Last Thursday California-based online retailer REVOLVE christened its first annual awards show, which featured a lineup of celebrity and influencer guests, many of whom were being honored for their impact in the digital and fashion spaces. Hosted at the DREAM Hotel in Hollywood, upon arrival, guests were ushered past a verdant plant wall, beset with modernist, rectangular glass pillars featuring prominent REVOLVE signage.
En route to the pre-show cocktail hour, attendees posed on the red carpet, which was also studded with more of the brand’s sleek insignias. Among the dozens of well-known faces to walk the carpet were celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, donning a sequined pant suit for the festivities; model Jasmine Sanders, wearing a dressy riff on a traditional double-breasted blazer (accentuated with thigh-high boots); and Chrissy Teigen, stunning in a body-contouring sequined LBD.
As the planning team put the final touches on the outdoor ceremony space, guests sipped cocktails at the glass-encased rooftop bar, which offered both a bacchanal environment and panoramic views of Los Angeles. Featuring signature drinks like the “Revolverita,” and a seemingly never-ending flow of champagne, the mood was particularly celebratory for REVOLVE founders Michael Karanikolas and Michael Mente, who somehow managed to field interviews between greeting their many influencer guests. Though the awards were scheduled to start promptly at 8 p.m., attendees did not begin flowing into the adjoining outdoor seating area until around 8:30.
Once guests were settled into plush white chairs and cabana seating, their attention was directed to the stage where former BET host and anchor Terrence J delivered a playful opening speech shouting out both beautiful women and the long-suffering boyfriends who had become their girlfriends’ official photographers for the night. Amidst applause and laughter, Terrence then welcomed Karanikolas and Mente to the stage to share their opening remarks.
Dressed to the nines in tailored tuxedos, each took a turn driving home just how much the awards meant to them. Karanikolas would later share how the evening marked turning point for the duo’s homegrown business model. “Fourteen years ago people asked why buy clothes online,” he said, further explaining that the awards were a celebration of how the influencer model is shaping the fashion world in the same way online retail disrupted the brick-and-mortar model.
Mente’s speech touched on a similar theme, though he couldn’t resist giving himself and Karanikolas a well-deserved pat on the back — the duo, who started REVOLVE 14 years ago from their home, have managed to raise the businesses profile to $100 million dollars without a single penny of investor money.
Their open admiration of a DIY mentality permeated the night, as presenters, honorees and winners across 17 categories went on to share similar stories. Jen Atkin, who flipped her post as the Kardashian’s favored hairstylist into a multi-brand hair care empire, summed it up best as she accepted her award for best beauty brand. “This is literally the Oscars,” she joked. “The earned media value in this room right now is scary.”
Indeed, it was truly a night for influencers of the social sphere to shine; it was also a reminder to grumbling traditionalists who reject the influencer model that there is indeed power in social reach. The accumulated following of key guests totaled to roughly 11 million, which, as REVOLVE has proven, can do incredible things for your bottom line if harnessed correctly.