Pandemic Proof! The Brand That Sold $1 Million Worth Of Dresses In 30 Minutes

by Freya Drohan

With fashion brands hanging on to their hats this year, it seems almost unfathomable that one four-year-old newcomer could rack up $1 million in sales in one 30-minute period last week. But such is the power of the viral Nap Dress and its creator, Hill House Home.

Co-founder and CEO Nell Diamond explained to Business of Fashion that upon launching new winter-ready colorways of the sleepwear-meets-chicwear garment (think: tartan, gold brocade, and shimmering navy finishes) the site reached seven-figures worth of sales just a half hour after launch. The line sheet had been teased for weeks in the run-up to landing online (Diamond has 46,000 followers on Instagram and the brand account has a further 70,000) and shoppers rushed to snag their desired items as soon as the clock struck 12. Present company included: I bought two at approximately 12.02.

Even by 12.05, Hill House Home had amassed $500,000 worth of sales. This is just the latest impressive headline for the successful direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand. Since trademarking the term Nap Dress, the concept has become something of a phenomenon. (Searches for the term grew over 400% this year, and sales of the category are expected to drive Hill House Home’s revenue up by 300% this year.)

The omnipresent garment, in its semi-sheer finish and cutesy gingham and stripe prints, had already become the go-to uniform during people’s housebound quarantine phase, but this new launch in party-themed fabrics and finishes proves its staying power and versatility. It has, of course, a lot to do with Diamond herself, who recently gave birth to twins.

Decked out in her own Nap Dresses (accessorized with sky-high platforms, quirky blouses, heart-shape sunglasses, and matching Alice bands) she took followers along for the journey and proved to be a more powerful marketing tool than any commercial model or well known brand ambassador. The term lifestyle brand gets tossed around willy nilly, but here is a founder who eats, sleeps, and breathes the exact wholesome aesthetic of her company—albeit with a sharp wit and infectious humor—without ever seeming contrived or staged.

When you think about it, all the runaway trends—fashion and otherwise—we’ve seen this year have harked back to simpler times; be it ‘cottagecore’; 1970s-reminiscent tie dye; roller skating; or Americana. The Nap Dress, with its soothing name, smocking, and innocent prints, is the sartorial equivalent of being gently tucked in for a bedtime story. (Even if you were donning yours for a morning of Zoom calls.) Whatever way your lifestyle changed this year, who wouldn’t want to be swaddled in gingham and tartan, and take a much-needed nap, only to awaken, already kitted out in a cute frock and ready to face a hopeful new world?

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