When most people think of Kate Hudson, the pretty blonde actress from hits like Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days springs to mind. Others know her best as the gorgeous daughter of equally stunning actress Goldie Hawn. What many people don’t realize is that Hudson donned yet another hat recently–that of business mogul. With the rise of Fabletics, an innovative line of athletic wear for women of all shapes, sizes and abilities, Hudson is recasting herself as not only a strong business leader but as a powerful voice for women who demand equal treatment from the fashion industry.
Clothing lines by celebrities are a dime a dozen these days. Most fizzle out before getting anywhere; many survive only in the confines of large, nationwide department store chains. The main problem is that while these lines boast famous names, the people behind those names are rarely actually involved. Rather, their names are added to the labels for their star power and little more. With Fabletics, Kate Hudson bucks this trend and then some. The actress hasn’t just given them permission to use her name and likeness. She is far more than a spokesperson. Instead, she has a hands-on role in the daily operation of the business–and it shows.
Several factors have converged to make Fabletics a cut above the rest. Kate Hudson has been interviewed extensively about the various things that have helped to propel her brand to success, and a lot of information is out there. More than anything, it is abundantly clear that Hudson sincerely loves Fabletics and genuinely believes that it will make a difference in the lives of women and girls. For Hudson, being driven is about more than making a profit; it’s about making a positive change in the world.
A few of the distinctive things about Fabletics that have helped it to achieve a revenue run rate of more than $250 million include:
- Big Data Personalization – Fabletics’ parent company, TechStyle Fashion Group, which is valued at more than $1 billion, is a force to be reckoned with in the e-commerce world. The company is adept at using big data to enhance marketing and other aspects of operating an online business, and Fabletics is putting this to exceptional use. When signing up for accounts, users are asked to complete a brief quiz. The answers that they provide are then used to customize everything from inventory to special offers to pricing. Powerful analytics are used to assess user behavior across various campaigns, allowing Fabletics to identify new opportunities and more.
- Membership Model – Not everyone is a fan of membership subscription models. However, it has turned out to be a major win for the fledgling company. When Fabletics announced that it would operate off of a membership model, in which users must pay a membership fee every month to receive special offers, there were plenty of naysayers. Fabletics members who don’t need new fitness clothes each month is able to easily skip their box that month at no fee, creating a simple solution for those who want access to the best prices but don’t want product frequently. However, Fabletics offers a lot in return, including rock-bottom prices on “athleisure” wear that is high in quality, stylish, comfortable and available in sizes that suit just about anyone. For women who want access to beautiful workout clothes that double as street clothes without spending a fortune, Fabletics is tough to beat.
- Inclusive Sizing – One of the most frustrating aspects of getting into physical fitness for many women is finding active wear that actually fits right. Ironically, the very industry that designs clothing for people who want to get into shape turns a blind eye to those who don’t fit into “standard” sizes. Recently, Fabletics announced the addition of a broad array of plus sizes to complement the line. Henceforth, all items will be available in sizes XXS through 3X. Unlike the plus-size versions of most brands, which are merely scaled up, Fabletics’ plus size garments are tailored to suit different body shapes, providing unbeatable support and comfort.
Naturally, there’s a lot more to running a successful business than having a great idea, a great product and a great spokesperson. For Fabletics to get where it is today, the company had to think outside the box in terms of marketing. Luckily, Kate Hudson was up to the challenge. The thing that the company has done great at from the start is identifying opportunities within the active wear industry. While most major brands ignore plus sizes, Fabletics embraces them. While most major brands charge outlandish prices for basic workout clothes, Fabletics offers an affordable membership model that makes top-quality active wear accessible to a much larger audience. Finally, most established brands are barely scratching the surface of what big data can do while Fabletics’ entire marketing model revolves around it.
There is more behind the astonishing success of Fabletics than the factors that have been highlighted already. For an idea to succeed, something more is usually needed. In interviews, Kate Hudson has delved into this topic fairly often. One thing that she frequently points to is the concept of giving back. The actress acknowledges how fortunate she has been in life, and she believes that the only way to enjoy continued success is by helping others get there too. She comes by this tendency honestly, as her mother, Goldie Hawn, has been actively involved in philanthropic causes for decades. Her organization, the Hawn Foundation, promotes an initiative called MindUp that teaches mindfulness to children.
Finally, Kate Hudson says that for anyone to achieve any goal that they set for themselves, they have to be confident. Even if you are a famous actress like her, you will have to face detractors. When she started Fabletics, plenty of people out there rolled their eyes and said that it wouldn’t amount to much. Only four years later, the company has proven them wrong again and again. Sales rose by more than 46 percent in 2016, and Fabletics currently boasts more than 1.2 million monthly members. This upward trajectory is certain to continue well into the future, and it will be interesting to see where the brand goes next.