Richard Saghian is the chief executive of Fashion Nova, a fast-fashion company and a social media phenomenon that has achieved rapid growth through its work with influencers and its speed at delivering trend-led pieces.
Saghian was introduced to retail through his father, who owned women’s clothing stores where Saghian worked during his summers. He founded Fashion Nova in 2006 as a chain of stores selling low-price “clubwear” and apparel in Los Angeles-area malls. He launched the e-commerce site in 2013 and Instagram was central to the online business from the start.
The company caters to a diverse range of body types and ethnicities, many of whom feel ignored by mall retailers that offer limited plus-size lines. The brand counts over 15 million followers across its Instagram accounts and many users routinely tag their selfies with the hashtag #NovaBabes. The value of Fashion Nova’s social media exposure is more than that of H&M and Zara combined. Around 2,000 influencers — including Cardi B , Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian — create roughly 6,000 pieces of content about the brand each month, making it one of the most talked about brands online despite being virtually unknown in some fashion circles.
Fashion Nova works with about 1,000 different manufacturers to release 600 to 900 new styles per week, a pace Saghian said he wants to increase. Many items are made in Los Angeles, though the company also works with vendors in China.