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Timeless is better than trendy; Cuyana redefines what women need in their wardrobe

"Fewer, Better Things” is a motto that Cuyana strives to achieve with every product they manufacture. The co-founders of Cuyana, Shilpa Shah and Karla Gallardo have built a million dollar brand that revolves around timeless, well-made, and durable pieces of clothing. Shah and Gallardo are advocates of minimalism as they encourage women to only buy items that they truly love and use, even though it’s a bit more pricey. At some point we’ve all been guilty of choosing the lower quality product because of how cheap it was and regretted it a few days or a few weeks later. The co-founders are on a mission to change the way women shop in terms of what they choose to spend their money on. To them quality is just as important as quantity as they go hand in hand; the better the quality, the fewer items you need. So let’s take a look at how Cuyana has used different marketing channels that include their website, social media, and email newsletters, to change the way women shop.

The Lean Closet Program

Cuyana is working with thredUP, an online consignment and thrift store, to create their Lean Closet program. With every purchase, customers are given a shipping label and a bag to donate items that they no longer use or want. In exchange for this, the customer will get store credit. The purpose of this Lean Closet program is to give items like clothing, shoes, and handbags, a new life. When a customer purchases something from Cuyana, they are given an empty bag along with their order. This encourages the act of having less items and giving other women the chance to wear those high heels that they wore once to a dinner party or that handbag that hasn’t been touched for the past year. They use their Instagram platform and website to educate consumers about this program and inspire them to change their shopping habits and buy what they truly love and think is necessary.

Timeless vs Trendy

Cuyana’s goal is far from keeping up with the latest trends. Their focus is on premium essentials that are classic and can be worn multiple times without losing its elegance. They do produce a few items each season to ensure that they are giving their customers what they want, or they make their best-sellers in new colours. Cuyana has recognised that their target customer lives a busy life. She wants high quality items that are crafted in a way that not much effort is required to put a sophisticated look together. Cuyana keeps reminding their customers on Instagram and via Email marketing that they can create multiple looks with just one item. With over 250k followers on Instagram, Cuyana does an incredible job at styling pieces that can be worn by anyone. They show customers that this one piece of clothing can be styled in multiple ways and that despite having a few pieces, they can still dress with ease and confidence.

Minimalist Website Design

With an aesthetic yet simple website, customers learn a lot about adapting a minimalist lifestyle without being overwhelmed with excessive amounts of information. Due to the fact that they don’t manufacture multiple pieces, it is easy for someone to find exactly what they are looking for. The images on the website are basic and clear yet the way the pieces are styled makes the customer want to have them in their wardrobes. The colour scheme they have chosen for their website as well as the limited items available makes a consumer feel more welcomed to explore each category without feeling pressured. The whole website instantly tells a story that women can live with fewer things with ease which in turn adds so much value to their lives.

Brick-and-Mortar Locations for an In-person Experience

Having started off with online retailing, Cuyana began to introduce their brand physically through pop-up shops. The co-founders strongly believed that having a physical component to their brand was important to them, so they experimented with these pop-ups prior to opening seven permanent stores in the US. The interior of the store seamlessly portrays Cuyana’s motto, “Fewer, Better Things.” The materials used to build the store are natural and have sustainable designs, and there is lots of open space and natural light. With the use of colours that are soothing to the eye and soft curves that add dimension to the store, customers feel at ease when they shop and truly get a chance to see the beauty in living a simplistic lifestyle. When they get to see the bags, clothing, or shoes in-person, customers can feel the quality and luxury of the product, and understand the brand’s motto immediately. Stores are also an important factor in building a strong relationship with customers. This compensates for the lack of touch in the digital shopping experience and is particularly important for luxury goods. The stores also offer a monogramming station if customers need to buy a quick gift. Instead of buying random gifts in haste, they are given the opportunity to buy good quality items that the person will love and add their own personal touch to the gift.

Quantify Sustainability for Customers

This brand encourages each customer to make better choices by discouraging shopping for items that might just end up in a landfill after a few years. The quality of their products also ensures that the items will be long lasting unlike fast fashion items. They also use organic and sustainable materials during production to make certain that they aren’t causing more harm to the environment. Their website explicitly informs the customer of all of this information in bite-size sections. Giving customers numerical values displays how they have improved their sustainability and shows the customer the progress that they have made over the years. They talk about their factories, their materials, and their styles with transparency. This makes Cuyana more personable and encourages people to support this brand and modify the companies they choose to support.


It is evident that Cuyana’s mission is on the road to success as they are helping women live simpler lives to make room for more important things. With a strong Instagram follower base, navigable website, and informative email newsletters, they show customers that living with less items isn’t difficult. They make it easy for women to shop for essential items and encourage the act of refreshing clothes, rewearing clothes, and if they want to get rid of clothes, recycling them, so that they can be given a second life.

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