Is Celebrity Clout the Secret of Fabletics’ Success?

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If you are a woman who enjoys working out, chances are that you are already familiar with Fabletics, the unique line of affordably priced active wear for women. You probably also know that Kate Hudson is associated with the brand. Did you realize, however, that she’s far more than a celebrity endorser? In fact, she co-founded the company along with two others in 2013. Even if you knew all of that, you might assume that the only reason that Fabletics has done so well is because of Hudson’s star power, but you’d be wrong again.

To understand why the time was right for the debut of Fabletics, it helps to understand the many issues that plague the women’s active wear industry. In particular, despite the fact that athletic wear is ostensibly for people who want to get into or stay in shape, it is often only offered in standard sizes for women. What this means is that is a woman wears a size 12 or larger, she will struggle to find something that fits. Even if she does, it probably won’t be very comfortable, and it’s sure to cost a fortune.

So, despite the fact that many big brands already occupy this space, including Lululemon and a line by singer Carrie Underwood, a gaping hole was waiting to be filled. In July 2013, the first steps were made to fill that hole with the founding of Fabletics. The company was founded by not only Kate Hudson but by Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler as well. Contrary to some media reports, Hudson was in on the project from the very beginning, and she played a pivotal role in getting it off the ground.

Fabletics’ growth has been nothing short of stunning, and plenty of factors have helped to make that possible. Since being founded about four years ago, the company, which is owned by TechStyle Fashion Group, has increased its revenue by around 35 percent each year. In 2016 lone, sales were up by 46 percent. Already, the company boasts more than 1.2 million monthly members, and more than 21 million people follow the brand on Twitter. After testing the waters with a handful of pop-up stores in major metro areas, Fabletics started opening brick-and-mortar locations and will continue expanding these as well.

Indeed, Fabletics initially opened brick-and-mortar stores in places like Cincinnati, OH; St. Louis, MO; Woodland Hills, CA; Newark, DE; and Columbia, MD. More recently, Fabletics locations have opened at the Mall of America in Minnesota as well as in Denver, Las Vegas and several other major cities. The company plans to add another 75 to 100 stores over the next three to five years. This may sound overly ambitious, but based on the company’s amazing growth and success thus far, it is sure to work out well.

When they founded the company, Kate Hudson and her co-founders strictly planned to focus on the women’s active wear space. The brand officially launched on October 1, 2013. Not even two years later, Hudson’s brother, Oliver Hudson, joined the team to introduce a line of men’s athleisure wear, as Fabletics likes to call its offerings. In March 2016, the brand branched out into offering swimwear and dresses for women. This is when they fully embraced the concept of athleisure wear, which is essentially workout clothes that can easily be worn while taking care of everyday things. They look just as appropriate in the yoga studio as they do on the street.

The company decided early on to adopt a membership model as a way to bring more affordable options to customers. Membership is absolutely free – VIP members, however, pay around $50 per month and are then presented with personalized offerings every month. They can either go ahead and buy the recommended items, or they can pay the $50. This then turns into store credit that never expires.

The company has demonstrated incredible savviness with social media. For example, Kate herself has created movies for the brand’s social media pages using her personal iPhone. It is plainly obvious that Hudson is directly and personally involved in the company and that she expends a lot of effort to make it a success. However, she isn’t looking to make money; she’s looking to make a positive change.

Fabletics was already winning over women around the country with its attractive, high-quality, affordable yoga and workout clothes. Not long ago, the brand made good on a promise that it had made a while back by expanding into plus sizes. Kate Hudson has said in interviews that the industry neglects women who don’t wear standard sizes, and she is absolutely correct. Although the actress has generally remained fit and in shape, she has been subjected to cruel comments by the media regarding her body through the years, so she understands. She brought fellow actress Demi Lovato on board to promote the new sizes, and the campaign has been a resounding success.

Upon learning that Kate Hudson co-founded a company that is currently valued at around $250 million, people sometimes assume that she is little more than a pretty face that is used to promote the brand. However, without Hudson, Fabletics would not have achieved the amazing success that it has in such a short window of time. At last, women of all sizes and shapes can afford to buy stylish, comfortable, well-designed athletic wear that transitions easily into street wear–and that is truly something that’s worth celebrating.