Revolve Is Launching a New Brand Just for Gen Z

Influencer-favorite retailer is tapping into the influencer-favorite generation with Superdown

Superdown will bring Revolve's influencer-first strategy to a younger audience. Revolve/Superdown
Headshot of Diana Pearl

Few brands have utilized influencer marketing more than Revolve. The online women’s clothing retailer is infamous for its #RevolveAroundTheWorld hashtag, utilized by influencers wearing on-trend pieces in all sorts of locales, from bedrooms to beaches to booths at restaurants. The retailer has also hosted influencer-attended events from coast to coast, including #RevolveFestival at last year’s Coachella and the Revolve House in the Hamptons, which was the site of influencer-hosted parties throughout the summer in 2016. (Kim Kardashian and Nicole Richie both served as hosts.)

Because of their connection with so many savvy influencers—from big names in Hollywood like Chrissy Teigen to mega-influencers such as Arielle Charnas of Something Navy—Revolve has practically become synonymous with “cool girl on Instagram” style. Now, the company is launching Superdown, a new website that aims to make that signature style more accessible for Gen Z—namely, via a lower price point.

Revolve co-founder and co-CEO Michael Mente said that while Revolve has always carried items that catered to the Gen Z shopper, Superdown will offer items curated exclusively for them.

“The launch of Superdown allows us to strengthen our existing relationship with this new generation shopper by offering an exclusive assortment that compliments [their] lifestyle,” he said. “Similar to Revolve, our innovative influencer partnerships will be an important factor in Superdown’s overall marketing strategy, enabling us to work with new, exciting, game-changing ambassadors and industry pioneers.”

Superdown began as an in-house brand sold on Revolve’s website in response to an observation that Gen Z—the group that made up the majority of Revolve’s own social media followers—was “underserved” in the fast fashion market. Once the brand performed well, the team started thinking about how they could expand it.

“We felt we could provide premium fast-fashion product to a new generation of consumers,” said Mente, “[We] saw a strong response. It made sense to transition this product to its own destination and build out a strong roster of brands specifically curated for this customer.”

That roster of third-party brands now available on Superdown’s website includes a slew of recognizable names including J.O.A., BB Dakota, Levi’s, Steve Madden and Dolce Vita, among others. Prices range from $13 (for a wrap top) to $198 (for a pair of jeans). In comparison, Revolve’s priciest item available as of press time is a coat that costs a whopping $2,795.

The prices may differ, but Superdown and Revolve will be similar in that influencers will play a key role in both sites’ marketing strategies. Taking a cue from Revolve makes sense, as its influencer-first approach seems to be paying off. Last fall, the company filed for IPO and reported $5 million in profits from $399.6 million in net sales in 2017, numbers the company was set to exceed in 2018, according to Fashionista. The IPO filing also revealed how significant an investment Revolve makes when it comes to marketing; in 2017, it totaled a collective $55.5 million.

Mente said that while Superdown isn’t yet revealing its initial influencer partner lineup, shoppers can expect to see similar practices to those used at Revolve, including influencer collaboration capsule collections. And the average Superdown customer—a Gen Zer—is likely even more tapped into influencer culture than the typical Revolve customer.

“We’re industry-renowned for taking a brand and building it into a lifestyle and are excited to bring Superdown to life,” said Mente. “We will leverage our world-class marketing capabilities to further develop our relationship with the Gen-Z consumer.”

The hope, of course, is that when Gen Z grows up and has more money to spend, they’ll transition over into becoming Revolve customers, too.

“By building a site solely focused on this consumer, we feel we can expand our relationship even further,” Mente said.

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.