Nasty Gal: A brand born on social media seeks to disrupt bricks-and-mortar retail

Sarah Shearman

Nasty Gal is an online fashion retailer that initially went into business in 2006 to sell vintage clothes on eBay. Since then, and by fueling its growth via a range of social media platforms, the company has amassed more than 550,000 customers in over 60 countries, and will soon open its first bricks-and-mortar store in Los Angeles.

The firm's development is thus as much a tale of the digital revolution as fashion success. Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal's founder, told delegates at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive – the annual conference held in Austin, Texas – that she initially had promoted the business through Myspace, quickly recruiting 60,000 followers through a mixture of organic advocacy and coverage in fashion magazines.