With the introduction of kids’ wear, the mood and mind-set of Ssense isn’t about to change.
What is changing at the Montreal-based, 18-year-old Ssense e-commerce platform is the appetite for growth: it’s getting bigger.
Ssense Kids launches today with 17 brands, and another 60 or so soon to come for a total of approximately 2,600 styles. The foray into children’s wear complements Ssense’s men’s wear and women’s wear assortments, and follows closely the debut of the “Everything Else” assortment five months ago.
“Our recent launch of Everything Else reaffirmed that our audience looks to Ssense to bring meaningful curation to categories outside of fashion, such as home, self-care, technology and activity. There are endless possibilities for us to expand into new categories as the growth of our platform continues to accelerate as we scale globally,” said Krishna Nikhil, chief merchandising officer and chief marketing officer for Ssense.
In launching Ssense Kids on ssense.com and the Ssense mobile app, “We are bringing the distinct Ssense point of view to kids’ wear with our curated yet expansive assortment of emerging and established designers and exclusive capsules and importantly, celebrating the next generation of young creatives who are undoubtedly changing the way we see the world,” said Nikhil.
Ssense Kids offers apparel, accessories and footwear for children, from newborns to 14-year-olds, with an emphasis on gender-neutral styles. Brands include Acne Studios, Adidas Kids, Balenciaga, Burberry, Charlotte Knowles, Dime, Essentials Kids, ERL, Martine Rose, Nike, Petit Bateau and The Row.
Of the kids brands Ssense has rounded up, 12 that don’t otherwise create children’s are providing exclusives, including 1017 Alyx 9SM, Collina Strada, Dime, Doublet, Museum of Peace & Quiet and Rave Review.
“We are extremely choosey in the brands we select,” said Nikhil, emphasizing how Ssense sees itself distinct from the world’s surplus of fashion websites. “The unique thing about the Ssense platform is that it tries to elevate brands and the creatives we collaborate with.”
For Ssense Kids, collaborations have been formed with 12-year-old artist Dear Giana, teen drag queen Desmond Is Amazing, nine-year-old producer and DJ Evan Kozin, 11-year-old skater Fay DeFazio Ebert and 12-year-old artisan Jonah Hands. “Ssense gives these young creatives the playground to direct their own campaigns and content,” said Nikhil. Across all of its categories, Ssense applies “equal weight” on commerce and culture, Nikhil said.
The kids category is presented under a separate department, listed by brand. All the products are presented on models, with the exception of baby and footwear styles.
“We believe Ssense Kids can be a large stand-alone department comparable to men’s and women’s, and Everything Else,” said Nikhil. “We are giving kids’ wear the same treatment. Featuring exclusives and creatives are as important in kids as they are in adults.” The same team that buys men’s wear and women’s is buying the children’s wear, helping maintain a consistent point of view.
“This is still targeted for parents buying for their kids,” said Nikhil, though as with adults, there’s a tendency for kids to also mix luxury, streetwear, sport and outdoor brands in their wardrobes and outfits. According to the company, more than 80 percent of its audience is between the ages of 18 and 34, 150 countries are served and the website generates an average of 88 million page views per month. Three years ago, the company said it generated 32 million page views per month.
One reason why Ssense was motivated to launch kids now, rather than for back-to-school, is because parents have been spending more time with their kids through the pandemic. “Fashion and culture can be another area of shared interest,” said Nikhil.
Beyond kids, “You will continue to see expansion within Everything Else. The self-care offering will expand. Home will expand.”