Document transforms the slinky Instagram clubwear sensation Fashion Nova into an indie punk dream.
In the photos that accompany this story, Document translated the glorified clubwear that makes up Fashion Nova into a punk zine-inspired context, showing that is has the range to go from a mass-market brand into one that also allows for self expression.
At this moment, the hashtag #FashionNova is featured on 1,037,718 Instagram posts. To get an idea of how big that number is, its competitors’ hashtags are significantly lower; #NastyGal has 274,000 posts while #Revolve has 132,000. The posts contain all the elements of those of Instagram influencers: artful poses, selfies in mirrors, and against exotic tropical locales. The one thing that connects them all is that they’re all wearing clothes produced by the sexy, viral fashion brand made for the digital natives who like posting photos of themselves on the social media app.
“Social media, primarily Instagram, is invaluable to our brand,” wrote Fashion Nova founder and CEO Richard Saghian via email. “It’s an excellent tool to get feedback on what our customers want, like and don’t like — all in real time. We also work with some of the top social media influencers with a broad reach across many different industries and genres. It’s truly an exciting time at Fashion Nova!”
Fashion Nova may not be a household name yet, but it is well on its way, with everyone from the Kardashians to Cardi B. falling for the skin-tight, direct-to-consumer fast fashion label. Last year, Fashion Nova was the fourth most-searched fashion brand on Google alongside more established brands like Gucci, Supreme, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Saghian also stated that in 2017, the brand grew a whopping 600 percent. With 12.7 million Instagram followers, Fashion Nova has captured the Instagram generation with a savvy influencer-based marketing strategy. Over the summer alone, the brand earned profiles in leading publications that include The Business of Fashion, Refinery29, The Cut and Quartzy.
The Fashion Nova woman has a specific look — she’s usually curvy and voluptuous like its celebrity fans, who also include Chyna Black and Beyoncé. When she puts on Fashion Nova clothes, she usually exudes sexuality in its form-fitting designs, and most importantly — she loves Instagram and either has a healthy Instagram following or aspires to get one. According to Saghian, she leans towards one of two things. “Dresses and denim were the brand’s original focus, and remain the top-selling items,” he said. “Fashion Nova’s denim selections are numerous, and our design team works obsessively to ensure a perfect fit.”
Each week, Fashion Nova puts out some 600 to 900 new items on its website, ranging from basic denim and t-shirts to tight dresses and sexy cargo pants. This week, a pair of classic, high-waist black jeans that go for $34.99, an elegant minimal white halter dress called “The Royal Debut Dress” inspired by Meghan Markle’s Stella McCartney wedding reception gown for $44.99, and the short and tight olive green “Glamazon Lace-up Dress” for $44.99. But, the sheer amount of volume and low prices makes one wonder how sustainable and ethical Fashion Nova’s production practices are. Items are made from non-biodegradable materials like polyester. One report stated that it works with 1,000 manufacturers and produces 80 percent of its items in the United States.
Instagram metrics provide Fashion Nova with all the data it needs to know what customers want. A new report by InfluencerDB found that Fashion Nova was Instagram’s leading brand in earned-media value (EMV), a measure of what it would cost in traditional advertising to result in the same level of publicity, for the first half of 2018, topping competitors like H&M and Zara.
“Instagram has always been a part of our brand’s DNA, and allows us to learn what our customers want in real time and develop relationships with them,” said Saghian. “We outperform Zara and H&M because while they may be fast fashion, Fashion Nova is ultra-fast fashion.”
Next up, Fashion Nova is focusing on its Mommy & Me collection geared at 2 to 8-year-old kids as well as a beauty line. It will launch the first of four collaborations with Cardi B. this November. Right now, Fashion Nova is unstoppable. “We identify trends, redefine the styles that speak to our customers – our Fashion Nova Babes and Baes, and get them produced in under two weeks,” said Saghian. “Our customers don’t have to wait for months to see the newest looks. Everything about us is faster, from social media engagement, to our public relations team, to production.”