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A co-worker asked the other day if I’ve ever bought anything from Fashion Nova and it seemed as if we were the last two people on Earth who were unfamiliar with Instagram’s favorite brand endorsed by celebs like Kylie Jenner, Cardi B and Amber Rose. PAPER reports the curvy-girl clothing label was the fourth most Googled fashion brand joining the ranks of luxury brands like Gucci and Chanel as well as urban-friendly wear like Supreme. But what is the secret formula behind the brands success? Is it because of the mega-influencers that push its products or do the clothes truly fit women’s curves like no other label can for a fraction of the price?

The brand which boasts an impressive 11.7 million Instagram followers was founded by CEO Richard Saghian, an Iranian-American who grew up in California assisting his father in the retail fashion stores he owns.  He says the reason his e-commerce brand has grown so popular without traditional pricey advertising is simply because he listens to women:

“All the knowledge I gained from having brick and mortar stores, I utilized for the website. Being able to listen firsthand to my customers gave me information of what women wanted, what was missing, and what was needed.”

“I realized early on, getting into the minds of my customers is what helped me grow.”

Saghian opened his first brick and mortar store in California’s Panorama Mall in 2006 and now there are five in the five in the Los Angeles area. But the brand was relatively unknown until social media app Instagram grew in popularity and models, customers and soon celebrities began tagging themselves with the brand’s handle. It was then Saghian learned the push from celebrities was the best way to advertise. He told The Cut that a post from Kylie Jenner alone can result in $50,000 in sales.

Saghian shares that the culture’s obsession with celebrities is his greatest asset and that it goes down in his DM’s with many of his “Nova Babes” (a term he uses for his customers) asking how they can model for the brand:

“We have probably about a thousand DMs come in a day. Most of them are Nova Babes [Saghian’s term for his customers] just saying, ‘Hey, can we work together?'”

“For models and influencers, being on our Instagram page is very powerful.”

Saghian acknowledges, “Everyone wants to feel like a celebrity,” and shares that stylish pieces that stay ahead of the trend but are affordable allow customers to shop, pose and post repeatedly to get the likes and comments they crave. Combine that obsession with fast shipping and a co-sign from a celebrity like Cardi B and you got a brand coveted by women on the regular. Saghian shares Fashion Nova’s relation with Cardi B goes way back before she was hitting up the MET Gala with Jeremy Scott and her personality is perfect match for the feel of the label:

“Before she even started her musical career, she was shopping Fashion Nova. I worked with her all the way back in 2014 or 2015. She was a personality and she had really great content on her social media. And we loved her style so we would always work with her.”

Saghian also shares that Fashion Nova’s popularity is also due to the appreciation they show for women’s curves in a world where high end fashion definitely has a favorite body type:

“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.”

As a result, Fashion Nova is taking their appreciation to a new level. The brand recently announced two new endeavors in hopes to expand their audience: Fashion Nova Curve and Fashion Nova Menswear. The menswear line will include 500 styles of luxury streetwear which Saghian hopes will appeal to women who do a little shopping for their fellas while filling up their cart. Within 24 hours of the announcement, 250,000 shoppers signed on to be notified of the first drop. In addition, The Curve Line will not include new looks to try and hide curvier bodies, but instead will focus on making the brand’s already popular looks available in bigger sizes, a direct response to customers’ requests. Saghian says Fashion Nova dares to do what other companies won’t, making affordably and popular fashion available to ALL people:

“No plus size company would ever create something like this for their brands. Yet we were bold enough to create it because we listened to our customer. They said, we want the same thing that you sell in XS, we just want it in 3X. And if you go to our Curve page you can see that’s what we did.”

“We democratize the fashion that we bring.”

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