

Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Booty Short

Ho confirms none of the merchandise was gifted to the superstar.

“I think she placed an order — I don’t know when,” she tells us. “And it seems like she must have bought a lot of things!”

The fitness entrepreneur and influencer, who’s also the founder of the popular YouTube channel Blogilates, describes her designs as “romantic, feminine, but also always solving a problem,” pointing to Popflex’s inclusive size range (XXS to 3X) and multiple available legging lengths as examples of the latter.

“We all know that Taylor loves princesses and castles and love stories. And so I think because of that, she’s really drawn to the femininity and the romantic-ness of it all.”

Taylor Swift rehearsing
Swift wore Popflex’s Crisscross Hourglass Booty Short while rehearsing for her tour. Taylor Swift/YouTube

Cassey Ho Popflex campaign
Ho, who’s also the founder of the popular YouTube channel Blogilates, has been a Swiftie since 2006. blogilates/Instagram

Scoring the Grammy winner’s stamp of approval is especially meaningful for Ho, who’s been a Swiftie since 2006.

In 2014, after posting a YouTube video spotlighting her favorite songs from Swift’s emotional “Red” album — “I was going through a lot at the time,” she says — the vlogger even scored an invite to one of her idol’s “secret sessions,” and was one of the first people to hear Swift’s then-unreleased “1989” record in the musician’s own LA home.

The Taylor Swift walks out with her red lips and her cropped hair and her crop top, and I’m physically shaking, and she walks over and says, ‘Cassey, I love your videos,’” Ho recalls. “I’m like, ‘What do you mean?!’

Cassey Ho and Taylor Swift posing for a Polaroid
Ho scored an invite to Swift’s top-secret LA “secret sessions” ahead of the release of “1989” in 2014. blogilates/Instagram

Cassey Ho at the Eras Tour
She attended the Eras Tour last August. blogilates/Instagram

Years later, the pair’s lives have paralleled in other ways; while Swift was fighting for ownership of her master recordings, Ho was battling larger companies selling bootleg versions of her creations.

“When I designed the Pirouette Skort a few years ago, I remember telling my husband, ‘This is the one that’s going to be stolen by Shein.’ I just knew, because it’s so different,” she says.

Since then, Ho tells me she’s dealt with two separate instances of the fast-fashion giant knocking off her signature design and selling it for cheap; she recently applied for a design patent to protect her work.

“It took a whole year for me to get the patent, but it was weirdly awarded on my birthday,” she says, adding that she announced the milestone with a TikTok set to — what else? — Swift’s tune “Karma.”

Unfortunately, the patent hasn’t put the kibosh on all the copycats.

“Amazon and TikTok Shop make it really easy,” the designer says, telling us she’s flagged “a ton” of listings for lookalike skorts that include customer reviews and photos taken from her own website — including snaps of Ho herself.

“Every day is like Whac-A-Mole; we take one [listing] down, they start a new account and put it up again,” she adds. “Dupe culture — counterfeit culture — has gotten out of control.”

But considering most Swifties now swear to only listen to the musician’s rerecorded versions of her earlier albums, Ho is confident that those in search of Swift’s skort will add “Cassey’s Version” to their carts.

“Swifties want the real thing. They want the thing that Taylor’s wearing,” she says. “And I just hope that the skort makes everyone who gets it really happy.”

Shop more of our favorite Popflex styles below:

Popflex Corset Pirouette Dress

Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Twirl Skort

Popflex That's A Wrap Skort

Popflex Zip Cloud Hoodie

Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Flared Leggings With Pockets