Creating fashion with purpose – this has been Ciara’s mission from the start at The House of LR&C, the business she co-founded with her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson and formerly Christine M. Day. Lululemon.
“Our acronyms are the home of love, respect and care,” said the single-name, Grammy-winning artist and entrepreneur.
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“We want to pour love, respect and care into every part of the process,” she continued, on Zoom. “I think, as we can all see, the world is constantly changing, constantly changing, and there are also so many things that create challenges economically and environmentally. I think the best thing for us is that we want to be able to make an impact through it all. If we don’t, we are not doing our homework.
Three percent of The House of LR&C’s net income goes to the Why Not You Foundation, the celebrity couple’s nonprofit dedicated to children’s health and education.
“It has been a contribution of over a million dollars,” said Day, general manager of The House of LR&C. “It’s a big commitment for us as a company, to be able to support communities and initiatives and transform the lives of the less fortunate. “
Launched in 2020, The House of LR&C consists of a men’s clothing line, Good Man Brand (introduced by Wilson in 2016) and a Gen Z-inspired label, Human Nation. Today, the fashion company – headquartered in Seattle with a team of 22 full-time employees – presents its first collection for women as part of a new brand, LITA, which is releasing today.
“It’s a dream of a lifetime,” Ciara said of the release of Women’s. “I was telling someone the other week why I was throwing another [brand], and I was just saying I have a to-do list, my entrepreneur to-do list, and I’d say it’s one of those things I’ve wanted to do for years. I always liked fashion growing up. I’ve always been a fashion fan. It’s a big part of how I express myself in my daily travels, but also on the red carpet, on stages, doing photo ops. It’s a way of communicating, a great way of communicating. And so, it was only a matter of time before the opportunity presented itself. “
Like the other two lines, LITA – which stands for “love is the answer” – will be available direct to the consumer at thehouseoflrc.com, as well as online and in select Nordstrom stores.
“Nordstrom is a great partner with a very mature and loyal customer base that is the heart of this particular 18-35 year old woman,” Day explained. “And they have the ability to have high reach from the start, which helps us acquire clients for our own d-to-c. And, of course, we’ve designed a product that will be exclusive to our own direct-to-consumer channel.
LITA is launching with 160 items, 150 of which will be sold through the department store chain.
Maddie Cordoba / WWD
“For a first time business, I would say it’s very successful,” Day said of the partnership. “And so, it also helps us to achieve our minimum purchases, to manage our gross margin. There are also many other business reasons for doing this.
The team has planned upcoming marketing events with Nordstrom, including styling sessions for staff and clients with Ciara herself.
“This is really a great opportunity to build brand awareness,” added Day.
“I will also say, I mean Nordstrom is at this point now a family to us,” Ciara rang. “It has been a great blessing to have the team at Nordstrom and to have had the success that we have had so far, starting with Good Man Brand. I have to say with pride that Good Man Brand is the number one brand for men at Nordstrom. We are proud of it. “
The goal of LITA, which is priced between $ 68 and $ 895, is to provide affordable luxury and “conscious creation” – with the philanthropic element of The House of LR&C in mind and sustainability in mind. limiting the environmental footprint during production.
“We often say, ‘You don’t have to sacrifice fashion to be sustainable,’” Ciara said. “And that’s a fundamental pillar on which we stand. We really believe in it. For example, why can’t you look really sexy or be trendy while being creative? Why not?”
“We have really tried to work with factories that specialize in small series but very high quality – given the size of the start-up of the brand and the current situation,” Day said. “So we use a lot of factories in Italy for example for shoes, but also in Croatia, in Albania. And then we use factories in India, LA… We don’t make a lot of products outside of China, because of some container shortages. So one of the benefits that we’re going to have in the pandemic is that we’re going to have our product. Due to the expertise of the team, we were really the only ones to deliver Good Man Brand, for example, on time to Nordstrom in its entirety.
They look to third parties, such as the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ to set their standards, Day explained: “It’s about looking at the biggest impact on the planet, your textile technologies, and then ‘examine the life cycle of different fabrics and the impact they have, from the creation of the fabric to the manufacturing process, who you choose as partners. Everything counts. So what we really focused on was using things like recycled cashmere and polys. “
The collection is also made up of organic cotton, recycled nylon and fully compostable packaging. At least 70 percent of the entire collection uses materials with low environmental impact, Day said.
Inspired by the black king cheetah (for its ‘rarity’ and ‘beauty’), LITA’s fall launch features neutral and animal prints, faux fur jersey, knits, coats, dresses, shirts, hoodies, joggers and accessories, especially boots. It’s a mix of ‘tomboy’ and ‘sexy’ styles, according to Ciara, and wardrobe staples (the inspiration for the designs started in her own wardrobe).
“They can dress, dress, anything,” said the 35-year-old mother of three. “That’s the ultimate goal here, to be a one-stop-shop for all of your fashion needs.”
There is an empty space they are filling in the industry, Day said, by offering products that use quality fabrics and materials, but are sold 30% cheaper than competitors in the women’s clothing category. modern.
Maddie Cordoba / WWD
“We can really create large-scale change with these affordable prices,” she said.
LR&C House aims to be “a billion dollar company,” she added.
“The question is right, when do you get there, right?” The day continued. “So we want to have a level of impact in the market where we transform the market, where we raise the bar for all players on transparency and impact, from product creation to communities. And then have affordable prices. I would really love to make a dent in fast fashion. I think the product scraps we have there – and people buy it for two reasons, it’s fashionable and it’s cheap. Well, at a slightly higher price, you can have high fashion with impact, but lasting. And I think when you look at the more sustainable markets it’s either very expensive or very trendy… There’s no reason you can’t have both with what we know in the market today.
For Ciara, the face of the brand (with 28.9 million subscribers on Instagram alone), the company felt empowered, especially as it strives to extend its impact beyond of the music industry.
“I’m so excited,” she said of the launch, happily. “I can get a little emotional, because I’m thinking of, wow, that little girl with that dream… You know, when you start out, you’re a young girl with a big vision, big dreams, and it’s like, “OK, I hope to have these kinds of rewards someday. I kind of hope to sell that many records. ‘ All of those cool things that I think are good to dream about. But then when you have the opportunity to do these cool things, you start to really put why in perspective. And then you also start to take into account how lucky you are to be one of the few people who have the opportunity to have large platforms, among the billions of people in the world. There has to be something more to that than just, you know, getting glamorous – which I love the process and performing on stage, which is amazing – but there’s this amazing opportunity that comes with it, and that. is to be able to impact. It’s being able to make a difference. And to be honest, the impact mission is now at the top of my list. “
What has been the biggest learning lesson so far?
“It’s getting really technical,” she said with a laugh. “As far as the background goes, whether it’s budgets, you really have to be careful – and I’m very familiar with budgets. This is nothing new to me. But then again, there’s quite a bit of work on how this all goes behind the scenes, and that’s a lot to take in. But I am learning so much. I really enjoy the process.
Taking a break, she continued, “I’m also taking the opportunity to be empowered as an entrepreneur through all of this. Yes, there is a creative side of my brain that I can exercise, that’s what I really love, obviously, about being an artist and it’s a big part of how I communicate. You know, I communicate through creativity. What I love about the challenge of learning the backend of all of this is that I think it will only make me better at what I do, even creatively… I will definitely learn a lot more when we’ll take that baby out. Because you don’t know until you do. It’s like releasing an album, but in this case, it’s a fashion mark. So I’m curious and excited, super excited.
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