Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Jenner, and 1.6 million followers: How a 'bomb basics' clothing startup landed the biggest celebs and influencers without paying a dime
Naked Wardrobe is an online clothing brand founded by sisters Shida, Shirin, and Shideh Kaviani. The brand has a cult-like fandom on Instagram of more than a million followers. It's beloved by celebrities and influencers like Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Jenner, the Kardashians, and Christina Milian. Shideh Kaviani told Business Insider how the brand cultivates relationships with A-listers and why some celebs end up becoming longterm customers.
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When Shideh Kaviani was a preteen she met her idol Jennifer Lopez at a concert, and sobbed from her excitement after. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine seeing the singer, actor, and icon wearing her designs. "Even though she's been our client now for three or four years, every single time she wears Naked Wardrobe it feels like the first time for me," Kaviani, cofounder and president, told Business Insider. Kaviani and her two older sisters, Shirin and Shida, started their Los Angeles clothing brand in 2012 from their parents' basement. The company's Los Angeles design studio has about 40 employees and freelancers, many of whom are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. The company says it made more than $1 million in revenue in its first year and has since grown 40% year-over-year on average. Today, the brand has more than 1.6 million Instagram followers and is beloved by celebrities and influencers. 'Bomb basics' Many of Naked's A-list clientele are repeat wearers. Kylie Jenner's Instagram is full of Naked Wardrobe outfits like a $58 zip-up romper and $26 crop top she wore with designer jeans. The Kardashian sisters have worn several pieces, such as a $30 bikini top and $58 jumpsuit. Both Ciara and Christina Milian wore Naked Wardrobe's maternity pieces to show off their baby bumps, like a $42 pair of bike shorts. The brand is known for its affordable "bomb basics": Think classics like black leggings and a white tank top that layer underneath a blazer or work on their own as a curve-hugging statement. Us Weekly Magazine called the clothes "staples you can take anywhere."
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Kaviani studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She walked Business Insider through how the brand attained its star-studded clientele. The brand never pays celebs to wear its clothing
Celebrity relationships have been crucial to Naked's branding since the start. The founders began by researching celebrity stylists, direct messaging celebrities, and sending out packages of their clothes. Many of the brand's relationships started with mutual connections, as was the case with getting Jennifer Lopez on board. Influencer Nicole Isaacs modeled for Naked Wardrobe and had connections in the fashion world from working on the E! show "Fashion Police." As Kaviani recalls, Isaacs told Naked that she'd find a way to get their clothes to Lopez. "It really was that organic, you know someone who knows someone," Kaviani said. "You take a leap of faith and you send a package to them and you really have to believe in your product." The brand makes a point to never pay celebrities to wear their clothing. Instead, they hope the products will speak for themselves. And they seem to accomplish that. Lopez, Jenner, and the Kardashians wear Naked Wardrobe on occasions ranging from morning coffee runs to red carpet events. "These celebrities have access to all the lines in the world, all the designers in the world, all the clothes in the world, and they choose to wear Naked Wardrobe on a daily basis for the comfort," Kaviani said.
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Products that feel like luxury pieces at attainable prices
Kaviani takes every design personally, trying them on herself before approving for production. "I'm such a stickler for the fit — my body's very curvy myself," she says. "It always starts with that. And then once I fall in love with a fabric, I want to always create a full line out of it." "That's what's really allowed us to achieve this success," she added. Kaviani's mother preferred to buy higher-end, long-lasting clothing and instilled that value in her daughters. Their brand focuses on quality to make customers feel like the clothing is more expensive than it costs. It all starts with a fabric that moves with the body, typically a viscose and spandex blend, which is important when you're making skin-tight bodysuits and dresses. And if a new material or method is going to raise prices, Kaviani would rather take the hit. "I'm the boss that gets yelled at by my team because they're like, that's going to be more expensive," she said. "I will eat the cost ... they're not used to that mindset in this industry." Celebrities become regular customers
Naked Wardrobe doesn't just want a one-outfit press storm. They'd rather maintain a long-term relationship with the stars they dress, which requires consistency. Kaviani said the brand reaches out to stylists and industry connections regularly to check in and send their latest collections. "We've been doing this for eight or nine years now, and we're still building our Rolodex and our clientele. It's constant reaching out," she said. Kaviani said many of the celebrities they've sent clothing to end up becoming regular, paying customers. "We sent our first package to J.Lo," she said, "and then she kept coming back from more."SEE ALSO: Brands that have thrived on TikTok explain how they'll market and work with influencers if Trump bans the app MUST READ: Instagram's algorithms censor some accounts by 'shadowbanning' their posts, causing them to lose followers. An entrepreneur explains what to do if it happens to you. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
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Summary List Placement Every wardrobe needs some great basics that can lay the foundation for plenty...Summary List Placement Every wardrobe needs some great basics that can lay the foundation for plenty of outfits. Brands like Everlane, Pact, and Universal Standard have taught us that high-quality basics don't have to cost so much. Here are five companies we come back to again and again when we need to add new T-shirts, jeans, and more versatile staples to our wardrobes. We've all had those moments, standing in front of a closet full of perfectly good clothing, but still unable to find an outfit we like. In those "I-have-nothing-to-wear" moments, you pull out the basics — classic, reliable pieces you can always count on to look and feel great. The super-soft, plain-white T-shirt. The jeans that hug you in all the right places. The tailored blazer that makes it look like you put a lot more thought into your outfit. Great basics are — or, should be — the foundation of your wardrobe. When you have a few simple pieces you love, getting dressed in the morning is much easier. Just about every brand offers its own take on the basics, but these are the ones we always come back to. Combining high-quality materials, affordability, and flattering styles, these companies make the better basics you'll want to wear every day. Keep reading for seven brands that make great, everyday basics you need in your closet:SEE ALSO: 11 San Francisco-based clothing startups that prove New York City isn't the only capital of fashion Everlane Shop modern, minimalist basics at Everlane Best for: Minimalist, modern pieces that go with every budget and style Why you'll love it: There's a lot of hype around Everlane, and we think it's well worth it. Prior to working at Business Insider, I had never bought a piece from the brand, but after hearing my teammates' consistently rave reviews, I bought two pieces that quickly became outfit go-tos. One of my colleagues recently shared a similar sentiment after trying his first Everlane pieces, and for good reason. Everlane is strongly focused on transparency, giving consumers the cost breakdown of every item, down to the factory where the piece is made and where materials are sourced. Beyond the brand's sustainable, ethical practices, its clothes and accessories really deliver on quality and style. You'll find simple T-shirts, sweaters, work pants, and more in universally flattering fits and a wide range of colors — there's really something for everyone. Learn more about some of our favorite Everlane clothes and shoes: Cashmere Crew sweater review Everlane Perform Legging review Authentic Stretch Denim jeans review Day Glove ballet flat review Universal Standard Shop size-inclusive basics at Universal Standard Best for: Modern essentials that are universally flattering on all body types Why you'll love it: Universal Standard was born out of two women's frustration with the lack of stylish clothing options out there for plus-size women. That's why they set out to make amazing basics that look great on all women and, more importantly, make every woman feel great in her skin. Overall, the site boasts a modern, stylish collection full of what we'd consider staples, but if you're really looking for the basics, head to the "Foundation" section — it's full of a range of simple tanks and tees that make great base layers for any outfit. If you're not sure what you want, Universal Standard also offers the option to purchase a capsule — it's a curated collection of some of its bestselling pieces catered to your lifestyle, like workwear and activewear. Learn more about some of our favorite Universal Standard pieces: Universal Standard brand overview Universal Standard T-Rex T-shirt review Universal Standard denim review Universal Standard Foundation Kit review Pact Shop soft staples at Pact Best for: Cost-conscious and environmentally friendly basics that are soft, lightweight, and simple Why you'll love it: Pact doesn't think being cost-conscious and environmentally conscious should be mutually exclusive. That's why the brand is committed to making super-soft, comfortable products using organic cotton in Fair Trade factories. While organic is usually synonymous with expensive, Pact's products are very affordable — leggings cost $20, T-shirts go for $25, and hoodies for $50, to give you a sense of pricing. Pact has a wide range of products for men, women, and kids — you'll find clothing, undergarments, and even bedding — though within each category, the selection is small. For example, men can choose from three T-shirt styles and there are just four dress styles for women, all offered in a few colors and patterns. If you have trouble making decisions, you'll appreciate Pact's thoughtful selection of just the basics. Learn more about some of our favorite Pact pieces: Lightweight Eco-Blend Wrap Cardigan review Wrap Dress review DSTLD Shop trendy basics at DSTLD Best for: Premium basics and trendy essentials at surprisingly affordable prices Why you'll love it: If your dream capsule wardrobe draws up thoughts of effortlessly chic leather jackets, premium denim, slouchy tees, and other pieces that are as cool as they are timeless, you'll love DSTLD. The direct-to-consumer model has allowed the brand to bring down prices pretty significantly, without sacrificing quality along the way. That means you can get a beautiful wool coat for $180, not far off from a price you would pay at a fast-fashion store like Zara, and a real leather jacket for $400 that would probably cost more than double if you bought it retail. All of the pieces sit in a neutral palette, making them easy to mix and match, so you can perfect that "I-just-woke-up-and-threw-this-on" vibe. Learn more about some of our favorite DSTLD pieces: DSTLD mid-rise leather leggings review DSTLD leather moto jacket review DSTLD denim jeans review Cuyana Shop timeless basics at Cuyana Best for: Timeless, modern, and feminine pieces made with quality materials and craftsmanship Why you'll love it: For simple pieces with chic, feminine touches, Cuyana is a no-brainer. The brand embodies a "less is more" ethos, advocating for a closet that's full of fewer, but better pieces. If you're wondering what better means — think beautiful pieces that are thoughtfully made every step of the way, from where the materials are sourced, to the factory where everything is put together, to what smart features are included on the product itself. Other than clothing, we're fond of the brand's simple leather bags. While pricier than many of the other brands on this list, Cuyana prides itself on the idea that these will really be all you need (remember: fewer, better). Timeless silhouettes, beautiful colors, and simple but elegant touches make Cuyana's pieces ones you'll want to put on, especially when you're craving the chic-with-minimal-effort look. Learn more about some of our favorite Cuyana pieces: Cuyana Work Satchel review Cuyana Body Collection review Uniqlo Shop affordable basics at Uniqlo Best for: Minimal, contemporary basics at a great price Why you'll love it: Japanese brand Uniqlo is one of our favorite destinations for affordable basics. The brand has a huge selection of simple and sleek pieces that work for most occasions. From performance workout apparel to modern workwear, denim, and more, Uniqlo has pretty much everything you need to fill your wardrobe — and, it won't break the bank. Uniqlo makes it easy to stock up on wardrobe essentials with its affordable prices. T-shirts start at $10, denim starts at $40, and you can even pick up a warm winter jacket for less than $100. Uniqlo also frequently collaborates with fashion designers and other brands to make limited-edition collections. Right now, you can shop Uniqlo's collection with JW Anderson, which is filled with spring-ready pieces. Learn more about some of our favorite Uniqlo pieces: Uniqlo Heattech review Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Jacket review Richer Poorer Shop comfortable basics at Richer Poorer Best for: Cozy, high-quality loungewear and undergarments Why you'll love it: There was a time when Richer Poorer was almost bankrupt. Now, the brand has a cult-like following with products that garner thousand-person waitlists. Richer Poorer's success lies in this fact: everything is seriously comfortable. We think its some of the comfiest clothing we've ever worn. From cotton bralettes to fleece sweatshirts, it's all supremely soft. And, you can tell from just one wear that the pieces are high quality. Richer Poorer actually prewashes many of its pieces with silicone to give everything a comfortable, broken-in feel. The T-shirts and undergarments tend to be pretty affordable, with most in the $30-40 range. The fleece sweats are on the pricier side (about $70 apiece), but they cost far less than other high-end athleisure pieces while still having a luxurious loungewear feel. Learn more about some of our favorite Richer Poorer pieces: Richer Poorer brand overview Richer Poorer Classic Bralette review Richer Poorer Fleece Sweatshirt review Madewell Shop comfortable basics at Madewell Best for: Simple, timeless basics and great denim Why you'll love it: Madewell is J.Crew's cool younger sister. The brand is loved for its timeless essentials, great denim, and simple pieces with modern twists. If you're looking for a one-stop-shop for your casual, but still stylish uniform, Madewell should be your go-to. Tuck one of the brand's boxy T-shirts into a pair of jeans and throw on a cozy cardigan and a pair of their leather boots. Madewell has it all. The denim is some of our favorite, and it goes on sale often. Madewell offers most jeans in three lengths: petite, regular, and tall. This makes it easy to find a perfect fit for your body. There's always a great selection of silhouettes and washes, from everyday options like skinny jeans to more trendy styles like flares and ripped pairs. The T-shirts, another basic we love, tend to be around $20 and are simple, last a long time for the price, and go with everything. If you're looking for some more exciting pieces, Madewell has those too. You can expect lots of cool blouses, sweaters, and dresses. Madewell also frequently collaborates with other iconic style brands. Right now, you can shop a limited-edition collection made with Kule, an NYC brand with a French-chic aesthetic. Learn more about some of our favorite Madewell pieces: Best place to buy petite jeans review Madewell men's collection review Favorite jeans of all time review
The controversy around BLM fashion highlights the systemic racism that the movement is trying to changeFormula...The controversy around BLM fashion highlights the systemic racism that the movement is trying to changeFormula One has banned drivers from wearing clothing bearing messages while performing official duties. The decision came after Lewis Hamilton wore a top at the Tuscan Grand Prix on 13 September that said “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor”. Since March, celebrities have not shied away from wearing clothing in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) at high-profile events – but not without a backlash. The Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka was told to “keep politics out of sport” when she brought seven face masks with the names of different victims of police brutality to the US Open. Almost 2,000 people complained to Ofcom – which has yet to decide whether to investigate – about the BLM necklace worn by Alesha Dixon on Britain’s Got Talent (only a few weeks after the programme received 24,500 complaints – later dismissed by the regulator – about a performance by the dance group Diversity that was inspired by the police killing of George Floyd). Continue reading...
Victoria's Secret dumped hundreds of bras outside a recently closed store, and it reveals a dark truth about the fashion industry
A local news site reported this week that a Colorado woman had come across a dumpster...A local news site reported this week that a Colorado woman had come across a dumpster full of hundreds of Victoria's Secret bras thrown out by a closing store nearby. Victoria's Secret told Business Insider that these items were sample products used in its fitting rooms at the store and were thrown out after it closed. Throwing or incinerating inventory that can't be sold but could be donated is a big issue in the retail sector and stores often resort to extremes measures such as these to protect their brand image. Nike, H&M, Burberry, and Eddie Bauer are among the major brands to have been called out for this in the past and were slammed for resorting to such un-environmentally friendly practices especially given that fashion is one of the most polluting industries. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Melanie Gelinas was taking the trash out one night this week near her apartment in Centennial, Colorado when she spotted a few bras discarded on the ground near the dumpster. When she walked closer toward it, she noticed that there were piles of Victoria's Secret bras that had been thrown away. "It had to be hundreds," Gelinas, the owner of a South Philly Cheese Steaks restaurant in nearby Cherry Hills Village, told local news site 9News this week. "These are all going to a landfill. They could be going to a homeless shelter or a battered women's shelter," she added. "I just felt like it was such a waste of money and, you know, wouldn't a mom like to get a brand new bra from Victoria's Secret who's living in a shelter?" A spokesperson for Victoria's Secret confirmed that these discarded items had come from a Victoria's Secret store that had recently closed nearby. "We are sorry for how this may appear," the spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Business Insider. "Because this store was closing, we damaged out sample products including bras from our fitting rooms. All remaining inventory was reallocated to other stores." Fashion's dirty secret This incident is an example of a concerning tactic adopted by retailers where some often choose to throw away clothing that would be considered to be unsellable but not unusable rather than donate it. Several other major brands have been called out for doing similar things in the past. In 2017, a New Yorker spotted trash bags full of Nike sneakers discarded outside its store in Soho and found that the sneakers had been slashed from front to back to render them unwearable. Nike didn't explain why the shoes were slashed but said that they were not suitable for resale or donation so were discarded. Outdoor wear store Eddie Bauer was slammed on social media in 2017 after a shopper shared photographs of piles of its $200 to $400 coats and blankets cut up and thrown in the trash outside one of its stores in New York. At the time, the company confirmed the incident but said it was not company policy. Well-known brands often resort to these extremes to prevent their products from ending up in thrift stores or the off-price channel to protect their brand image. In some cases, stores have also resorted to burning excess inventory just to keep it out of these channels. H&M previously sent unwanted inventory to a power plant in Sweden, where the clothing was burned instead of coal to create energy. It said at the time that the burned items did not include usable clothing — only clothing that was unsafe for consumers. Luxury brands are some of the worst offenders here. In July 2018, British designer brand Burberry revealed in an earnings report that it had destroyed $37 million worth of unsold clothes and accessories in order to protect its brand. The news sparked an outcry on social media and Burberry issued a statement shortly after confirming that it would stop using this process. Not only could these garments be donated and used again but the environmental cost of these items ending up in a landfill or being incinerated is also significant. 26 billion pounds of textiles end up in a landfill each year It takes 2,700 liters of water to produce a T-shirt alone, helping to make the garment industry the second-most polluted after oil, according to The World Economic Forum. And the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 26 billion pounds of textiles end up in a landfill each year; some of these items are made of fabrics that also never decompose. Burning clothes isn't any better. This process releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. Fast Company recently reported that burning clothes releases more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than coal and natural gas, for example. In February 2019, a UK parliament environmental committee produced a report on clothing consumption and sustainability in the fashion industry, which was recently cited by the BBC. According to the BBC, the report addressed the issue of incinerating clothing and said that this practice was causing harm to human health by "generating further emissions and air pollutants." Ultimately, the committee advised the environment to ban the burning of clothes. SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Victoria's Secret, America's biggest lingerie retailer Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Applebee's made the best comeback of 2018. Here's how the restaurant chain turned around.