Outside of their individual jobs in entertainment and athletics, Ciara and Russell Wilson are making waves with The House of LR&C, a fashion label they co-founded with CEO Christine Day.
With their platform, the power couple hopes to tear down barriers in an industry that has traditionally been exclusive, and make fashion that benefits the world.
Day, former CEO of Lululemon from 2008 to 2013, steers the ship. She runs three brands at The House. Ciara's Lita, Human Nation, and Wilson's Good Man Brand, all relaunched in 2016.
As a result of this, the founders of The House organized it as a Public Benefits Corporation, which requires it to operate on a triple bottom line: People, planet, and buck
People, Planet and Profit
Celebrity labels have failed in the past, and Day believes it is frequently due to a lack of economic acumen. Stars that thrive in business own their own companies and recruit the appropriate people. Skims' success with Kim Kardashian is one.
Emma Grede and her husband Jens Grede, who also run Khloe Kardashian's Good American and Frame Denim, co-founded the brand.
The recipe for Ciara and Wilson is there. They have a combined social reach of over 70 million, which helps the company.
Get To Work
Each of The House's three brands has its own niche. Designed by Jonathan de Lagarde, the enhanced menswear label aspires to modernize while refining its accessible luxury garments and footwear. De Lagarde collaborates with Ciara to produce a tomboy chic product at Lita.
Human Nation was formed as a gender-neutral basics brand. Day forecasts a 70% to 100% growth rate this year. Its sales strategy, which involves both wholesale and direct to consumer, is working. Nordstrom, Revolve, and Revolve Man are wholesale partners.
Unlike many new fashion enterprises, Day believes in the power of wholesale. Nordstrom took 150 things for Lita's debut.
The House of LR&C's longest-running label, Good Man Brand, accounts for 40-45% of overall sales, with its footwear collection accounting for 40%.
The Legend shoe and Legend Z are top sellers. Despite their smaller shoe lines, Day sees opportunities for both Lita and Human Nation in the fashion sneaker market.
Because the company started with wholesale, it presently accounts for over 80% of sales, but Day hopes to change that to 70% in the next two years, with most sales coming through The House's own channels, including brick and mortar.
The company opened its first store in Seattle in February and aims to build three to four more this year. She hopes to establish an industry norm for a smaller store footprint and less inventory.
For example, the company is a B Corp accredited by the Textile Exchange and meets the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The House also mandates that 70% of its materials come from its better and best categories.
Only 3% of cotton is organic. Supply is an issue. You must market that transitional cotton.
Legislation may be part of the solution. A new law in New York promotes fashion sustainability. The law would force corporations with more than $100 million in revenue to declare their environmental effect and trace their supply chain, among other obligations.
The House's website details its intentions to become a carbon-neutral corporation, from transportation and distribution through packaging, manufacture, and design.
For example, it promised to finish a carbon footprint this year and a water and waste footprint in 2023. Customers can help the environment by purchasing carbon offsets at the checkout.
With Black designers leading design and development, inclusivity is a priority for the organization. It also provides 3% of its overall sales revenue to the Wilson and Ciara-founded Why Not You Foundation, which promotes education, child health and poverty alleviation.
Hayes says the donation is 3 percent because Russell's jersey is #3.
The couple’s company name, The House of LR&C stands for Love, Respect and Care. Added Day, being humanistic, friendly and egoless are what Russell and Ciara stand for in their personal life. For the brand to be real, everything they advocate for and the causes they support must be also.