The evolution of "high street" or "fast fashion" is an interesting one. Storefronts offering affordable, accessible, trend-driven attire and accessories first proliferated in the UK--from international retail giants like Topshop, to comparatively smaller, more focused brands like River Island.
Eventually, the trend made it stateside, with disposable fashion available everywhere from Fifth Avenue to malls in middle America. And now, with the explosion of all things digital and fashion-related, the trend is gaining speed online with one site in particular being seen as a model of success.
Nasty Gal popped up around the same time as other similar online-only high street-type stores and has grown the fastest. According to the New York Times, the e-commerce site made nearly $128 million in sales last year, and netted close to $100 million. It also raised close to $50 million from Index Ventures, which has also invested sites like Net-a-Porter, Etsy, and Asos. And rumor has it, Urban Outfitters may be interested in buying.
But with great success comes even greater competition. Ever since Nasty Gal stormed the Interwebs with its affordable wares and Indie cred, a slew of viable competitors has cropped up in its wake, poised to take the spotlight–and our expendable income. Many of them carry an in-house brand (many of which are probably manufactured at the same places), as well as other similarly priced labels.
Click through for seven sites that are vying to become Nasty Gal’s next big competitor.
Shop Young Love launched pretty recently and might appeal to a wider range of ages and styles than some of the other sites on this list. The gist is that it showcases up-and-coming (and affordable) New York designers. It’s got a smaller inventory than other sites, which includes quippy jewelry, sexy dresses and casual outerwear. It has more of a savvy New York girl vibe than a breezy Coachella-bound California vibe. Prices are more in the $40-$300 range.
On Daily Look, you shop accessibly-priced items styled into looks, rather than by individual item, for inspiration. Investors seem to like the idea–the site recently raised a $2.5 million seed round from a few financial organizations, and also from Rachel Zoe. It carries its own line and others, priced mostly in the $30-$100 range.
Shopruche might be more accurately described as the new Modcloth. Most of its offerings are pretty dainty and vintage-inspired. Prices range from around $40 for a dress to $200 for a decent coat.
Karmaloop offers fast fashion with a streetwear angle. There are baseball caps, t-shirts and other items with pot leaves, rap lyrics and words like “Plastics,” alongside smarter items like New Balance x Herschel sneakers and basic gold watches. Some of it feels very Spring Breakers. There is actually some unique stuff to be found, but the site isn’t the most well-designed. Price range: Probably nothing over $80.
Missguided hails from the UK, and recently launched in the U.S. It seems set on establishing itself as the go-to affordable hipster-casual online brand. The inventory is huge; nothing appears to be over $100 and the aesthetic is very Nasty Gal-esque.
According to the site's About Us section, Threadsence is for "the free-spirited and indie-inspired" and is "centered on music festivals and shows, art and literature, and spontaneous, trend-driven fashion." It launched in 2010 and is based in California. From mini dresses to floral shorts, the large inventory is a privileged, slightly rebellious 16-year-old's dream Coachella wardrobe. Nothing seems to be over $200, with most items in the $20-$60 range.
Tobi is a sleekly designed member's-only ecommerce site that offers special deals like free shipping, 50% off your first order and 30% off new arrivals. Like NastyGal and most of the sites on this list, Tobi is rife with youthful, trend-driven items like crop tops, dresses with cut-outs and very short shorts. Prices range from $10 for a belt to around $80 for a coat.