Its virtual RevolveU conference is the latest example of the company’s marketing pivot, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Revolve’s influencer-filled, made-for-Instagram events, which span from tropical vacations to full-blown music festivals, are not only central to its business — it’s one of the things the retailer, known for glitzy party dresses, colorful swimwear and other #OOTD-friendly wares, has become synonymous with.
The company had big plans for 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic led to global lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. “We actually felt like this year, of all the years, was the most organized we’ve ever been,” Raissa Gerona, Revolve’s Chief Brand Officer, says, on a Zoom call in September, thinking back to the beginning of the year. On the docket was Revolve Festival during Coachella, a Revolve Around the World trip to Cannes for the French Grand Prix in June, Revolve Summer in July, the inaugural Revolve U in September and Revolve Awards in the fall. (The company typically plans events at least six months in advance; in the case of Revolve Festival, the planning for the following year starts not long after Coachella ends.)
There was also an unannounced partnership that Gerona can’t speak of, as it might still be a possibility, that was meant to launch the last week of March and “was going to be as big, in terms of influencer attendance, as Revolve Festival”; that was the first event the company canceled due to coronavirus concerns, a few days before employees officially went into lockdown. Shortly after that, Revolve decided to pull the plug on the rest of its in-person events for the year.
“There was just so much that we’ve thought about, planned and really worked super hard on; to have to undo them felt equally as challenging in terms of trying to get