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One of the purest displays of love isn’t the kind you find in the drugstore greeting card aisle or nestled between the hydrangeas and tulips at your local florist shop. It’s the kind that’s written all over your face, a glow that radiates from every corner of your body and lights up your eyes. New York was in the throes of yet another gloomy summer afternoon when I sat in front of my Zoom screen to chat with Ciara, but her warm smile is the kind that brightens the day. We’ve seen this smile before, on red carpets and music videos alike. But perhaps the most genuine version is the one we witness on Instagram in every photo where she’s cuddling her three children—Future, Sienna, and Win—or standing alongside her NFL quarterback husband Russell Wilson, or embarking on adventures with her celebrity besties LaLa Anthony and Vanessa Bryant.
Love is pretty much Ciara’s entire brand, from the classic love songs she’s given fans over the span of seven studio albums down to the very foundation of her business endeavors. House of LR&C (Love, Respect, and Care), the fashion company the singer, Russell, and Christine Day founded in 2020, was founded on that very premise. Just as love is an ever-evolving feeling, so is House of LR&C. So, what happens when you combine your love of design, love of head-turning red carpet moments, and love of catering to all women? Enter: LITA, Ciara’s latest act of love.
Launching today, August 26, LITA is her newest fashion label that falls under The House of LR&C’s umbrella, headed by Ciara and Christine Day, the CEO and co-founder of The House of LR&C. The two bounced around a few brand names while brainstorming (though she wouldn’t disclose any runner-ups) but Love Is The Answer just felt right. When you know, you know.
“Love is the most powerful force on earth. A really special gift that we have as women is the gift to love, and when we use that love in the right way, we can move mountains,” she explains. “We can make things happen. Because you think about some of the most challenging times in life, whenever you choose to lead with love, it most likely works out right. You’re able to overcome things when you lead with love. You’re able to repair relationships when you lead with love. You’re able to repair broken friendships when you lead with love. It’s what LITA is about, love is the answer.”
Other labels under the House of LR&C imprint include the Good Man Brand, Russell’s brainchild which Ciara describes as “sweet spot between the guy who can do business meetings all day and then switches to athleisure wear”; Human Nation was designed to appeal to Gen-Z with comfy loungewear perfect for elbow-jabbing on TikTok. “[Human Nation] is kind of our Gen-Z influencer brand, but with a little bit of that street flair. We’re having a lot of fun in that space.” There’s a lot of fun happening over at Lita, too—grown woman fun. Lita speaks to the innate sensuality and sophistication of Ciara’s style alter egos.
“My ultimate goal for LITA is to be a woman’s best friend in fashion. I’m a high-low kind of girl, and so I’ve been able to pour some of that influence into the line. I’m also a tomboy, so there’s going to be a little bit of edge and attitude in all the pieces,” Ciara says. Lita was designed for the woman who wants to “be fly but doesn’t have to spend a crazy amount of money.” (The collection is priced between $68-$895)
Inspiration for Lita was pulled from several places, but the heart of the collection is a plush bomber jacket with a king cheetah emblazoned on the back. Of all the designs in the collection—dalmatian printed faux fur jacket, sultry knit dress, leather pants—it’s the Wildcat jacket that Ciara says is 100 percent her influence, as the king cheetah’s unique spots help them stand out instead of blending in.
“[The jacket] is so bold. The king cheetah is also part of the heart of our identity. The black king cheetah has these three stripes down her back that, to me, add character. There’s a lot of character in those stripes and there’s also a lot of character in her. She’s rare. She’s a protector. She’s bold,” Ciara explains. “That’s who we are as women. Going back to the love and the uniqueness of us, and we are a rare breed as women.”
At this point in our conversation, Ciara slips on another one of her many hats—stylist. Like an eager kid on “show and tell day”, Ciara begins reaching for samples in her office to demonstrate the versatility of each piece. “The cardigan dress, or the “Cardi” can flex daytime if you pair it with a sneaker or nighttime if you wear it with a boot. Then you can also dress up with a heel,” she says before enthusiastically showing me a preview of black combat boots she’d pair with the dress. She doesn’t have it on hand, but the Track Leather Pants are another favorite of hers because they’re super comfy and make the woman’s “tushie” look good. She blushes when she says tushie. “I say tushie to my kids because I don’t like to use the other word,” she says.
Of course, design doesn’t eclipse her love of music, but the two challenge Ciara in different ways.”With music nowadays, with streaming and digital platforms you can move things around a bit more. With clothing, you can’t be like, Oh, well, I think I’m going to ship this line to come up next month. Nope, because there are seasons and there’s a way that clothing is purchased from the retailers, and there’s a whole process to it,” Ciara adds. The fashion calendar’s seasons have become quite an adjustment for the new designer. “You can’t move deadlines and timelines around as much as you could in the music space. This is one of my greatest challenges, but I get the chance to be creative at every level on both fronts, music and fashion. So that’s pretty cool,” she says.
Love is carefully woven throughout the collection, down to the materials used to produce each product. According to Ciara, sustainability is one of the greatest acts of love consumers can practice right now, which is why Lita uses conscious materials that have staying power in your closet.
“At the house, you don’t have to sacrifice fashion to be sustainable. We’re thinking about durability. Factoring sustainability into every part of the process and putting love into every part of the process was really important. And being able to have an environmental impact at the same time. It all comes back to love,” Ciara explains. The same passion she has for fashion translates to her mission to impact the environment and the world. “It’s more than an opportunity to create cool fashion designs and to keep my ladies fly and fashionable around the world. There’s also this great opportunity to make a difference together, hence we give back 3 percent of what we make. We’re a give back first company,” Ciara explains. Before any money touches Ciara, Christine, or Russell’s pockets, three percent of sales is donated to the Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation, which supports organizations that provide kids with educational resources and raise money to cure and treat pediatric cancer. “Having the opportunity and platform to do all of that good is a big part of the ‘why we do this.'”
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