The rise of the Kardashian family as American business moguls is one of the defining stories of the last 20 years. Since the launch of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2007, the family has become a force of nature in American media, business, and even criminal justice reform.
With over 500 million followers and a combined net worth in the billions, the Kardashians are known for engaging with admirers on Instagram, social media posts that have “broken the internet,” and presenting an image of working tirelessly to embody the American dream. In short, many Americans – and young girls in particular – aspire to be just like them: beautiful, powerful, and thriving in a world where things will never be that easy.
Fashion Nova, a fashion retailer founded in 2006, understands these facts more deeply than just about anyone else on earth. Though they initially only had a retail presence in Southern California, they built an extremely loyal following for their highly affordable clothes for women whose bodies simply didn’t align with how mainstream European fashion models looked. If the majority of designer clothing was made for tall bodies that could slip into a size 0 – and cost as much as a typical working woman’s entire paycheck – Fashion Nova discovered the power of embracing curves and selling the majority of their products at a highly affordable ($20-30) price point.
By the time Fashion Nova launched their first Instagram marketing efforts, Kim, Kylie, Kendall, and the others had become undeniable titans on the platform – and a partnership was all but made in heaven. The Kardashian body was now a goal for millions of women all over the world – and the clothes that made it look good weren’t always within reach. Shortly after Fashion Nova launched their Instagram account, they sold out the first collection it featured, and a powerful, efficient selling machine was born.
Customers browsing the Kardashians’ accounts couldn’t own all of the clothes that Kim and her siblings casually don for a single photoshoot, but they could find affordable alternatives, and they wanted them fast. Thus, Fashion Nova began producing as many as 600-900 new items each week, helping buyers shop with confidence knowing that the clothes they spend their hard-earned money on won’t leave them stuck at the club with the exact same look that someone else bought.
However, they hadn’t yet taken the relationship to the next level. Kylie and Kris partnered with Fashion Nova for sponsored content that generated as much as $50,000 in sales from a single post. Sisters Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney serve as organic influencers for the brand as well, leading to increased sales, new followers, and a boost in momentum as Fashion Nova’s influence grew. They were one of the most searched fashion brands of 2017 and the most searched fashion brand of 2018, cementing their rise alongside women like Kylie, who became the world’s youngest billionaire right around the same time (and who repeatedly generated headlines by simply wearing the brand out in public).
In fact, in 2019, everything Kylie Jenner wore from Fashion Nova was collected in a single, special section on the brand’s website, collecting a series of looks for anyone who wants to easily get an approved style from the fashion influencer, taking even more of the challenge out of finding it clothes in a size and style (and at a price point) that suits you. As predicted, many of the pieces sell out regularly, requiring frequent restocks to satisfy customer demand.
But what Fashion Nova does best doesn’t just involve partnering with people like the Kardashians to raise brand awareness. They allow fans of the brand who live the Fashion Nova lifestyle to share photos of themselves using the hashtag #NovaBabes, connect directly with the company, get shared across its social channels, and even become future brand ambassadors, micro-influencers, and perhaps even macro-influencers themselves as time goes on.
Perhaps the biggest example of this in the history of the brand is Cardi B. When she was a Vine star, before her first appearances on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop: New York, and well before she released her first single, “Bodak Yellow,” and became a bonafide superstar, Cardi was a regular Fashion Nova shopper who caught the brand’s eye with her excellent fashion sense and the many videos she had released.
In the years that followed as Cardi became a household name, she kept up her relationship with Fashion Nova, and the brand benefited greatly. She even mentioned them by name on “She Bad,” where the lyric “I could buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit” put the company in the ears of millions of potential customers, many of whom soon found themselves purchasing items from the brand.
Furthermore, Cardi went on to launch two collections for the brand to extraordinary success: the first sold out of 82 pieces in a matter of minutes, and was celebrated with a party that brought out Khloe Kardashian and a number of other A-listers. Her second collection did even better, hitting $1 million in sales in the first 24 hours it was on sale, with many pieces selling out or running low on stock, despite the fact that the brand produced over five times as many items in anticipation of high demand.
As they continue to expand into plus sizes, menswear, and more, the brand is positioned to achieve even greater success – and continue to build relationships with the ambassadors of the future. They’re always on the lookout for the next Cardi or Kylie, and will be ready to give them a platform (and benefit from theirs) as they grow together.
However, at the heart of all of it is the power of Fashion Nova’s unconventional business strategy: making customers, rather than clothes, the star of the story. Whether you’re Kim Kardashian, or someone just looking to feel good at home, or on your night out after a tough day at the office, Fashion Nova is there for you.