How Richard Saghian Made Fashion Nova Outrank Other Fast Fashion Brands
Over the years, fashion has moved from a point where the average person could not get haute couture to the point where brands have been able to reproduce them so that everyone can afford them. This retail trend of converting runway looks by top brands into similar designs that are now mass-produced for the general public is known as fast fashion. Brands like H&M and Zara hopped on the fast fashion trend and started making profits from it.
As more designs were captured on the runway, more fast fashion brands were being established. Brands like Missguided and Forever 21 joined the fast fashion league and even started producing new clothes even faster than their predecessors.
Fashion Nova emerged after these brands and came up with even bigger ambition and better strategies to outrank the existing brands. Within a very short time and without using search engine optimization, Fashion Nova became one of the top five fashion brands in 2017 (less than 5 years after moving online), and the most searched fashion brand on Google in 2018.
How was Fashion Nova CEO, Richard Saghian able to push the company way above other fashion brands in just a few years? Let’s take a look.
Staying Ahead of The Fast Fashion Trend
In the 1970s and 1980s, fast fashion companies like Zara, Topshop, and H&M stayed on top of the trends at that time by transforming editorial designs and runway pieces into more affordable versions that the general public could wear.
However, they couldn’t get it all. Some trends were left unattended to. So, new brands like Forever 21 emerged and took these slots. Forever 21 flipped South Korean designs for the Korean-American community in Los Angeles when they were first established in 1984.
One reason why Fashion Nova became successful is that they started creating clothes that were once used only for niche audiences. Fast fashion designs are usually gotten from the runway and editorial designs. So, the pieces are usually sewn only for slim figures. There was nothing for curvy bodies and plus-sized ladies. Even those who made clothes for plus-sized ladies only adapted the fashion model designs into larger sizes. They did nothing to celebrate the curvy bodies of these women.
In an interview with Paper, Richard Saghian said, “All our other competitors were always using the same models over and over. We thought we could be a little different by celebrating body positivity and using curvier girls and the customers liked it.”
Before Fashion Nova went online in 2013, it was selling affordable clubwear in Los Angeles-area mall. Many young ladies patronized the brand because it was not only affordable but also sold stylish, body-hugging dresses that many people had not seen before. As years passed, Fashion Nova continued selling affordable clothes; the company included some expensive designs, but most of their designs are less than $50.
By supporting body positivity, Fashion Nova was able to get popular curvy celebs to rock the pieces, and the customer base grew.
Strategic Instagram Marketing
Fashion Nova did something different from what other fashion brands do with their Instagram pages. The brand started well on Instagram from the launch day. In an interview with WWD, Saghian said he didn’t think Fashion Nova was going to do well. That’s why he waited to have 60,000 followers before launching.
But, the first weekend after launching on Instagram, the inventory was completely sold out.
How did this happen?
Fashion Nova CEO, Richard Saghian built a good relationship with his customers while he still worked at the mall in LA. So, they were eager to get the next things he had to offer.
Saghian followed this same strategy when managing the Instagram page, and this made Fashion Nova outrank other fast fashion brands.
From the first day, the brand started posting their clothes frequently. Since they release over 600 items weekly, there’s a lot of content to upload. Other brands will upload two posts a day and stop there, but that’s not what Fashion Nova did.
In the WWD interview, Saghian said, “It is important to have a lot of styles because our customers post so many things online. We don’t want girls showing up to the club in the same outfit. We need 50 different denim jackets. Not just one.”
Many brands follow the same rules for individuals (posting too often will result in many people unfollowing the account). But Fashion Nova has shown us that multiple posts in a day do not negatively affect the account. Although individual post engagement might reduce, general daily post engagement is still massive.
So, the more they uploaded new designs, the more people went to purchase from their site. Moreover, people tag their loved ones on designs they think they will love, thereby boosting sales.
Influencer marketing is part of Richard Saghian’s Instagram marketing strategies. As the brand grew and more people started wearing Fashion Nova, Saghian was able to pay celebrities like Blac Chyna, Christina Milian, and the Kylie Jenner to wear Fashion Nova pieces and post the pictures on Instagram. According to Saghian in an interview with The Cut, one post from Kylie could bring in about $50,000 in sales.
Fashion Nova has a huge network of influencers (both macro and micro) who refer to themselves as brand ambassadors. For instance, Fashion Nova started working with Cardi B when she was still a micro-influencer. This partnership continued as she became a popular artist and gained millions of followers.
Now, they have created two collections together, and she has made millions of dollars for the brand.
Ladies who buy Fashion Nova clothes also post themselves rocking the pieces on Instagram, with the hashtag #NovaBabes. Fashion Nova interacts with NovaBabes on Instagram and uploads some of their pictures on the main brand page. This even prompts more people to purchase their clothes.
From selling what people want to utilizing Instagram properly and having thousands of influencers, Fashion Nova has become an influence itself. This influence has appealed to Gen Z shoppers and many more people are willing to purchase from them instead of other fast fashion companies.