Fashion Nova is a clothing company that operates on very similar premises as FOREVER 21, H & M, and Zara. They are all fast fashion brands that cater to a young crowd on a budget. The only difference is FOREVER 21, H & M, and Zara were all established in the 70s and 80s, while Fashion Nova opened its first store back in 2006, then went digital in 2013. This company was started by Irani American, Richard Saghian in California. Which sounds like FOREVER 21, as that store opened in 1984 in California by Korean Americans. This company is only a few years old, but it’s taken off and gone global without having actual stores in malls around the world like the other brands. Fashion Nova only has six brick and mortar stores, and they are all in California, but in 2018 it was the fourth most searched brand on Google.
The first time I heard about Fashion Nova was in 2014 after YouTubers started posting their clothing haul from the company. During this time, many of them were raving about the jeans and how well they fit curvy women. The jeans were also reported to be made in a way that allowed for a more flattering figure for ladies with smaller waistlines and broader hips. Initially, when the YouTubers were promoting Fashion Nova, I didn’t run to look at the clothing until 2017 when Patricia Bright did a video haul. That’s when I decided to check out the website. By the time Patricia did her haul, Fashion Nova was buzzing on Instagram as influencers, Kardashians, reality stars, and a host of other characters were all supporting this company. Slowly the image of the company started to reflect a specific body type which was that of girls with enlarged breasts and butts, and bigger lips with an hourglass shape.
From 2014 until the time I finally decided to visit the website in 2017, I noticed the image changed, and the clothes became synonymous with the Instagram plastic body movement. At this moment there was something to admire but dislike about the company. Fashion Nova was pushing an image out that seemed reprehensibly urban, but once white influencers latched on to it, they absorbed certain elements using it to their benefit. Now every Instagram model has a thick butt regardless of body type or race, all waistlines are “snatched”, lips are bigger, and everyone appears to be racially ambiguous. Fashion Nova promoted an image that was unique to a few but now has everyone looking alike regardless of race, class, or nationality.
Let me be upfront in saying I’m not a fan of Fashion Nova, I generally call them Fashion Noval which stands for no value. When I finally did look at their website, I didn’t find anything I liked that fit my personality. I couldn’t see myself wasting any more money than I had in the past shopping at SheIn, Rainbow Clothing, BooHoo, and Romwe. The honest truth is they all sell the same crap at different price points. At one point in the early 2000s, I use to shop at Rainbow Clothing because that’s all the shopping mall had to offer. Then when I elevated to shopping online, I tried out SheIn a few times and BooHoo. Based on what I know about those companies and Fashion Nova, they are the same. Cheaply made items that mimic each other. While looking at Fashion Nova, I ran into swimsuits that looked precisely like items from SheIn or SheInside, which is a Chinese company with a headquarter in California. They had the same style, print, and cut of swimsuits, and based on my experience with SheIn, I knew that these items would come with the same problems. Everything I ordered from BooHoo and SheIn was worn a few times then thrown out; it was a waste of money.
Another problem with Fashion Nova is the continued problem of stealing designs from smaller brands. I first noticed this for myself with a designer by the name of Kimberly Yohman, who owns the brand Kimi Kouture. I discovered this company in 2014 and ordered a few swimsuits and a dress because I genuinely loved the look of her designs. In 2017 when I looked at Fashion Nova’s swimsuits, I saw similarities to Kimi Kouture as well as Victoria Secrets swimwear, SheIn, and Romwe.
Recently Kim Kardashian called out Fashion Nova for replicating a designer outfit she posted on Instagram. This problem with Fashion Nova is rampant, as this year another story broke about a British designer by the name of Luci Wilden who owns the brand Knots and Vibes. She also found that Fashion Nova ripped off a swimsuit that looked very similar to her design.
Another brand called Dbleudazzled owned by Destiney Bleu has reportedly suffered the sting of Fashion Nova as she reported that ever since her items were copied her sales has drastically declined.
Dbleudazzled – https://www.dbleudazzled.com/ ($ Tights)
Mercedes Dericho, the owner of RisqueDukes, also reported issues with Fashion Nova copying designs and selling them for reduced prices. In the case of Mercedes Dericho and Luci Wilden, the clothing presented on Fashion Nova’s website were the exact same in color and unique cut of the material.
Another company who have called out Fashion Nova is Kloset Envy. The owner goes by the Instagram handle of Jai_Nice. Last year she recorded herself opening a box labeled FROM: Fashion Nova Returns. Thanks to Jai_Nice, we learned that Fashion Nova ordered clothing from her company as samples to reproduce her designs. To make matters worse and add injury to insult they returned the item for a refund after replicating it, sadly they were too sloppy or didn’t even care that the box said return from Fashion Nova Returns.
Eco-Friendly and Sustainable
I would love to say that Fashion Nova is as transparent as brands like Reformation or Sézane. If you have bothered to read this far, based on what we have learned thus far I am sorry to disappoint but very little information is given about philanthropic programs, care for factory workers overseas, and how they plan on ensuring that their factories do not contribute to environmental pollution.
I don’t think I will ever buy from Fashion Nova aka Fashion No-value; their clothing never spoke to me. The brand from day one didn’t inspire or represent anything I wanted in my life. Before hearing the stories about Luci Wilden, Mercedes Dericho, Destiney Bleu, and witnessing how Fashion Nova copied looks directly from Kimberly Yohman; I’d never stopped to think about how bigger brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Prada, Gucci or Dior felt when every year millions of their merchandise are replicated and sold on the black market for cheaper prices. At one time, I use to think that these companies made too much money to care about issues like this. Now I can clearly see why many of these companies set up fraud departments and go out of their way to prosecute groups who illegally replicate their items. Larger companies can do this, but smaller brands are left defenseless as taking Fashion Nova to court might be more expensive than its worth. Another part of me feels like Fashion Nova is simply providing a service for people who wouldn’t be able to buy the $200.00 swimsuit from Kimi Kouture or the original bandage dress from Hervé Léger, but on the other hand I think that as a society we are so accustomed to accessing products that are out of our reach. We think it’s our right to get everything we want, especially if it means compromising the safety of workers, environmental issues, and hardworking business owners.
Of course, the only way to stop Fashion Nova is to support the smaller brands, but in a time when credit card debt is at its highest and many people are struggling to maintain a living while still feeling and looking their best Fashion Nova is filling the gap. Influencers like Patricia Bright, Jackie Ania, Destiny Godley, and many more all have reviewed and promoted Fashion Nova before. Patricia Bright even went as far as to visit the headquarters during a trip to California. These women are all trendsetters and perhaps the best way to send a message to Fashion Nova is through them. The influence took Fashion Nova to the top and they can bring them back down if they want to prove a point.
For more details about copycat designed check out this article by Revelist
Kimberly Yohman – Kimi Kouture https://kimikouture.net/
Mercedes Dericho – RisqueDukes https://risquedukes.com/
Jai Nice – Kloset Envy https://www.klosetenvy.com/
Luci Wilden – Knots and Vibes https://www.knotsandvibes.com/
Destiney Bleu – Dbleudazzled https://www.dbleudazzled.com/