An influencer just sold more than $1 million in clothing in 30 minutes, even after recent backlash over fleeing NYC following a COVID-19 diagnosis

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An influencer just sold more than $1 million in clothing in 30 minutes, even after recent backlash over fleeing NYC following a COVID-19 diagnosis
Something Navy founder Arielle Charnas.Something Navy
  • Influencer Arielle Charnas launched the clothing line Something Navy on Monday, and it generated $1 million in sales in the first 30 minutes, according to the company.
  • The brand's apparent early success comes amid a record drop in US clothing sales.
  • Something Navy sources feedback from its community — which includes Charnas's 1.3 million Instagram followers — to weigh in on fashion and design decisions.
  • Charnas faced backlash in March over her decision to flee New York City and quarantine in the Hamptons following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Fashion influencer Arielle Charnas has found a way to get people to buy clothes amid the biggest drop in US apparel sales in history.

Charnas launched her clothing line, Something Navy, on Monday morning.

Within the first 30 minutes of launch, the e-commerce brand generated more then $1 million in sales, a company representative told Business Insider. (This news was first reported by CNBC's Lauren Thomas).

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The demand for Charnas's brand comes as many retailers grapple with the fallout of weeks-long store closings due to the coronavirus, as well as waning demand for new outfits as Americans shelter at home.

Sales at clothing stores fell 43% in the first five months of 2020, compared to the same period last year. This has helped fuel a spate of bankruptcy filings by major brands including J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and Brooks Brothers.

Against this bleak backdrop Charnas launched her brand, and she appears to have found early success by turning her 1.3 million Instagram followers into buying customers.

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The apparent success of the launch also shows that Charnas's followers have likely moved on from the backlash over her decision to flee New York City in March and quarantine in the Hamptons following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Critics said she risked endangering others by traveling after her diagnosis. Charnas later apologized and said she followed the Centers for Disease Control guidelines by waiting 14 days after the onset of symptoms before leaving New York City to quarantine in another area.

"We are and have always been committed to taking proper precautions, again through our ongoing conversations with medical professionals, to leave Manhattan without coming into contact with any individual from point A to point B," she said at the time.

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Something Navy was previously available at Nordstrom. The company said it sold more than $4.4 million in the first day of its Nordstrom launch in September 2018.

Something Navy and Nordstrom later cut ties in 2019, and Something Navy said it planned to launch as a standalone direct-to-consumer brand in March 2020. The pandemic delayed the launch until July.

Items available on Something Navy's website range between $65 and $200. The pieces are designed by an in-house lead designer, but inspired by Charnas's "life and style," the company said.

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Something Navy sources feedback from its community — which includes Charnas's followers — to weigh in on fashion and design decisions.

"Something Navy has unprecedented access to consumer data pre-brand launch, as the brand constantly polls and confers with their key demographic about every decision," the company said in a news release. "Something Navy's fan base helps the brand make every choice from product style and color to fit to the upcoming store location."

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