How Influencers Turned Fashion Nova into a Massive Online Brand

Although it was only founded in 2006, Fashion Nova has taken the fashion world by storm and overthrown classics such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton as the go-to fashion brands. Yet despite their massive status, Fashion Nova still only has five brick-and-mortar stores in total, and all of them are in Southern California.

How did this small start-up manage to disrupt the fashion industry? By harnessing the power of influencers to target their customers.

Fashion Nova’s brilliant marketing strategy has made them the ultimate fashion brand. The accessories, apparel, and beauty brand currently boasts over 17 million followers on Instagram, and continue to grow in leaps and bounds.

Here is what you need to know about Fashion Nova, how they became the most prominent disruptors the fashion world has seen, and what that means for the future of marketing.

Using Influencers to Grow Online

Richard Saghian opened the first Fashion Nova store in 2006 at the Panorama Mall in Panorama City, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. While the store did well, Saghian noticed something interesting: his online sales were beginning to exceed his in-store purchases. He considered opening an online store but was not sure what was the best marketing method to attract customers. He decided to use Instagram and posted pictures of his best-selling items.

He soon stumbled upon the best way to reach customers: influencers. When women saw his clothes on their favorite Instagram-celebrities, they immediately had to have them. Sales spiked each time someone took pictures in Fashion Nova.

Saghian decided to capitalize on this trend. He began to curate a list of influencers and used their Instagram followings to advertise. Many of his customers were already tagging themselves in Fashion Nova clothes, so the prospect of working with the brand for free product was ideal. 

Some describe Fashion Nova as an “Instagram brand,” but Sanghian refers to it as a “viral brand.”  When he finally opened his e-commerce store in 2013, everything sold out within a weekend. As the brand began to grow, Fashion Nova could afford to take their Instagram marketing to the next level.

Growing Fashion Nova through Celebrities

While influencers wield incredible sway over their followers, their reach is often limited. With the increase in sales, Fashion Nova was able to engage the significant influencers who boasted millions of followers. As they increased their budget, they increased their reach.

Fashion Nova’s target customers are not the same as high-end fashion brands. Rather than seeking willowy fashion models, the brand targets their clothing for the curvy physique: narrow waist with voluptuous curves. As a result, they found influencers that embodied this new trend.

Cardi B, Blac Chyna, and Kylie Jenner became reps for the brand. Their reach provided incredible sales for the brand. Sanghian stated that a single post from Jenner typically translates into about $50,000 in sales for the brand. According to Sanghian, in the same article, he states that “a post from Kylie’s page is better than any Super Bowl ad.” Cardi B stated that Fashion Nova pays her about $20,000 a month to wear the clothes and post photos.

However, Fashion Nova did not abandon the original influencers that put them on the map. Instead, they continued to amass a large number of influencers. Today, it is estimated that they have a network of close to 5,000 influencers. With such a large number of influencers regularly posting their photos, Fashion Nova can keep a steady stream of marketing on Instagram. In fact, they update their feed every 30 minutes with a new post. 

The pervasiveness of Fashion Nova paid off. The company grew by an astonishing 600 percent in 2017. In addition, Google released the top trending searches for fashion brands in 2018. Fashion Nova was number one, beating out the likes of Louis Vuitton and Versace as the brand users wanted to find.

By getting ahead of the influencer trends and utilizing it to its full potential, Fashion Nova has been able to dominate the eCommerce fashion market.

Beyond Influencers: How Fashion Nova Continues to Grow

While influencers have provided Fashion Nova with an incredible platform and the ability to reach millions of potential customers in a single post, their business strategies have enabled them to make full use of the spotlight.

To begin with, Fashion Nova appeals to a target customer that is often forgotten by the fashion industry as a whole. They seek to fit customers that don’t conform to the traditional fashion sizes. For decades, high-end fashion labels have eschewed curvy figures and marketed mostly to slim body types. Fashion Nova provides a trendy and fitted style that is mostly lacking in big-sized fashion.

With the average jean running about $35, Fashion Nova also has the right price point for many young, fashion-forward women. Not only do they provide a reasonable price for the average customer, but they also take fast fashion to a new level. The shipping is fast, and Fashion Nova can even have a Postmate deliver an online order that same day for customers within 40 miles of their warehouse in LA. For all other domestic orders, they have two-day shipping. In the age of Amazon, where businesses struggle to compete on shipping, Fashion Nova manages to keep up and get their clothes to their customers fast.

Fashion Nova does not take their use of Instagram for granted. They make clothes at a better price and utilize faster delivery to keep their customers coming back.

The Brand that Instagram Built

Fashion Nova still has its stores in LA, but they are now more like tourist stops than the foundation of its business. Most of the brand’s sales are conducted online, and Saghian has stated that he has no desire to open a sizeable flag-ship store. 

Fashion Nova capitalized on a growing shift in marketing. They appeal to the changing needs of Millennials and Gen Z: their less expensive clothes work well for generations that prioritize experiences over material goods. The brand also reaches its target customers through the use of influencers, causing it to achieve an impressive status.

The brand marks a new era for eCommerce and fashion, paving the way for other brands like it.