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Nasty Gal Goes From Retailer to Designer

The company is increasing its offerings with the launch of its first in-house designed product.

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Nasty Gal is increasing its offerings with the launch of its first in-house designed product.

Nastygal.com will unveil its namesake label today with a denim collection featuring the $88 The Kink, a high-waisted skinny jean that comes in seven colors and a tropical palm print. In mid-August, shredded shorts and a low-rise skinny will debut. Later this month, a full 32-piece collection, retailing from $58 to $400 for a leather jacket will roll out for fall.

The company is growing rapidly — 2010 saw $6.5 million in sales, with this number more than quadrupling in 2011 to $28 million. Twenty-nine-year-old founder and chief executive officer Sophia Amoruso told WWD the growth trajectory is the same for 2012, which translates to more than $115 million in sales by year’s end. She maintains that she’s not looking for investors.

“We’re evolving quickly from providing a highly curated shopping experience and assortment of hand-picked brands and items to designing and developing our own exclusive branded products. We’re really looking forward to offering our customers the Nasty Gal brand across a variety of categories,” she said, adding that she projects branded product to comprise at least 50 percent of overall sales by the end of 2013.

Nowhere near as provocative as its name suggests, the four-year-old company that started off as an eBay store in 2006 selling vintage clothing, has grown more than 500 percent each year and boasts more than 150,000 consumers in more than 50 countries (35 percent of overall sales are international). The site relies heavily on social media and sharing across the various platforms — it has over 450,000 “likes” on Facebook and nearly 55,000 followers on Twitter — with the average customer ranging from 18 to 28.

“We’ve been a retailer up to this point. Our customer is so loyal, and our natural next step is to curate from perception to production for her,” Amoruso said of the premier collection, which will include pieces such as sweaters with “techno ditch data corruption,” or emoticon prints such as smiley faces. “We have spent a lot of time listening and getting to know our customers well: what she likes, how she shops, what she wants to see. We’re evolving quickly from providing a highly curated shopping experience and assortment of hand picked brands and items to designing and developing our own exclusive branded products.”

Amoruso added: “What’s made us successful has been our curation. We’ve gotten to know our customer over nearly a six-year period, so designing for her, in many ways, feels much easier than curating disparate items from the market. We will always continue to carry other designers, but will continue to make the Nasty Gal experience about our brand and [a] specific blend of influences.”

Nasty Gal will also introduce its first ad campaign and Super Nasty, a biannual print magazine, in September. The publication and the fall collection will be feted in New York during fashion week.

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