As Lee looks to raise its profile, grow its digital revenues and expand its wholesale business, the premium denim and apparel brand will roll out an advertising campaign today called LeeOriginals.
Produced in collaboration with photographer Mark Seliger, the campaign highlights people who create their own path. The campaign’s looks were curated by costume designer and stylist Arianne Phillips.
“This campaign embraces optimism, authenticity and tenacity — characteristics that are inherent to the Lee brand and shared with our consumers,” said Brigid Stevens, senior director of marketing, Lee North America. “Originality has always driven innovation and fueled creativity, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Mark and Arianne. Their ability to capture and celebrate the unique character and personality of each cast member reflects what has always made Lee original…the stories behind those who wear them.”
The cast includes Levi Dylan, model and actor; Quannah Chasinghorse, model; Haden McKenna, skateboarder; Kenya Kinski-Jones, climate crisis ambassador, and Annahstasia Enuke, singer and artist, among others.
Asked to elaborate on the campaign, Stevens told WWD that everyone writes their own story. “Every tear, every loose stitch of our jeans that comes from being well-worn is a piece of that narrative and as they age each pair becomes, bespoke. Every piece, uniquely imprinted by the person wearing them, and inherently, Original.”
As for what makes this campaign different from what Lee has done before, Stevens added, “Lee has always been about great style, crafted with purpose. We continue to design our legendary denim giving nod to our heritage while also expanding into nondenim. In the campaign, you’ll see our newly reintroduced Chetopa Twill, Extreme Comfort pants, as well as our iconic Lee logo brought to life via our graphic Ts.”
Seliger said, “Working together with Lee was a perfect combination of modern and legacy. We picked our cast because of who they are and their reflection of personality and style. The idea was to find a common thread in composition and let these amazing people take it from there.”
The digital-first campaign will launch on streaming, YouTube and digital channels starting today, as well as across Lee’s social media channels and e-commerce web site. An out-of-home campaign will also appear in SoHo, Williamsburg and Bushwick, in collaboration with creative agency Noble People.
The title track of “Strut” by Lenny Kravitz is featured in the video.
Since Lee and Wranger were spun off from VF Corp. into a publicly traded Kontoor Brands in 2019, both brands have been making more inroads at major U.S. retailers and raising their international profile.
As reported, with a demand for a more casual wardrobe, Kontoor outlined its vision to invest in its Lee and Wrangler offerings earlier this year, expand in China and grow its digital revenues. Kontoor has been gearing up to expand its overall digital offerings, a strategy increasingly embraced by retailers during the pandemic. Since the spin-off, Kontoor’s digital wholesale business has grown through its tie-ups with retailers including Amazon Inc., Walmart Inc. and Kohl’s Corp.
Kontoor said last May that it plans to grow its digital business from 5 percent of revenues in 2020 to 10 percent by 2023, an increase that would involve brining in more than $150 million in incremental revenue, according to the company.
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