20 Quick Uplifting Things About How Richard Saghian Founded Fashion Nova

Fashion Nova is a popular brand based in Los Angeles, California that was founded by Richard Saghian, who started the company with a small store in Panorama City, California in 2006. The company initially started as a local store that sold affordable clothes and accessories for women, but it later expanded its reach by launching its website in 2013.

While the fashion industry is trying to shift to a slower business model, Fashion Nova makes tremendous strides in the opposite direction. Its affordable and accelerated business model keeps its customers on their toes.

In a world dominated by trends, Fashion Nova’s strategy fits in just fine. If you love the dress your favorite artist is wearing you can have it in a matter of hours – and for an affordable price. And with ever-changing fashion trends, their following keeps growing.

Fashion Nova is known for its fast-fashion business model, which allows the company to quickly produce and sell trendy clothing at affordable prices. The brand has a massive following on social media, with over 20 million Instagram followers.

Fashion Nova has experienced incredible growth over the years. Fashion Nova was the most Googled fashion brand in the year 2018 and 2020, and why it has over 21.4 million followers on Instagram.

A lot of people are curious on knowing how Richard Saghian founded the clothing brand and made it everyone’s favorite. Here are 20 quick things we know about Fashion Nova.

1. Richard Saghian was born in 1982. His family was a minority group of Jewish Iranians who fled during the revolution. After moving to America, they got into women’s fashion retail. In 2006, Richard followed in their footsteps.

2. He started his own store. His idea was simple: affordable, unique clothes to wear to the club. His goal was to open 100, but he stopped at 5. Early on, he had the idea of opening up an internet store.

Fashion Nova

3. The web developer he hired quickly talked him out of it, “where will you get traffic?” was a question Richard couldn’t answer. After a few years, the retail stores were going nowhere.

4. In 2013, Richard noticed several stores online selling the same clothes for over twice what he charged. He created an Instagram account, took some of his best-selling styles, and started posting them every day. At first, crickets. But then, something magical happened…

5. His customers started posting THEIR OWN pictures with his clothes. His account got to over 60K followers in a matter of weeks. He also noticed something about the posters and their comments…

6. They tended to be brown/black, young, curvy, and urban. Richard realized that this group wasn’t used to seeing themselves online OR having clothes designed for their bodies. Something clicked.

7. There was untapped potential. But now what? He created a Shopify website (of course) and started building it out. Each time his team said it was ready to launch, he pushed it back.

8. Despite the fast-growing IG presence, he was afraid no one would buy anything. Finally after 3 “false starts,” he launched “Fashion Nova dot com” and that weekend, he completely sold out… It’s a fast-fashion retail store (the site gets 30M visits/mo).

9. Richard had completely underestimated the size of his insight and the opportunity he had found. He had to get lots of styles and lots of clothes made, quickly. From this “problem,” he hatched what he calls “ultra-fast fashion” Here’s how it works:

10. They go from idea to sample in less than 24 hours. Then samples to models in less than 48 hours. Most things are manufactured locally to speed it up. Within 2 weeks, they are selling the product with 2-day delivery They test over 1000+ items per week. But none of this existed in 2013…

11. He was just holding on for dear life and trying to fulfill the demand as fast as it came. Within 18 months of launching the store, they had done over $400MM in Sales!

12. The flywheel was clear: 1) they would sell clothes, 2) people would post them on IG, 3) they offered free clothes to influencers posting on IG (a program now with 3k+ people now) 4) they would sell more clothes. In 2015, Richard wanted to take it to the next level…

13. He tried reaching out to big celebrities with no luck. So he found a small rap artist who fit the style of his clothes perfectly: Cardi B. She loved the clothes and began posting about them all the time. But it didn’t move the needle that much. In 2017, that all changed…

14. Her song “Bodak Yellow” became a number 1 global hit. She and Richard doubled down on their partnership (which continues strongly to this day). Both grew together. Other celebrities like the Kardashians jumped on board. By the end of 2017, FN’s sales were up 600% YOY!

15. This added to the flywheel and helped Richard create the “Viral Fashion” strategy that continued to drive FN’s growth. Customers and influencers alike credit the brand as serving a segment that is often overlooked by traditional brands both in the market and fit. It worked…

16. “It’s important to have a lot of styles because our customers post so much online and need new clothes. We don’t want girls showing up to the club in the same outfit. We need 50 different denim jackets. Not just one.” – Richard In 2019, their speed got them in trouble…

17. The NYT ran a piece that accused FN of using illegal labor. While FN itself wasn’t doing anything illegal, it had 700+ suppliers and a few ran US-based “sweatshops” FN quickly got rid of these suppliers and made clarified standards. With Covid, the other shoe dropped…

18. Two issues plagued Fashion Nova: 1) Delivery Times – FN was sued and settled after failing to deliver to hundreds of customers in less than 30 days. 2) Many of their factories saw Covid outbreaks, leading to them and Cardi B donating over $1M to Covid Relief.

He just bought the most expensive home in LA for over $100 MILLION.

19. Today, most of these issues are behind Fashion Nova as they scale rapidly. Richard is hugely press-shy and has never shared numbers publicly. Unconfirmed reports have them doing over $1 BILLION in annual sales with over 30% EBITDA margins. Richard still owns 100%. Fashion Nova has over 2,500 employees, and it ships products to over 190 countries around the world. The company is also committed to sustainability and has launched initiatives to reduce waste and promote ethical manufacturing practices.

20. Fashion Nova has experienced incredible growth over the years. Fashion Nova was the most Googled fashion brand in the year 2018 and 2020, and it has over 21.4 million followers on Instagram.

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