Desi Perkins may have gotten big online — but she’s taking her business offline, to Nordstrom, IRL.
Perkins launched her sunglass brand Dezi Eyewear at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been able to sustain growth through consistent product launches. Now, she’s embarking on a new retail strategy and rolling the products out to Nordstrom as the brand’s first retail partner.
The move marks Dezi Eyewear’s entry into wholesale after operating as a direct-to-consumer company for more than three years.
“Nordstrom really recognizes the unique space that eyewear occupies in the market,” Perkins said. “We offer innovative design paired with really great materials at an affordable price point. The one thing that I think we have in common is just our commitment to quality and style, and I have always really wanted to give my supporters a place to try the sunglasses on. That’s such an important thing to see how they look on and that’s something that with DTC was kind of difficult to do, so Nordstrom is just one of the best partners to do that with.”
Dezi Eyewear is now available at 20 Nordstrom locations and the retailer’s website. Perkins named some of her bestsellers as Gato, a modern-day cat-eye style; Switch, a rectangular style, and Cuffed, a boxy style embellished with gold accents. Prices range from $75 to $95.
The Nordstrom partnership comes at a time of growth for Dezi Eyewear. According to the founder, the brand has seen a 45 percent year-over-year sales growth that she said is led by monthly product launches. With the Nordstrom partnership, the brand is anticipating more than $1 million in first-year sales through the retailer.
Perkins credits much of the brand’s growth to her loyal follower base, which she’s cultivated throughout her 10-year career on social media. The influencer has 4.4 million followers on Instagram and 3.2 million subscribers on YouTube. Perkins noted that before launching Dezi Eyewear, the brand’s Instagram page garnered 300,000 followers just through her own follower base.
“I’ve grown a really loyal fan base who have built friendships with me and we have literally gone through so many phases of life,” she said. “It’s just one of those relationships where when your friend tells you they got this cute new bag or this outfit and they just recommend it to you. I think that’s kind of the friendship that I’ve had with my supporters for a really long time. So, not only do they love my fashion sense and my recommendations — whether it’s skin care or makeup or whatever — but I’ve built really good trust within the community with them.”
After launching Dezi Eyewear, Perkins debuted Dezi Skin the following year. Perkins explained that the brands’ customers have 70 percent crossover.
Perkins teased future fashion collaborations, but said she doesn’t have any immediate plans to expand her lines into new categories.