Fashion Nova & Everlane: Two Clothing Brands That Are a Hit With Millennials

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Two clothing brands that have proven success with millennials are Fashion Nova and Everlane.  They employ widely different strategies but have both garnered success within a lucrative consumer segment.  Fashion Nova is known for its Instagram prowess and focus on body positivity.  Everlane is known for transparency and social responsibility. Both companies, however, have clearly identified gaps in the market and are looking to dominate before any of their larger rivals catch up. 

Fashion Nova opened its first store in 2006 but it was the launch of its eCommerce offering (fashionnova.com) in 2013 that took the brand to a different level.  The brand offers cheap and fashionable clothing under the banner of ultra-fast fashion.  Fashion Nova is able to design and manufacture a clothing item in as little as 48 hours and more than 1,000 new styles are added on Fashion Nova’s website each week.  The frequency and volume of new product keeps customers coming back for more. It was among the most searched brands last year, ahead of Gucci and Louis Vuitton.  

With 13.8 million followers, Instagram is one of Fashion Nova’s keys to success.  Customers often model the brand’s clothes on their own Instagram accounts, tagging Fashion Nova with the hopes of having their post reposted on Fashion Nova’s account which Fashion Nova often does.  Celebrities have also boosted the popularity of the brand with the likes of Cardi B and Kylie Jenner posting pictures of themselves wearing Fashion Nova’s clothing on their own Instagram accounts.  

Fashion Nova’s clothing appeals to a broad audience with its website featuring models of all different sizes and ethnicities.  Clothing sizes can go up to 3X.   In an interview with Paper magazine, Fashion Nova CEO Richard Saghian said: “lots of fast fashion retailers offer trend pieces at low prices with quick, convenient shipping. Fewer create items that are suited to body types not seen in typical fashion campaigns.  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." Instead of offering a separate line of clothing for curvy women Fashion Nova offers many items in sizes ranging from extra small to 3X.  Fashion Nova responded to customer feedback that some of their customers wanted the exact same style that may have only come in smaller sizes but for a curvier silhouette. 

Everlane is a clothing brand that mostly sells high quality basics (cashmere sweaters, cotton t-shirts and jeans) but at lower prices than retailers such as J.Crew or Banana Republic would sell similar items.  One of Everlane’s core values is transparency.  Customers shopping on everlane.com can see how much the materials, hardware, labour, transportation and duties for each item cost.  Everlane also shows the difference in the markup for its products vs. a traditional retailer on its website.   

Continuing with this level of transparency, customers can also click to “see the factory” where an item is made.  Once redirected customers can see pictures of the factory and learn about more about it. Everlane is so committed to social responsibility that it waited until it found a factory that adhered to its sustainability standards before launching a line of jeans. Providing customers with information on and photos of the factory that was eventually chosen culminated in a record breaking waiting list for Everlane’s line of jeans.  Providing such transparency has even led Everlane to change the price of a women’s sweater after customers complained that a similar men’s sweater cost less. Another key to Everlane’s success is leveraging customer data.  It gathers data from a number of sources including “fit clinics”, return data and customer surveys.  If customers complain that a fabric is too itchy Everlane will modify the materials used.  

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Sources

https://www.businessinsider.com/gucci-vans-supreme-trendiest-brands-2018-11#fashion-nova-7

https://www.fastcompany.com/40525607/how-everlane-is-building-the-next-gen-clothing-brand

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-everlane-took-on-jcrew-2017-8#at-everlane-with-no-risk-comes-no-reward-20

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-glossier-became-so-popular-2016-5

https://digiday.com/marketing/beauty-brands-remaking-peer-peer-sales-model-digital-age/

http://www.papermag.com/fashion-nova-cardi-b-2569142133.html

Tricia McKinnon