Home Estate Planning Roman: Retailer behind viral dress that ‘broke the internet’ posts record sales

Roman: Retailer behind viral dress that ‘broke the internet’ posts record sales

0 comment

Roman, the clothing retailer behind a viral dress that in 2015 ignited an international debate over its colour, has seen record sales as its post-pandemic comeback continues.

The Birmingham-headquartered fashion brand, who made the blue and black viral dress which some saw as white and gold, increased its turnover to £141m in 2023, up from £126m in the year before.

But despite higher turnover, the retailer saw its pre-tax profit dip to £7.5m during the period, down from £10.8m in the year before.

The company said its bottomline had been impacted by rising costs and inflation, with “continued investment” in its growth strategy bringing down its operating profit.

Roman, which started life as a family-owned womenswear shop in 1957, was thrust into the spotlight in 2015 when an online discussion started over whether one of its dresses was blue and black or white and gold.

A photo published at the time showed the dress in bright light, creating an optical illusion which led to the disagreement over its true colours.

Even celebrities weighed in on the fashion debate, with Kim Kardashian asking her 29.4million Twitter followers to help settle a disagreement between herself and husband Kanye West.  

Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber also posted on the topic, with Swift Tweeting: “I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow.I’m confused and scared. PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK.”

The viral moment delivered a huge boost to the retailer’s online presence, with its website receiving more than 3.6million visitors in 48 hours.

Originally Roman said it had hoped to sell around 200 of the lace-detail body-con dress per week. But it flew off the rails and, in just a week and a half, 3,000 had been snapped up.

Roman added that just 38 minutes after restocking, the dress was already sold out.

Keen to capitalise on the free exposure, the retailer created a one-off white and gold version of the dress, which ended up raising £2,700 for Comic Relief.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?