Russell Wilson and Ciara have brought their fashion sense to one of Seattle’s most exclusive shopping destinations, opening the first store for their company, The House of LR&C, at University Village.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback and music superstar are selling several of their own brands at the location, including Good Man Brand (menswear); Human Nation (gender inclusive streetwear); LITA by Ciara (contemporary women’s brand); and Wilson’s 3Brand (kids apparel). And they’re using a mix of technology and sustainability to attract and inform customers.
The entrepreneurial duo launched The House of LR&C — which stands for Love, Respect & Care — in 2020, and teamed with former Lululemon and Starbucks exec Christine Day, who is CEO. The company is raising up to $15 million to fuel growth. Its revenue has grown by around 70% over the past year and is now at eight figures.
The company is planning to open an additional three stores this year, adding a physical retail presence to an omnichannel approach that includes direct-to-consumer and wholesale. Other retailers such as Warby Parker and Allbirds — which also have stores in U. Village — follow a similar strategy of adding brick-and-mortar locations after first launching online. Seattle e-commerce giant Amazon opened its first physical bookstore in U. Village in 2015.
The House of LR&C is located in the center court area of U. Village, between Trophy Cupcakes and Ben Bridge Jewelers. With large windows on all sides, it’s easy to see inside to a larger-than-life photograph of Wilson and Ciara that takes up the store’s back wall.
But before you even enter, shoppers can interact with the store and merchandise via Flowcode displays on the outside of the shop’s windows. The souped-up QR codes are designed to optimize customer engagement, taking shoppers on their smartphones to everything from size charts to fashion videos to in-store augmented reality experiences.
Day said the technology provides a natural way to shop for a generation that is growing up with TikTok, and they’re placed throughout the interior of the store, near mannequins to allow for the quick purchase of an outfit, or on clothing labels and shoe boxes to learn about products.
“It’s a very interactive medium,” Day said of the Flowcodes. “People love to be inside the story and engaged in part of it.”
Flowcodes are the third-leading driver of shoppers to The House of LR&C website, behind Nordstrom, which sells the company’s brands, and paid advertising. Day envisions the technology becoming a top channel for how people interact with the company.
During my visit, I used a Flowcode to launch an AR experience on my phone while taking a selfie in front of a wall branded with the LR&C logo. A cheetah head illustration appeared on top of mine, like a hat of sorts. The store’s intention is for shoppers to share that image on social media and drive further influencer-type interest.
Flowcode CEO Tim Armstrong, who was the former CEO of AOL, is an investor in The House of LR&C.
The company is one of several business ventures from the power couple.
Ciara has her own record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment, as well as a Dare to Roam backpacks line that recently launched. She also sits on the board of Seattle marketing startup Amperity, leading corporate social responsibility efforts.
Wilson is CEO of West2East Empire, a brand management and production company based in Seattle. In 2017 he teamed up with Seattle startup studio Pioneer Square Labs to launch social networking startup TraceMe, which was eventually acquired by Nike.
Last year the couple signed a deal with Amazon to develop and produce scripted series and films. They also run the nonprofit Why Not You Foundation.
Sustainability and giving back are core tenets of the couple’s business endeavors, including The House of LR&C, which gives 3% of net revenue back to Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation, a Seattle nonprofit dedicated to education, children’s health and fighting poverty.
“Our mission is to have a great impact on people and a low impact on the planet,” Ciara said during a fireside chat at the GeekWire Summit in October.
The focus on sustainability starts with how products are manufactured, what materials are used, packaging and more. The new store builds on the company’s eco-friendly mission, with reused furniture and fixtures. Day said they spent less than $50,000 to create the store, with no demolition and nothing going to landfills.
Clothes hang on hangers made from recycled paper products, and the check-out station at the back of the store is a glass-topped former dining table.
“Our whole goal here is to make sustainability the effortless choice for the consumer,” Day said. “We call it creating the company the future needs.”
The House of LR&C, which officially opens today, will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Editor’s note: The company clarified that it plans to raise up to $15 million, not up to $50 million as previously reported by Axios.
Keep scrolling for more photos from GeekWire’s visit: