UC Irvine Alum Raissa Gerona Is Revolve’s Chief Brand Officer

She shares her journey: graduating from UC Irvine to traveling the world.
Photograph courtesy of Revolve

How did you start at Revolve?
In 2007, I started my own clothing brand. I met Revolve in 2008, and they became my biggest customer. At the end of 2009 when the recession was happening, I ran out of money, so I couldn’t ship any of the purchase orders that people had turned in, and I had to close my business. Months later, Michael Mente, who is the co-founder and co-CEO of Revolve, kindly reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in starting a brand together. We launched Lovers + Friends in February 2010. In 2014, Revolve acquired (it), and that’s kind of when I became an official Revolve employee. I don’t really remember when I became a chief brand officer, to be honest, but it all just happened so organically. I never even really thought about my title at the company.

You were on the forefront of influencer marketing. Can you explain what that is?
I guess the easiest way to explain influencer marketing is that influencers are kind of the “regular people” who really believe they have a sense of style that they can bring to others in their community, and obviously now community is really centered around social media. I was doing a lot of influencer and blogger marketing with Lovers + Friends on a very, very small scale. When Revolve acquired (the brand), they asked me basically to try some of those marketing tactics that I was testing.

Clothes and accessories from Revolve

How did Revolve Around the World come about?
I studied abroad in Italy, and after I graduated college I traveled throughout Europe pretty consistently with my friends. When I started to see the rise of Instagram and fashion bloggers, I pitched an idea to our co-CEOs and told them that when I traveled with my girlfriends, I always wanted to be in the best shape, have the cutest outfits. I wanted to take pictures, and I wanted to post them on MySpace or Friendster, which were the social media outlets then. If you really think about it, this concept of taking pictures is really nothing new. It’s kind of like what you did with your parents when you were little—your parents would develop the pictures from when you went on your annual family vacation. So I thought why not do that in a really aspirational way and be able to show these to millions of people through Instagram.

Have you missed traveling this year?
I miss it so much to be honest. Obviously, we’re not able to travel internationally, but it really does put things into perspective. There are so many days when I’ll look on my phone because I have so many photos from our adventures from the past seven years. It still floors me with all the places we traveled; it literally gives me goose bumps.


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