Online clothing giant Fashion Nova absolutely thrives on the fast paced shifts in trends on social media. The clothing retailer has mastered the concept of social media marketing, as their team of over 3000 influencers and 15 million Instagram followers has brought them a tremendous amount of success and a loyal brand following. The company produces affordable pieces that are modeled after high fashion celebrity looks – ones that are often out of budget for the everyday customer. They aim to help their customers stay on top of quickly changing trends, and their production strategy has mastered the idea of quick turnaround. An essential part of their strategy is their ability to take concept to product to launch within just 48 hours. Because their clothes are so on trend, it is important that the customer is able to purchase it as quickly as possible after seeing it start to become popular on social media. A quick production strategy is also important as trends can change at a minute’s notice, as can consumer preferences.
The company is able to turn out nearly 600 pieces a week through their 1000 manufacturers. 80% of their clothes are produced right in LA, which means that they are able to turn pieces from concept into product much more quickly than their competitors who produce overseas. Samples can be made within 24 hours and items are often photographed on the models and posted to the site within 48 hours. They post the pieces on their website with catchy names rather than numbers to increase ease of search, and boom. Many pieces sell out in a few days, and then production ramps up again.
Maintaining the majority of their production in LA also has positive implications for local customers, as customers who order before 1pm and live within a 40 mile radius of the manufacturing site can receive their order through Postmates that very same day. They have also been able to maintain their profits and low prices through by not partnering with Amazon. Richard Saghian says, “We don’t need to work with Amazon. Our customer comes to our site. And most girls don’t want to tell their friends they bought a dress from Amazon.”
Their manufacturing strategy not only ensures that products can be turned out very quickly, but also ensures that they can make many variations of the same pieces. Founder Richard Saghian says, “It’s important to have a lot of styles because our customers post so much online and need new clothes. We don’t want girls showing up to the club in the same outfit. We need 50 different denim jackets. Not just one.” This is to make sure that every item can be styled many ways across influencers with different followings, and so customers are not likely to see the same outfit advertised to them on their feed many different times. The clothes are designed to hit a customer’s Instagram feed just days after they’ve seen it on a popular celebrity’s page. Because the pieces are so affordable and with most under $50, customers purchase quickly even though they know the trends can change. This quick turnout of products actually incentivizes customers to keep purchasing more and to keep refreshing the feed for new outfit ideas.
Fashion Nova’s production strategy directly aligns with their mission to turn out the trendiest clothes at the most affordable prices. Since so much of their strategy relies on influencers and customers posting pictures online, it’s essential that pieces become readily available at the notice of a new trend, and that the brand is easily able to adapt. They have been able to do something remarkable, as Kylie Jenner can be seen wearing a dress on Saturday and a similar piece can be made available to the Fashion Nova customer by Monday. Turning out 600 pieces a week is certainly no easy feat. However, it does ensure that the customer will absolutely never run out of options. It also ensures that every influencer that they partner with will be able to find something suited to their personal style, since they offer a wide range of styles ranging from modest to bold. Local production has been an essential strategy, as has the brand’s overall commitment to their customers in the LA area.
Fashion Nova is a clear fast fashion leader. They have been able to remain ahead of their competitors even in a market where everyone is fighting to win over the same influencers and customers. Their LA-based quick turnaround strategy has brought them enormous success thus far, and is expected to do so for years to come.