Fashion Nova, a Dishonest Fashion Brand?

Fashion Nova, you’ve heard it, an online fashion empire that boasts over 12.5 million followers on Instagram. With celebrity endorsements such as Kourtney Kardashian, Cardi B, and Amber Rose, Fashion Nova makes it’s targeted audience pretty clear. Rolling out newer categories such as Fashion Nova Men, Curve and their newest Mommy and Me collection, the fashion company shows no signs of slowing down. But what is this hype all about? Join me as I take an in depth analysis of Fashion Nova as a brand and what makes them so unique.

For quick note, Fashion Nova is a trendy boutique that’s affordable I’d say. Think Forever 21, Q, etc. but very distinct. Second, this is from my personal perspective and only commenting from what I’ve researched and have found out about this company.

I remember, the early 2010’s I was probably about 16 when my parents gave me a gift card to a Fashion Nova store and I was ecstatic to go shopping. Now the fashion company has shifted it’s focus to their online store which I’d imagine, obviously generates a huge majority of their sales.

Founder, owner and CEO Richard Saghian of Fashion Nova (FN for short) launched his online store for the first time in 2013 after gaining a huge Instagram following, and surprise, everything sold out. (Note: he already had stores in malls before launching his online store.) That is when Saghian realized the potential of e-commerce. Saghian grew up working in retail and watched his father run a women’s apparel store and knew he wanted to do that but he had his own vision and the rest is history. He still however, privately owns FN and believes in customer satisfaction stating that “as long as we focus on giving the best product at the best price and getting it to our customers fast, we will continue to grow.”  And frankly, FN has exploded and is still growing. Recently, FN has been named the fastest growing online apparel store for women. Also, named the most searched fashion brand right next to big names in high fashion such as Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. This tells us something, although Fashion Nova isn’t necessairly a high fashion brand it is marketed as one, in a way. Their clothes are seen on A-list celebs and high profile Instagram influencers giving their brand that desirable and luxurious edge. If you follow their Instagram page and see photos of their #NovaBabes and celebs wearing their clothing you’ll see the picture perfect photos selling whatever style they have going on. FN wants their customers and audience to think, ‘If they’re wearing it, I want to wear it too’ and this is a direct case of cause and effect, a marketing approach I’d say. With their affordable prices, trendy styles and fast 3-day shipping its no wonder women are hooked on this online store. Fashion Nova is creating space for a luxurious yet affordable trendy fashion brand with partial thanks to their celeb endorsements causing a conversation within the fashion e-commence industry and in popular culture.

But who are their targeted consumers and audience? I’ve heard several women say things along the lines of “I don’t have the curvy shape their models do so I don’t think Fashion Nova is for me.” This made me think for a bit, their Instagram models and models on their online store have perfect hourglass bodies. Fashion Nova isn’t selling just clothing, they’re selling you an image. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this, remember that online store Hot Miami Styles?  In the fashion industry there’s a saying “sex sells,” think Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, and Versace campaigns(ads). What came to mind? Maybe photos, billboard ads and glossy images on magazines that picture men and women in minimal clothing with the brand logo embalmed on that ad. They’re selling their audience a lifestyle and an image with their brand name written all over it. That’s what makes their brand. These women are beautiful no doubt, but is this a fair and accurate representation of women? FN has been scolded for showing models online where you can clearly see a corset being worn under the model’s clothes probably to present a more hourglass shape. How honest is this marketing strategy? What message is this sending to women? Is this a fair and accurate representation of women? This question can be posed for any fashion brand really, but we’re focusing on FN. And honestly, we should start having this conversation more and really question how women are being portrayed in fashion and what types of women are being included or excluded. More women need to start actively drawing the line on what’s acceptable. I’ve seen memes where women poke fun by saying, “when you order the dress but the body isn’t included.” It’s funny but this points to FN’s marketing strategy. It looks great on the model and that’s how it’ll look like on me. Which brings me to my final point.

We’ve covered their brand and marketing strategy now let me pose another question, how honest and transparent are they with their customers? Let’s take a look at their online store. Look at any clothing item, now look at their reviews and ratings. You’re not going to find any rating below 3 stars, maybe a few but not really. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself. I dare you.

Here’s an example, this is the Anna dress:

Now let’s look at the reviews and ratings:

Nothing below 4 stars. My point exactly.

Now think for a minute, you’re shopping online and you love a dress but you have your doubts about it whether it be sizing, material, etc. So maybe you look to see what customers are saying about this dress in the reviews section to have a sense of what you’re setting yourself up for by purchasing this item. And see nothing but 4+ stars and marvelous reviews so you think to yourself, wow this dress rocks I think I’ll take it. But what you don’t see are all of the reviews. And I can assure you that there are more reviews by customers that they are not posting. I know this because I’ve given some of their clothing items reviews below 3 stars and to this day I have not seen my ratings posted. This to me and by definition is dishonest, misleading and unfair to the consumer. And what sucks about making returns with clothing bought online is that you don’t get your money back, you get store credit and in some cases that merchandise credit is valid only in stores. (On a side note, I HATE going to their physical stores because they blast music way to loud I leave that store nearly deaf.) Regardless, every fashion brand has its ups, downs and things they’re known and disliked for.

This is first from a new series called “Brand Analysis” where I dive into fashion brands to understand their brand, marketing approaches and what makes them so unique, coming your way in the near future.

What are your thoughts and experiences with the store? If you’re a FN shopper, could you relate to anything said? Liked my article? Make sure to star it below please. Thanks for reading dolls.

Something macro is coming your way next week! Stay tuned! See you next week!

XOXO C.C © ♥


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