A few weeks ago, Forbes released an article about how LuLaRoe has grown at a staggering rate over the past four years. Meanwhile, other brick and mortar retail clothing brands are seriously struggling. Analysts are asking the question “why is LuLaRoe popular” when Payless, Bebe, The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, American Apparel, Macy’s and many more are closing stores across the country. Forbes had some clues. They wrote that the combo of having a personalized shopping experience from someone you can have a personal relationship with while buying clothes made for real women is a smashing combination. But when people ask me “why is LuLaRoe popular?” I believe there’s more to it than that.
Women are dictating fashion to the brand, rather than the brand dictating fashion to them.
In traditional retail, Fashion Week signals to brands what the coming trends are, the brands choose their colors and pieces based on those trends, then tell their customers “this is the new style – this is what you have to choose from this season.” In contrast, LuLaRoe created a certain number classic styles, and differentiates them through colors, patterns and fabrics. They hear from the retailers what people are requesting: More solids! More black! More lux fabrics! V-necks! And you know what? They listen!
Women would rather stick to a style that works in a large variety of colors and prints than several styles that all fit differently.
Trying on a new style is anxiety-inducing. Will it fit my shoulders? Will the neckline go too low or the hemline too high? And when you find something you absolutely love, it may only come in three colors. LuLaRoe does limited runs of prints and fabrics, which means when you buy a LuLaRoe item, not only are you getting something somewhat unique, you have opportunities to buy that same item in many different iterations.
The surprise, the hunt and the urgency.
LuLaRoe is like a box of chocolates – you never knew what you’re going to get! The retailer doesn’t know, and the customer doesn’t know. That’s why “Shop the Box” live sales are so fun. Each item the retailer brings out is a total surprise for everyone. Talk about entertainment! That said, if a customer likes an item, she better claim it right then and there. The retailer can’t order another one, and she doesn’t know if it will ever show up again.
Plus-size women are not forgotten.
Most popular retail apparel stores in the mall only make their clothes up to size 14. That leaves out a little less than half of the American women population (with cash in their hands). And even if a retailer makes plus size clothing, is it actually designed with plus size women in mind? My very best customers are plus size. In fact, I carry twice as much TC (tall & curvy) leggings than my OS (one size) leggings, because plus size women simply buy more leggings. Even more, women of all sizes can shop together. No one is alienated. Same styles, same prices.
Waistbands. Yes, waistbands.
LuLaRoe leggings have high, yoga-pant-like waistbands. They sit high enough that you don’t have to worry about them creeping or rolling down, and the wide soft band at the top doesn’t pinch or feel uncomfortable. The Cassie (pencil skirt) has the same yoga-pant waist band. The other skirts, Madison, Lola and Jill, all have elastic waistbands that actually look nice on their own! No need to hide the elastic with a belt. I’ve seen other brands try to do something similar with their skirts, but unfortunately the elastic waistband just doesn’t look as classy as what LuLaRoe has come up with.
Reclaiming pretty after surrendering to athleisure.
When I was pregnant with my son, there were endless memes on Facebook about moms in yoga pants. I was led to believe that athleisure was my fate, and when I actually had my son, I understood. I simply did not have patience for anything but yoga pants. LuLaRoe understood that for the majority of adult women with families, form MUST follow function. The ultimate unicorn was an outfit a woman could wear to work, church, at the park, out to lunch with friends and feel no need at the end of the day to take it off for something more comfortable. These are clothes for living your life the way you actually live it.
What did Forbes get wrong?
Forbes really got it wrong when they said that LuLaRoe fashion was really only appealing to middle America as the brand was not as popular in fashion-forward places like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The implication is that LuLaRoe is not fashion forward, and people in middle America are not fashion forward – this is simply not the truth! The article failed to explore one of the number one things required of a LuLaRoe retailer, and that’s space. Carrying an inventory of 600+ pieces takes up a lot of room. In fact, it takes up a whole room of a house, or even several rooms. Space in the metropolises of New York, LA and San Francisco comes at a high price, and if you have it, you probably aren’t seeking a LuLaRoe business opportunity.
This summer I had a pop-up in downtown Los Angeles. I bought 3 boxes, sent them to my mom’s house in central California, and drove them down to La La Land. I was so nervous, because not only was the pop up downtown, it was in the super hip brewery-turned-artist-commune. I’m used to selling to moms in suburban North Carolina. While the comments were different (“Wow, this would be so cool to wear at Burning Man!”), the sales and enthusiasm were actually the same.
So why is LuLaRoe popular when other retailers are struggling?
LuLaRoe clothes are beautiful and appealing to women, no matter what they are doing, how old they are, where they live or what size they wear. The clothes are made thoughtfully, for real women who have to fill many different roles during their day.
After the popularity of my last LuLaRoe article, I received so many messages from customers telling me why they love LuLaRoe. It warms my heart, because it is such an honor to help women feel their best self no matter what size or situation they are in. If you’d like to feel and look your best this holiday season, I’d love it if you clicked here to join my LuLaRoe VIP group!