Super Nova

Two somnambulant Kylie Jenner doppel­gängers stand on a seamless white backdrop and duck-face for a photographer at the in-house photo studio of Fashion Nova’s headquarters outside Los Angeles. They could be twins, if you don’t look closely: the same tanned skin, long hair, and big, dark eyes. Both have lips so plump they look filled, lashes so long they must be extensions, and cheekbones so highlighted the gleam can probably be seen from space.

For those who didn’t just order the “Casual Lover” spandex crop top and matching skirt, immediately put it on, whip out their iPhone, take several belfies and post them to Instagram with no less than six hashtags, the look the Kylies are trying to achieve can seem impossible to re-create at home. What these models are capturing is the very specific vibe of Fashion Nova, the ultrafast fast-fashion brand that offers streetwear with high stretch content to women 16 to 35. It has become one of fashion’s fastest-growing apparel brands by marketing almost exclusively through Instagram, where its 3,000-person network (and growing) of loyal influencers called Nova Babes model the clothes and generate word-of-mouth popularity and sales. It’s widely known as the brand of choice for Instathots — as the people who post an infinite number of sexy photos on Instagram are known in internet parlance. Rapper and Fashion Nova ambassador Cardi B even immortalized the brand in song: “I could buy designer but this Fashion Nova fit.” The line has become the unofficial company slogan and frequent Instagram caption.

These are clothes made for social media: meant to be worn once, maybe twice, photographed, and discarded. To keep up with that metabolism, the shop offers an obscene number of new styles — around 1,000 a week — that promulgate a particular aesthetic of which Kylie Jenner is a spirit animal. I recently bought the “Buenos Aires” strapless romper after she wore it to Coachella and posted it on Instagram. She got 5 million likes; I have yet to muster the courage to wear it in public. Clothing and accessories have names like “Curves for Days” or “Cute But Salty” or “Internet Famous.” Most everything is priced under $50 and of slightly dubious quality, and everything is designed to effectively flaunt snatched waists and lower bodies that look like sets of parentheses.

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