If you’re a millennial with an Instagram account, you’ve probably heard of or follow a number of the following fashion companies: Fashion Nova, House of CB, Pretty Little Thing, REVOLVE, Nasty Gal, Meshki, Tiger Mist, Showpo, Lucy in the Sky, SABO SKIRT by Thessy & Yiota… The list goes on and on. These brands have also helped facilitate a lifestyle movement – it makes sense: when you take tons of pictures and you post many different looks, you certainly don’t want to have repeat looks, which quite honestly, is the most rational reason for the rise of fast fashion. Some of these brands have a legitimate celebrity following. For House of CB (standing for “celeb boutique”), the London-based company has avid celebrity followers from the Kardashians to Jennifer Lopez to Gigi Hadid.
Unreasonably, however, is how they have come to be voices in the fashion industry’s notoriously stodgy way of operating in prestige – along the lines of The Devil Wears Prada, the fashion industry has always had a pecking order of how legitimate the history of fashionable garments have come to be (there really is a reason why Armani is the king of clean lines, OK!). In comes the unforseen disruption of social media and an opportunity arises: fast fashion – fashion that is produced quickly, cheaply, with a sexy look in mind; the less material the better. And it works. Fashion Nova, based out of Los Angeles, has over 530k posts with the hashtag #NovaBabe on Instagram. Users wearing their clothes can use their hashtag and promote themselves. Some women who use this hashtag can become featured on their Instagram page, which in turn, makes them become more followed through the company’s exposure, which has 13.7 million followers as I write this.
Katerina Rozmajzl, a 21 year old Sherri Hill model from Georgia has 534.3k followers as I write this (also in part to her look as a real-life Disney Princess Elsa). Her consistent use of the #NovaBabe hashtag and the company’s gracious partnership with her on social media has helped facilitate this widespread following and allowed for her to use her page as an opportunity to model new clothing. In turn, companies sending her new pieces to model, which is essentially a collaboration: she wears their clothes and gains exposure and advertises their clothes in turn – it’s the new guerrilla marketing. The influence the company has given her has helped her to launch her own cosmetics company “Katerina Cosmetics” – which is exactly modeled on “Kylie Cosmetics,” which is no coincidence – Kylie Jenner, also 21, is noted to be the most high profile wearer of Fashion Nova clothing, being a fan of their stretch jeans. Rozmajzl advertises her line of fake eyelashes and spends a lot of time on social media responding to her followers. When I asked her on Instagram which brand of bikini she wore one time, she DM’d me and told me that it was Beach Bunny Swimwear. The personal touch of social media has given power to a new arena of the fashion industry with fast fashion, and it’s not a silly part of fashion that will go away anytime soon.
Olivia Culpo, social media influencer and former Miss Universe has partnered with a number of brands including DSW – Designer Shoe Warehoues and GHD, a hair company. Most notably, however, is her partnership with REVOLVE, another fast fashion brand based out of Los Angeles. She was invited to the first ever, “REVOLVE Awards” this past week at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. This was an opportunity for the brand to highlight women who are standing out on social media, including honoring Kendall Jenner as “Icon of the Year” and model/actress Emily Ratatajowski as “Woman of the Year.” Interestingly enough, all of these women attended this awards ceremony, which means they are well aware of the opportunity that their public partnership with fast fashion brands provides – a larger platform to promote their own. Suffice it to say, fast fashion is not going anywhere, it’s only growing, and perhaps worth paying attention to some of these brands before they become one of the more powerful facets of our global culture.