From two guys who had absolutely no fashion experience or knowledge to one of the top fashion companies among millennial women, Revolve is proving that fashion, as a business, can’t just rely on style but data.
Founded in 2003 by Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, Revolve started out just like so many e-commerce clothing brands. Their goal was to stock as many fashionable brands as possible to appeal to a wide market audience. By 2007, Revolve was selling more than 1000 brands. During the 2008 recession was when everything changed for the brand many know today. When Mente and Karanikolas saw their competitors were discounting items on their own sites, they knew they had to create something special.
Utilising their backgrounds in business and data science, the co-founders re-evaluated their target audience and started to work with smaller designers in an attempt to provide their newly discovered audience with the exact products they were looking for. Revolve currently have 19 in-house brands under the Alliance Apparel, Inc. Chief brand officer Raissa Gerona told Inc. that the company can ask its 40 or so designers to create something that is currently trending and then expect the items to arrive in the next couple of weeks.
Revolve is one brand that understands that influencer marketing is big business – and they do it so well. WWD reported in October of last year that up to “up to 70 percent of the site’s revenues are fuelled by influencers. This means that the global network of over 5,000 content creators who regularly partner with Revolve could be responsible for driving a staggering $650 million to $700 million of e-tailers’ revenues by year’s end.”
Instead of teaming up with traditional models, Revolve connects with social influencers to showcase and market their items. They look for influencers that receive high levels of engagement, as opposed to influencers with high follower counts. Revolve revealed that they like to give their influencers freedom, as that is what generates the most authentic content. In an interview with Forbes, Mente disclosed that Revolve sponsors those extravagant influencer trips and pays them to wear the company clothing but “mainly [they] focus on developing authentic, long-term relationships that can result in [the] product and brand being showcased in an organic way.”
Last year, according to Forbes, Revolve dressed 416 influencers, booked out an entire hotel and opened a pop-up shop for guests and influencers to take pictures and share with their audiences. Because of initiatives like this, Revolve supposedly generated around 4.4 billion social impressions. Now, that’s impressive.
The Los Angeles clothing company is set to make more than $1 billion in sales this year. Earlier this week, Revolve officially filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
Do you #RevolveAroundTheWorld? Let us know your favourite Revolve influencer in the comments!