Los Angeles–A bold neon sign hangs in the window stating, “No, it’s not a porn site.” Eye-catching? Yes. Necessary? Probably not anymore. Nasty Gal–a buzzy, super-successful online fashion site for trendy, free-thinking women–just opened its first retail location, and the name is finally overriding its Name.
Nasty Gal’s garage-to-cult-status success story is the stuff of business school and financial magazine legend, and founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso has taken the brand from clicks to bricks due to its huge following.
“We’ve been having a dialogue with our gal for eight years this month and to celebrate that, we’re taking the conversation offline,” explains the media-savvy Amoruso, an early e-tail pioneer in the social media arena, who used word-of-mouth and social platforms exclusively to build her brand and communicate with customers and fans.
Nasty Gal has grown exponentially each year since its inception and has served over one million customers in more than 180 countries, with about 25% of sales occurring outside of the US. Today, Nasty Gal has over 1.1 million Facebook fans, 1.4 million Instagram followers, 195,000 Twitter followers, 110,000 Pinterest followers, 165,000 Tumblr followers. The store allows them to take their interactions with the brand offline and have an “in real life” experience (#IRL in hashtag text speak).
The brick and mortar store offers a curated selection of apparel, shoes, intimates, accessories, tech and gifting, as well as exclusive vintage pieces that Nasty Gal is known for. Designed by renowned architect Rafael de Cárdenas, the 3,500 square foot space takes inspiration from concert stages with reflective surfaces and open, cage-like structures that suggest both exhibitionism and privacy.
Located in the heart of the upscale Melrose shopping area, the Nasty Gal store will feature a shoe salon, magazine library and live cactus garden. The store is centralized around the try-on experience, with a mirrored glass structure at the center of the space which houses five fit rooms. The rooms will allow voyeuristic shoppers to try on clothes behind two-way mirrored doors, allowing them to see out with complete privacy.
On the heels of the #GIRLBOSS book tour, Amoruso realized how important it is for herself and the Nasty Gal brand to engage with customers in real time.
“We are engineering shareable moments, both visual and experiential, into our stores,” says Amoruso. “We are creating real-life social media by engaging the community we have built purely online. Where that goes is truly limitless.”
To appease Nasty Gals accustomed to experiencing new offerings several times a week, the store will do the same. Store merchandising will not only focus on the Nasty Gal heritage, but promote key product themes of the season.
“The brand is visceral. We have always been about bold personalities, a strong look, and a specific sound, and this is the first time we will be combining all of those elements into a real life, physical experience,” says Amoruso.