Melrose Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES has moved its U.S. headquarters to Melrose Place as the fast-fashion company looks to refine and buckle down on influencer marketing.

The e-tailer is part of a portfolio of online shops owned by Manchester-based Boohoo Group that includes its namesake business, boohooMan, PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal.

The new headquarters, relocated from New York, provides office and showroom space for the roughly dozen workers — expected to double over time — in addition to Instagrammable moments for the visiting influencers and stylists. The move follows sister brand PrettyLittleThing’s new headquarters and influencer space on Melrose Avenue.

The 4,000-square-foot space, designed by Prince’s creative director Kim Salmela, includes lounge areas, an acrylic staircase, fully stocked bar, custom furniture, neon signage, wraparound balcony and studio to create content. The office, while checking all the design boxes for Millennial fashionistas to share on social, is also strategic.

“For us, we really wanted to be in the heart of what was happening in Los Angeles from an influencer standpoint,” said vice president of marketing Natalie McGrath. “We wanted to create an environment where social media influencers and stylists would want to come hang out in our space. So from the moment you walk into the door, we’ve created a fully Instagrammable office with a variety of areas where people can engage with the brand.”

The marketing team had already been traveling back-and-forth between New York and Los Angeles to meet with influencers, so the headquarters move made sense, particularly as the company continues to bolster its efforts on that front.

This is all key as the company shifts its marketing strategy and focuses on YouTube content even more this year. The move to the West Coast will help further inform those efforts, McGrath said.

“[Influencer marketing’s] grown tenfold since we started this business in the U.S. and we’ve been in the U.S. for four and a half years,” she said. “I still say to everyone that we were pretty much an early adopter in the influencer marketing space because that’s how we launched Boohoo in the U.S.”

McGrath went on to say what the company and other brands are paying now has significantly changed from when Boohoo first jumped into influencer marketing and the additional spend behooves all brands to get smarter about who they work with.

“Brands are going to have to become incredibly mindful of what they’re spending in the influencer space and spending more time on the analytics piece,” McGrath said. “I think we use this word influencer quite loosely and I know that, for us, there is going to be really a big focus to understand which girls can really help us….For us, this year it’s about consolidation. It’s about working with influencers that are influential and really spending more time in terms of video content creation. I personally feel we might start seeing a bit of a revolt by brands because this part of the business is growing so quickly and I don’t think anyone’s taken a moment to step back and analyze.”

The idea is not unlike the Revolve Social Club operated by e-tailer Revolve on Melrose Avenue, which is largely open by invite only and every now and then available to the public during special pop-ups. The space serves as mostly a marketing vehicle for the digital brand.

“We look at what Revolve is doing, but I wouldn’t say they’re one of our core competitors,” McGrath said, pointing out the higher price points at Revolve.

McGrath said will also open up its Melrose space to the public at certain points during the year.

“We’ll definitely start to do more curated events this year [for consumers],” she said. “For us, to be able to have that touchpoint with our end consumer is vital.”

The first of those events is expected to likely be held just ahead of the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.