Ciara and Russell Wilson are taking their passion for philanthropy and their love of fashion and pouring them into a new venture — The House of LR&C.
The House of LR&C will eventually encompass multiple labels, but for now it begins with their sustainable streetwear line, Human Nation.
Financially accessible and consciously created, it’s sure to speak to ethically-minded consumers. Still, what sets Human Nation apart is the way it directly benefits those in need. For each purchase made, the company will donate 3% to the Why Not You Foundation, the Wilson’s non-profit centered on children’s health, education, and fighting systemic poverty. By building on the altruistic business model established by Wilson’s Good Man Brand—which has already raised more than a million dollars for causes related to kids since 2016—the Wilsons aim to uplift their customers and community. “It’s really about how we can take sports, fashion, music, and democratize them to create opportunities for the next generation,” shared Wilson via Zoom. His wife echoed the optimistic sentiment. “This process has continually inspired me,” says Ciara. “We have a tremendous opportunity to impact with The House of LR&C, and that keeps me motivated.”
Executing such ambitious plans within fashion requires retail experience, something their partner Christine Day, an industry vet who helped put brands like Lululemon and Starbucks on the map, has in spades. “Christine has a massive legacy within fashion, and she knew that this was going to be a significant project, one that could make a difference,” says Wilson. “We were excited to have such a legend on our all-star team.” Having an ally with decades of experience on hand to bounce ideas off of and collaborate with was an extraordinary asset. “Creativity is the easy part, it’s what comes naturally to us, but I’ve enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the business side,” says Ciara. “We wanted to do it right. There are a lot of technical things that go into the backend of this process. That’s where Christine and her knowledge has been extraordinarily helpful. She’s informing us and essentially empowering us as business owners.”
Working alongside a woman whose powerhouse career has influenced the omnipresence of yoga pants as well as the way we drink coffee was inspiring in itself. “I enjoyed seeing a female perspective of entrepreneurship,” says Ciara. “Christine is no joke; she’s super sweet, a loving mom, and a phenomenal person, but she has this confidence and fire inside of her. It’s been pretty amazing just seeing her in action.” Collaborating with Day also opened their eyes to the intricacies of running a clothing business that adhered to their core values. It wasn’t enough that their wares look good; the couple wanted them to stand for something bigger. “We didn’t want this to be just fast fashion,” says Wilson. “We’re building on these core principles, the idea that behind this house, there is love, respect, and care. Each brand will have its own identity, but with that same [focus] on giving back.”
That ethical philosophy informed their manufacturing process. Mindful of the damaging impact fashion waste has had on the planet, the team wanted the pieces to be produced sustainably while retaining an affordable price point. Environmentally conscious within their day to day lives, they wanted to have a through-line between their values and business practices. “One of the things we talked about beforehand was sustainability in fashion,” says Wilson. “It’s such a critical issue and one of the elements that excited us most [within the project], so we invested in it.” Through the use of eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, certified factories adhere to the environmental sustainability goals developed by the United Nations., and 100% recycled or recyclable packaging, they could have the best of both worlds.
Aesthetically, Human Nation aligns with Ciara’s streetwise style perspective. Capable of pulling off the kind of high drama pieces few would attempt, she’s an enduring source of fashion inspiration for her millions of followers. The line might not feature any daring thigh-high slits or glittering gowns (yet), but it aligns with the playful mix of high and low that has come to define her wardrobe. “We have that range. Whether you want to be a tomboy or soften things up, there are pieces within the collection that allow you to do that,” she says, noting that the clothing is size inclusive and works across gender lines. “Inclusivity was at the forefront of our design process; we wanted to speak to as many people as possible. I love borrowing Russ’ clothes.” The realities of 2020 also came into play. “We wanted to prioritize comfort right now as we’re all in our houses during this COVID era,” says Ciara. “The cool thing is you can wear Human Nation while you’re at home and then take it into the streets during your daily walk—having that flexibility was important to us.”
Wilson smartly let his wife take the creative reigns when it came to Human Nature’s design. The wardrobe essentials of his Good Man Brand are classic, but he knows who the style icon in their house is. “She’s been a fashion icon for years,” he says with a smile. “It’s been a blessing to see her and Christine leading the way; I think about my daughter Sienna and how one day she can run the business.” For his part, the overarching purpose of The House of LR&C lies with the projects it makes possible. “It’s been amazing not just to give resources away, but to see the faces of the people we’re helping. To hear ‘Russ, Ciara, you guys helped me go to college’ or ‘you guys believed in me and now look what I’m doing’” he says. “Those conversations have been the most rewarding. To be able to build this for our community as Black business leaders and know that the people buying Human Nation or Good Man Brand are invested, not just financially but on a personal level.”
Check out the products from the first Human Nation drop here.