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Lee Taps New Creative Agency to Develop Brand Experiences

Lee is kicking off its 131st year with a new creative direction. The Kontoor Brands-owned heritage label announced last week that global brand and customer experience company VMLY&R will serve as its lead creative agency of record.

With the new relationship, Lee aims to accelerate the brand’s global growth by “sharpening its focus on connecting with consumers through new and innovative brand experiences and must-have clothing made for life’s opportunities,” the brand noted.

“As stewards of the iconic Lee brand, we have the opportunity and responsibility to innovate and modernize not just our products, but also how we engage and connect with consumers around the world,” said Chris Waldeck, Lee executive vice president and global brand president. “With the selection of VMLY&R as our lead global agency, we are confident that we have the ideal partner to help accelerate the Lee brand’s growth around the world.”

First up on VMLY&R’s agenda will be strengthening Lee’s lifestyle and fashion positioning. Its 2019 campaigns centered on jeans that speak to generations of denim lovers and projects that marked its 130th anniversary. Last year, the brand tapped into the demand for workwear- and utility-inspired fashion by reissuing items from its archives, while an anniversary collaboration with Alife New York put a streetwear spin Lee’s heritage denim.

In January, Lee participated in Copenhagen International Fashion Fair’s consumer-oriented event that included activities like a mending bar for repairing jeans and a “denim tattoo bar” for customization.

“We’re thrilled to work with the Lee brand not just because of their legacy, but also because of their ambition to innovate the iconic brand for new generations,” said Michelle Derderian, VMLY&R executive director. “Lee and VMLY&R are like-minded, driven partners, and we’re excited to power the brand’s presence globally.”