Over $1 million.
That is said to be how much Arielle Charnas’ Something Navy x Treasure & Bond line racked up in sales in less than 24 hours after going live on nordstrom.com, where the collection is carried exclusively, on Monday.
“It’s not our practice to publicly break out sales by individual brands or collaboration,” a Nordstrom spokeswoman said when reached for comment. Charnas declined to comment on financials.
Hours after the collection launched on the retailer’s site, popular pieces that were quick to sellout on nordstrom.com started to populate eBay. A quick search on the marketplace Thursday morning found that certain items are listed for as much as double their original price. (A $199 faux shearling coat is going for $400 on eBay and a camel faux fur topped coat, which also retailed for $199, had a listing price of $325 on eBay.)
Of the 30 ready-to-wear and accessories styles that hit the site on launch day, 23 were still on the site as of Thursday morning and only in limited sizes.
Not all aspects of the launch went smoothly, though. Nordstrom’s e-commerce site had a technical glitch Monday morning and, as a result, the line wound up going online several hours after the originally scheduled 9 a.m. EST launch time. Charnas’ followers immediately headed to her Instagram account to voice their disappointment about not being able to buy any of the pieces that she’s been teasing in posts for the past month. Nordstrom took full accountability for the delay — not that it seemed to have any effect on sales.
“As an influencer, my platform has given me the resources to real-life data and feedback by listening to my followers and seeing what they got excited about on my Instagram. We felt an obligation to use this incredible knowledge to give my followers what they wanted….We are hoping to build upon this formula for success and continue to listen closely to my amazing audience,” said Charnas, who has one million followers on Instagram. She was in Chicago Thursday afternoon for a meet-and-greet at the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue, one of 52 doors carrying the line.
“My team and I are so humbled by the success of the Nordstrom launch. Especially because I had the opportunity to design my own line and do something that I genuinely love….I never in a million years expected such a reaction. I went into this with the idea of creating something I knew my audience would love and wear and could afford,” she added.
Charnas’ use of data and feedback to tailor collections she knows will appeal to her followers has clearly worked — and has vaulted her into an increasingly elite club. Call them the “superinfluencers.”
Similar to the rise of the supermodel in the Nineties, there’s been an ascension of these superinfluencers today — a group that not only includes Charnas, but Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, Aimee Song of Song of Style and Leandra Medine of Man Repeller.
These superinfluencers can break into two separate — but equal — categories: brand builders and converters. Several industry sources have coined Ferragni, who borders on celebrity status, as a brand builder who does little in the way of converting, while Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What is more of a rarity. She’s one of the select few in the blogosphere with the ability to both brand build and convert.
Charnas is a proven converter in the fashion and beauty space — it was previously reported that the 30-year-old was able to sell more than $40,000 worth of a Petersyn top and skirt she linked to in an Instagram Story — but the notion that she was able to move more than $1 million in product in less than 24 hours at Nordstrom is relatively unprecedented in the influencer world. Sure, the volume pales in comparison to the social media-fueled sales of Kylie Jenner, who told WWD last month that her Kylie Cosmetics e-commerce site once drew in almost $19 million in a single day. But Charnas’ selling power is impressive for a non-Kardashian-Jenner. Take Bernstein, who sold $70,000 worth of her own line, Second Skin Overalls, on her e-commerce site Secondskinoveralls.com last fall. This is an impressive sales volume, especially taking into account that Bernstein’s operation is a direct-to-consumer one that doesn’t have the e-commerce muscle or in-store presence that partnering with a leading retailer such as Nordstrom provides.
And while Nordstrom declined to reveal the revenues generated by Charnas’ exclusive collection in its first four days, a source said it was projected to do between $3 million and $5 million for the season. At the rate of first-day sales, that means Nordstrom is likely to reorder a lot — and could easily blow through the initial projections.
The superinfluencer — and even the mere influencer — is clearly here to stay and is becoming an increasingly important part of the fashion and beauty world, both with their own collections and as a way to drive sales of other brands — hence their presence at front rows throughout the fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Showing the growing fascination with the phenomenon, both Forbes and digital research firm L2 this week issued a top 10 list and report, respectively, on the subject.
On Tuesday, Forbes unveiled its third Top Influencers global list in fashion, parenting and pets, which ranks 10 influencers for each category. For fashion, Ferragni nabbed the top spot, with Medine and Bernstein coming in second and third, respectively. Rounding out the list were Gabi Gregg, Bryan Yambao (Bryanboy), Song, Julia Engel, Nicolette Mason, Jenn Im and Susanna Lau. Forbes partnered with Captiv8, a social-insight platform, and Traackr, an analytics firm that specializes in influencers, to help determine the rankings that were based on reach, propensity for virality and engagement related to their area of expertise.
For L2, “Influencers 2017: A New Paradigm in Social Engagement,” data focused heavily on the engagement and reach side, positioning influencers as powerful brand builders for the litany of beauty and fashion players they’re paid to promote.
Mike Froggatt, director, Intelligence, at L2, said even though some of the biggest bloggers might have cultivated massive followings, “it’s almost equivalent to a word-of-mouth recommendation, and we see the traffic and all other metrics — not necessarily conversion — that point to influence.”
And, as Nordstrom and Charnas have shown, influence is the latest coin of the realm.