Launched in 2013, Fabletics is Kate Hudson’s brand of athletic apparel. On the brand’s website, you can find what seems like hundreds of sports bras, leggings and jogging pants in numerous colors, shapes and styles. Additionally, the store offers casual apparel items like jersey dresses made with sweat-resistant fabrics, cute pullover sweaters to lounge around in and highly fashionable gym bags.
Hudson launched the company amidst the rise of the “athleisure” trend. For the last five or so years, women have felt more and more comfortable incorporating athletic apparel items like leggings and slouchy sweatshirts into everyday outfits. Before launching Fabletics, Hudson had been a fan of the trend herself. Her Instagram page, which has millions of followers, features photos of her wearing cute athletic gear while working out and lounging around.
When Fabletics was officially launched, the brand existed exclusively online. Like with any online store, customers can browse the selection of items, add them to a shopping cart and make a purchase. However, Fabletics also offers a VIP membership program. Customers can sign up to become members by filling out a survey about their fashion tastes as well as the workouts that they like to perform. Then, each month, Fabletics selects a full workout outfit for the VIP member and ships it to their door. The monthly fee is $49.95.
For bloggers Joanie and Heather, the deal was irresistible. Many other athletic apparel brands charge $50 for a pair of leggings while Fabletics provides a full outfit for practically the same price. Plus, since the ladies have busy schedules, they loved the convenience of having Fabletics choose the outfit for them.
Blogger Teri Hutcheon loved the fit of the clothes. She noticed that the sports bras and leggings seem to hug the body in all the right places. After washing her Fabletics pieces a few times, she was pleased to report that the fabrics still hold up and that the colors don’t fade.
Like Joanie, Heather and Teri, millions of women are delighted to receive a full outfit in their mailbox each month. This business model has brought the company much revenue. To further the company’s success, Hudson launched several brick-and-mortar Fabletics stores to act as “reverse showrooms” that encourage customers to join the membership program. Instead of solely trying to get customers to buy items in the store, Hudson strives to get customers to become members once they see the clothes in person.
This “reverse showroom” strategy has certainly paid off. About 25 percent of customers who walk into a Fabletics store become VIP members. Today, the company is worth $250 million.