How Body Positivity Helped Fashion Nova Defy Expectations and Achieve Massive Growth

Body positivity, especially in the age of social media, is a relevant topic for teenagers and young adults alike. Body image, defined as how you think and feel about your body, is an important component of self esteem, which impacts the development as an individual. The statistics of body image and self esteem are astounding; 53% of teenage girls in the United States are unhappy with their bodies, and this number increases to 78% by the time they reach the age of 17. 

One of the most important factors impacting body image and self esteem is how appearance focused their peers are. With the correlation of social media and body image concerns, it is more important than ever to be aware of not only who young adults are following on social media, but also which brands they are paying attention to.

When it comes to brands in the marketplace who preach body positivity – and practice what they preach – there are a select few that can be aspired to. Our primary focus is on Fashion Nova. 

The early beginnings of Fashion Nova

In a relative sense, Fashion Nova is a young company – though one that has achieved massive growth in a short timeframe. Founded in 2006 by Richard Saghian, who gained his start in the retail industry by working at his father’s boutique in the Los Angeles area, Richard opened its first location in Panorama City, Los Angeles, with the intention of having a chain of stores that offer affordably priced “clubwear” and apparel within malls. Over the next few years, while social media became a core area of focus for brands and consumers alike, Richard decided to launch a parallel e-commerce store that relied heavily on Instagram from a promotional perspective. With a budding follower account of his own, Richard intelligently weaved the online success with the offline vision. He was, and is, a true pioneer in the social strategy and e-commerce space. 

Fashion Nova is en route for massive growth 

Following the launch of a successful e-commerce store, Fashion Nova became an overnight hit, so to speak. 

The company not only understood their target customer, they understood the aforementioned self esteem and body image challenge that is faced by young adults and adults alike. Fashion Nova initially launched as a business by highlighting all body types, ethnicities, and individuals who are often ignored by “big box” brands and retailers. Immediately consumers could relate to the brand, not only from a fashion and affordability perspective, but also from a marketing and brand awareness perspective. Images on social media featuring a multitude of ethnicities and sizes, to clothing available on e-commerce in sizes like 3X, the key to rapid consumer growth has been the adaptability and awareness of body positivity, self awareness and, most importantly, real humans profiled online.

A company that has tapped into the power of influencers 

In the age of business to consumer social media strategy, Fashion Nova has achieved tremendous growth through the power and ability to tap into influencers. 

From Cardi B to Khloe Kardashian, and Nicki Minaj in between, Fashion Nova’s influencers create thousands of pieces of content per month that undoubtedly results in explosive growth. In fact, according to WWD, one post from Kylie Jenner, another Fashion Nova influencer, results in millions of dollars for the business. 

Ready to scale – and continue the projection of growth

Like any company with rapid growth, CEO Richard Saghian is showing no signs of slowing down. 

Fashion Nova works with over 1,000 manufacturers to release hundreds upon hundreds of new styles each and every week. With many designs being made in Los Angeles, the business also taps into the global design influence and market through China to scale the growing consumer need. 

Body positivity means showing all bodies – including size and ethnicity

In 2016, Fashion Nova addressed body image, self esteem and positivity amongst young adults and adults alike by creating the Fashion Nova Curve line. This line, encompassing similar styles and the same fashion-forward approach as the primary Fashion Nova line, includes 1X-3X sizing. 

The proof of this decision, and decisions made by businesses in the fashion industry, are proven to have an astoundingly positive impact on body image and self esteem. In a study by NCA, it was found that exposure to images of one’s “ideal” body, referred to as thin or slim models, leads to a high amount of dejection emotions and the least amount of body satisfaction. Conversely, when seeing images of models that are similar to the average body will result in higher satisfaction and less social comparisons. 

Portraying average and plus-size models, therefore, will have a positive impact on memory and media correlation. Undoubtedly, this sense of feeling also has a positive impact on consumers and purchasing behaviours. When consumers are happy, they are more likely to share content (including links), which leads to purchasing behavior and habits. 

Fashion Nova has not only identified the need to speak to consumers about body positivity and self esteem, the business has experienced massive growth thanks, in large part, to their understanding of the average consumer. 

With the increase of women who are unhappy about their bodies, which can result in dieting to achieve their average body shape, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type that is portrayed in the media. Fashion Nova’s remarkable success has been built by consumers identifying with the body types that are shared and clothing sizes that are available. In this current climate of social media, where consumers are demanding change and adaptation of depicting the “true” female body, Fashion Nova is expected to continue growing and scaling this business, not only in Los Angeles – where CEO Richard Saghian opened the very first store back in 2006 – but on a global scale, with the success experienced in other countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. 

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