Hill House Home’s Nap Dress has been a hit since it made its debut in 2019, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, the cult-favorite piece has been experiencing explosive growth.
At a time when many brands were experiencing sales declines and fewer customer purchases, the five-year-old Hill House Home was seeing the opposite. The brand experienced major year-over-year revenue growth in 2020 with an overall increase of 275 percent, which was mostly due to Nap Dress sales. The Nap Dress category on its own saw a year-over-year increase of 1,120 percent.
“The point of the Nap Dress has always been to have a garment that is comfortable and makes you feel really put together,” said Hill House Home founder and chief executive officer Nell Diamond during a Zoom call. “It can also carry you from making your toddler breakfast to your Zoom meeting with your boss to theoretically going out to dinner with your friends.”
Despite its timeliness, the Nap Dress was not a response to the pandemic and its subsequent fashion trends. The brand launched the dress in 2019 and trademarked the name in January 2020. Hill House Home, which also offers home products such as bedding, bath, sleepwear and kids’ apparel, has been dropping new iterations of the Nap Dress regularly in small collections since its inception that have sold out within minutes. Diamond says that out of the Nap Dress’ six styles, its Ellie Nap Dress — a maxidress with ruffled sleeves — is the brand’s most popular.
The Nap Dress’ popularity was fueled in part by quarantine fashion trends, as loungewear became the preferred style for many as they worked from home. The loungewear trend evolved into an inclination for fashionable pajamas, which fits with the brand’s Nap Dress name. The style has also gotten a boost of interest thanks to the recent Netflix hit show, “Bridgerton,” whose characters often wore house dresses while they lounged at home.
Diamond was inspired to create the Nap Dress based on her own style. A self-proclaimed “dress girl,” Diamond wanted a garment that was versatile enough for her life as a business owner and a mother and a dress that combined comfort, style and value. Despite the garment’s name, Diamond explained the Nap Dress isn’t specifically intended for sleep, but is meant as a comfortable option to take the wearer through their day.
“For me and for the business as a whole, this garment can literally be the thing you wear when you’re having your coffee every single morning, but also something that feels celebratory enough that you can wear it when you get the [COVID-19] vaccine,” she said. “That’s everything that we want to create because I think those moments are both of the fabric of life and we really want to be there for women along those milestones and in the everyday.”
Hill House Home’s most recent Nap Dress launch was its holiday collection, which offered its popular styles like its Ellie, Athena, Caroline and Katherine Nap Dresses in tartan and gold brocade prints. Diamond said the launch “sold out further than our most aggressive projections in minutes.”
The brand is unveiling its latest Nap Dress launch, the English Garden collection, on Wednesday, which introduces new Nap Dress styles as well as new prints. The collection unveils the Nima Wrap Dress, a mini wrap dress in a mint-colored silk and a trellis pattern, the Tati Silk Teddy dress, which comes in two trellis-patterned colors, and the Sabrina Dress, a knee-length, short-sleeved dress.
The collection also introduces new fabrics and colors, including the brand’s first black Nap Dress, a green trellis-patterned print, a light blue color and a gold jacquard fabric in the brand’s Ellie, Athena, Nesli and Caroline Nap Dresses. The collection ranges in price from $100 to $225.
While the Hill House Home’s Nap Dresses experienced tremendous growth, the brand’s bath and bedding products also saw an increase in sales, which Diamond credits to customers wanting to invest more in their homes during the pandemic. The brand is planning on translating its success with the Nap Dress over to its bedding collection by offering bed sheets in the same prints as the Nap Dress later this year. The brand is also working on a bridal collection for April and kid’s Nap Dresses for May. New Nap Dress styles and fabrics are expected to debut in June.
Going forward in 2021, Diamond plans to expand the brand, and its Nap Dress category, in a sustainable way.
“One of the core tenants of our business has been to not be creating waste,” she said. “We really don’t want to create this glut of products that go out of style in a couple of months and are really trend-driven or seasonally dependent. We really love our hero products and we want them to last. It’s important to us to have that thesis, but at the same time we don’t want people to feel like they weren’t able to get something they wanted.”
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