When you think fashion, you probably think Dior, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana. Maybe your knowledge of fashion is whatever’s on the shelf at H&M or Forever 21. (And hey, they always have less expensive versions of the high-end brands anyway! Remember when EVERY store had the choker dresses?)
The most Googled brand this year was actually Fashion Nova! If you have an Instagram account, you may not be surprised. But why is Fashion Nova much more popular than even the biggest designers with the general market? You're about to find out!
Designer clothes are mostly sample size, which means between a size 0-4. While I’d love to start seeing more sizes on the runway (and I’m glad it’s finally happening), the cost of the material for a high-end brand is enormous. The bigger the size the designer has to make, the more expensive the dress is, and all consumers pay the same price, making it less of a profit to sell bigger sizes. Fashion Nova doesn’t use agency signed models. They use influencers and girls who have curves, like millions of other American women. If you’re curvy, you know how hard it is to find those jeans that fit your waist and hips at the same time! Rapper Cardi B (who is a huge fan of the brand) had this to say:
I could never stop wearing Fashion Nova. Ima wear it to the day I die. - Cardi B
Okay, Cardi B, cool. But there are plenty of companies that are starting to recognize that many Americans aren’t sample size and are catering to that. So why was Fashion Nova the most searched?
Social media marketing has blown up the last few years, and many companies that existed before are still trying to figure out how to hit the younger generation with something more authentic than the “bite and smile” ads of our parents. The problem is, if you’ve tried to book an influencer, you know sometimes they charge ridiculous rates that don’t have a positive ROI.
Enter Fashion Nova, a brand that was built on social media. Because the girls they book aren’t from agencies (where a big model like Taylor Hill can make thousands for her clothing brand campaigns), many of these girls will work for really low rates, like $100-$200 a day (or sometimes even for free).
That means Fashion Nova can produce a lot more content for much less money. Ryan Astamendi shoots their professional shoots often, guaranteeing a specific aesthetic. Other girls tag Fashion Nova in the hopes of getting exposure and are often shared on the page, helping both the girl and the brand with more content.
Many of us can’t spend thousands of dollars on an outfit (or even more if we’re not sample size and need it altered!), making Fashion Nova a very popular choice. Most items are priced anywhere from $19.99 to $79.99.
Fashion Nova believes the customer is the star, and they love showcasing their stars on Instagram to their 14 million+ followers. The majority of their customers are Hispanic and women of color.
As a Latina, I can personally relate to the curvy body dilemma and can see why this affordable brand is such a hit. However, I've never bought their clothes because most of the outfits look like the clothing of choice for every drunk girl at every Vegas club. It screams Kardashian, and I prefer not to be falling out of my outfits. To me, "sexy" shouldn't mean trashy or vulgar.
When it comes to giving curvy women more options, the big brands should take a page from Fashion Nova's book. Hopefully, we'll see more of it in the future.