Stop everything. The brand we have all lusted over for years has finally launched its UK site.
Hello wardrobe of dreams. Goodbye financial responsibility.
Yes, Revolve - that absolutely dreamy brand you see plastered all over Instagram - has come to the UK. But despite our bank accounts wincing slightly (OK, a lot) this is the best news we’ve had all year. Seriously. Up until now, the LA-based brand was available to shop for UK customers but the logistics side of things made it a little tricky. However, that has all changed, as Revolve have announced their UK entity will offer free shipping and free returns. Read that twice? Don’t blame you. But it’s no joke. Like we said… best news all year!
Even if you think you haven’t heard of Revolve, you’ve definitely flicked through at least two pieces from their curated collection on Instagram (think brands like For Love & Lemons, Free People, L’Academie and Tula Rosa, to name just four).
And, a social media game-changer since their launch in 2003, Revolve is a firm favourite of celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Olivia Culpo, as well as a whole community of influencers: Negin Mirsalehi, Lydia Millen and Danielle Peazer are all fans. Bridging the gap between high street and designer, it’s the ultimate online shopping space.
Stylist sat down with Revolve’s co-founder, Michael Mente, Chief Brand Officer, Raissa Gerona, and Kai Li, VP of International, to talk about the brand’s latest move, social media strategies and, of course, their famous parties.
Revolve has been celebrated on social media for years now. Why was now the right time for a UK launch?
MM: I think because of social media, we were very confident that the brand was resonating well around the world and London was our third largest city - even with the poor shipping experience, which is incredible. I actually feel guilty for all our UK consumers who are passionately shopping with us in spite of that, and I think it’s long overdue that we can now offer free shipping, free returns. But we’re also selfishly excited as we now get to spend time here, too.
For who don’t know the brand so well, who is the ‘Revolve girl’?
MM: I think what’s great is that there’s aspects of everyone. When you browse the site and there’s so many clothes to scroll through, sure, a customer who loves us could still find things that would never suit them. But we have a broad range and, because we’re able to accommodate more than one category, we’re able to reach a broader sense of consumers. There’s definitely a sense of confidence and sexiness, as well as ambition, work ethic and socialising. Because of that, we’re able to provide product for all aspects of lifestyle: a rooftop brunch or a park picnic… clothes to wear to work, or clothes for travel. A whole range. There’s really a number of people who connect with different aspects of the brand and this broad range of pieces uniting everything.
Speaking of socialising, we are obsessed and forever envious of the Revolve trips and events you host around the world. Are you guys bringing that to the UK too?
RG: 1000%. We were talking about how excited we are to be here and to come here frequently. The next events will be bigger and better to thank and appreciate all our customers and fans. Just seeing how many influencers are here and love the brand has been so, so exciting, and gives us confidence that we can go bigger the next time we come back
With so many infleuncers and A-Listers as fans, what’s the ultimate goal for the launch in the UK?
MM: It’s interesting. It’s a mix of two goals: to expose revolve to our new customers and for them to see what we’re about but also to educate them. Once they know about us, we’d like people to know about the nuts and bolts aspect. We’re just so excited for this new step.
Are all brands online going be available?
MM: Yes. There may be a handful of beauty ones which won’t be, but otherwise everything will be available. The full experience!
Revolve is one of the brands that stepped head of the game with your social media strategy? What made you decide to do that, early on?
MM: I think, historically, that’s something we enjoy and when we first started the company, we were ahead of the curve, advertising with Yahoo first. Then, working with the evolution of the digital ecosystem, we’ve always been able to stay a step a ahead. We viewed it as a big opportunity: shifts provide risk, but we always see it as opportunity. Of course, the big shift we’re going through right now is influencer marketing… how blogs have evolved to social media and different content strategies. We identified it early and we’re excited to see how it all develops and grows.
How does it feel, having founded an e-commerce business that so many adore?
RG: I mean, it’s amazing to even hear from fans and it makes our job even more rewarding to know that we’re communicating and developing relationships with people all over the world just through social media. That goes for the entire team too. To be in the UK and to know people have been waiting for us or want to discover us… well, it’s a huge opportunity and we’re excited for it.
MM: It’s also interesting because we’re all nervous, and we want to make sure that we deliver on all aspects.
Do you have a favourite brand?
RG: It changes depending on my mood and what I have to do that week. But I do have staples that I wear all the time, and this is just my opinion currently, but I love GRLFRND denim. I’m wearing them right now and it’s our top-selling brand here in the UK, as well as in the US. It hits so many aspects of my lifestyle; going to brunch or going out at night. There’s a huge array of products. I love LPA too and Majorelle.
Have you had to adapt the brand or the approach you use for the website, in preparation for this launch?
MM: That’s more back-end, site functionality. We sell similar products and similar brands and the markets are similar but the hard work is back end.
KL: Well, we’ve been working on it for the last 18 months, with bank accounts, currency etc. If you shopped even last week on Revolve, you’d have to add taxes and shipping, whereas now, the price you see is the price you’ll pay. Also, in the past, when you wanted to return a product, you wouldn’t be refunded taxes, whereas now you get everything refunded. I have to say, in the 20 years of my career, this is probably one of the biggest projects.
Where do you think Revolve fits into the British high street?
MM: I think it’s interesting that we’re in a middle zone and it’s challenging sometimes as we try to be this perfect balance of being accessible but also luxury and premium. When people ask us who are direct competitors are, we say no one and everyone. Revolve can compete with the Selfridges of the world but also the high street and we’re in the zone where we are unique. We’re referring to it as ‘millennial luxury’, where you can get your special piece for holiday without spending something silly like $1000.
Do you see yourselves working with luxury department stores in the future?
MM: I think we’re always open; whether it be that or even just opening a physical store. There’s a lot of opportunity all over the place and we’re just trying to stay focused on our most immediate priorities and stay open for when other opportunities become immediate priorities too.
Images: courtesy of Revolve