As someone who frequents Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange, I've never turned my nose up at fast fashion. Price point may matter to some, but at the end of the day, if it's cute and actually fits, I'll buy it.
And that also rings true for the millions of women who have filled their closets with Fashion Nova. I first became acquainted with the social media phenomenon when my 16 year old niece told me most of her denim collection came from the website.
Initially, I refused to believe her because experience convinced me that there's no such thing as a perfect pair of jeans; blame my curves and short legs. But her fevered testimonial (and very cute outfit) made the Fashion Nova hype real.
Unless you live under a rock, you've seen everyone from Cardi B. to Lala Anthony rocking the Instagram famous threads and urging followers to do the same. Sure, some of their photos and videos feel like commercials, but I refuse to believe that such well-connected women would continue to promote an "everyday girl" brand if they didn't find the clothes to be wearable. The Obama sisters and Gabourey Sidibe are just a few famous ladies on their spokeswomen wishlist.
In terms of popularity, the brand easily rivals its more luxe counterparts. Maybe it's the accessibility. Perhaps it's the trend-specific pieces or the celebrities wearing them. It could be a combination of all these things, but if its stronghold on curvy fashion is any indication, Fashion Nova shows no signs of slowing down.
Richard Saghian, founder and CEO of Fashion Nova, tells ESSENCE that "overpriced fashion is dead and fast fashion is the new trend."
"The Fashion Nova woman is a confident, beautiful, and stylish presence," he continues. "She is proud of her body and loves to let her personality shine." Before the onslaught of celebrity co-signs, many assumed the brand was exclusively for curvy women of color, but the addition of spokeswomen like Kylie Jenner and real women "Nova Stars" on the brand's social feed reflect its wide customer range.
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"Another misconception is that consumers don't believe that our low prices match our high quality products," said Saghian, who also prolaims that Fashion Nova could survive without social media, thanks to a high return rate. "Virtually all of our customers come back for more."
So what items are making these women repeat shoppers? Their denim range continues to be a top-seller, in addition to the dresses section and plus size/curvy category. "Fashion should never be limited to size, We saw a market that was being neglected and we decided to act on it," says Saghian.
With insta-famous faces making up just a small percentage of its customer base, most of us forget that the brand makes more than skin tight matching sets and curve-hugging body suits. A quick run of Fashion Nova's website reveals a never-ending parade of the essentials we spend an embarassing amount of time looking for; slouchy sweaters, basic heels and even makeup.
Saghian also tells ESSENCE that the company churns out 500 new styles weekly without sacrificing quality and with its popularity, demand only continues to grow.
"As of now, we are working on strengthening both our straight and curvy line," concludes Saghian. "However, we are definitely looking to add menswear and kidswear to our growing fashion empire."
There's no telling where Fashion Nova will be in five years, but their legacy is definitely solidified.