Ciara, Russell Wilson and ex-Lululemon CEO launch fashion brand

Grammy Award-winning artist Ciara has launched a new fashion company alongside her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson, and former Lululemon CEO Christine Day. But the brand, called the House of LR&C, has a mission beyond just the clothes it sells, Ciara and Day told CNBC on Wednesday.

“We’re not only doing the fashion part. We’re also combining the passion for fashion but also the passion for impact. That was really important to both Russell and I and also Christine in creating our company. There has to be more to it than fashion,” Ciara said on “Closing Bell.”

In addition to an emphasis on environmental sustainability, 3% of each purchase goes to the Why Not You Foundation, which Wilson founded in 2014. It supports efforts on education access, poverty reduction and children’s health.

Day, who left Lululemon in late 2013 after more than five years at the athletic apparel company, said the launch of the brand during the coronavirus pandemic comes at an “inflection point” for the retail industry. “I think some of the things the consumers are looking for are really that sustainability, versatility, longevity in their garments,” said Day, also a former executive at Starbucks.

She said the House of LR&C is looking to fill a gap in the market with younger shoppers who are socially minded. “They want to see companies building business models that matter, that have inclusion and unity and sustainability and love, and there’s not enough of that in this world,” Day said.

The company’s two clothing lines for now are Good Man Brand, which Wilson founded in 2016, and the newly launched Human Nation, which sells casual, gender-neutral items. A women’s brand also is in the works, Day said.

The official launch of the House of LR&C this week comes during the holiday shopping season, which has been altered by the pandemic. Monday was the largest U.S. internet shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Clothes are for sale directly through its website, but Day said going beyond the direct-to-consumer route by inking partnerships with Kohl’s and Nordstrom also is critical. Ciara said the House of LR&C’s mission was aligned with the retailers that are known for their brick-and-mortar presence.

“If you look at the landscape and just how the world is changing, especially with … companies like Kohl’s, they’re also evolving with the times,” Ciara said. “I’ve been fortunate to do some really cool things with Kohl’s already. We just like where they were going with things. We sat down and talked about our vision for what we were doing, we really connected, and we felt that the plan they had really made sense for what we were trying to do and vice versa.”

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