By: Michelle Miley
“Ten young women dressed in a catwalk-ready mix of denim fringe vests, short shorts, neon sheer tops and 5-inch platform boots are clustered in a downtown Los Angeles conference room on a recent morning.”
This is the first sentence leading into a feature story written by Victoria Barret on the one and only Sophia Amoruso. It appeared in the July 16, 2012 issue of Forbes magazine. Barret is a writer for Forbes magazine and writes about “people pioneering the technology industry.” Although this is not the route I plan on taking with my writing/photography/styling skills, I really appreciated her well written piece. The focus is on the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, who happens to be one of my all time idols. Both the writer and the subject make this a great feature story.
Barret starts off describing the scene that laid in front of her eyes, as quoted above, and it made me wish I was in that room with them. She opens with colorful details to set the scene and then dives right in to describe Amoruso:
In four years her spunky retail fashion site has streaked across the Web, pushing new ways to sell trendy but inexpensive clothing. The company is on its way to quadrupling sales this year to $128 million, racking up gross margins of more than 60%, up there with retail’s most profitable ventures. Nasty Gal has done this with very little advertising and nearly no discounting in an industry forced to succumb to daily dealmaking. Instead, Amoruso has built a brand on the backs of Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook—and translated “likes” into sales.
Amoruso is slumped in a chair at the end of the table in a fitted black chiffon dress paired with chunky, white lace-up shoes and bright pink lipstick. The girls in the room are hanging on her every gesture. Her trajectory is a fashion girl’s dream come true, but her story is largely unknown outside her fan base. For all of Nasty Gal’s constant online conversations with customers—the company updates its social network pages five times a day and aims to “get dressed” with them every morning—Amoruso is notably quiet, even shy. “Do you guys work out?” she inquires near the end of the session. Heads bob in agreement before a flurry of passionate pleas imploring her to take on the current athletic apparel giant Lululemon.
I love how Barret can make a smooth transition from talking business to talking casual. Even when she is talking about money and how Nasty Gal has done she still incorporates adjectives such as spunky to set a mood of fashion. When it comes to describing a scene or Amoruso I really like the words she uses to paint the audience a picture. It makes her come alive and experience it for ourselves. After reading this piece I felt like a new a lot more about one of my favorite fashion inspirations.
If you would like to read the whole feature click here!