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Activists and Athletes Front Lee Originals Campaign

Lee tapped a diverse group of influencers ranging from athletes to activists to promote its Lee Originals collection. The digital-first campaign, set to Lenny Kravitz’ “Strut,” celebrates each of their differences while demonstrating that everyone is “cut from the same cloth.”

The ad includes commentary from indigenous model and activist Quannah Chasinghorse; model Levi Dylan; Nigerian-American singer-songwriter and visual artist Annahstasia Enuke; model Kenya Kinski-Jones; and American skateboarder and model Haden McKenna. Each was featured in a short clip sharing their views on originality.

Chasinghorse, who made an authentic statement when she attended the American fashion-themed 2021 Met Gala in indigenous attire, explained why it’s important for her to stay true to herself. Similarly, McKenna talked about the importance of paving your own path even when met with pushback.

According to photographer Mark Seliger, who shot and provided creative direction for the campaign, the cast provided the inspiration for the video.

“Working together with Lee was a perfect combination of modern and legacy,” he said. “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.”

Costume designer and stylist Arianne Phillips curated looks, which showed the influencers sporting key Western and workwear pieces from the collection. The range carries both themes throughout, with vintage-inspired Union-Alls, chore jackets, denim shirts, looser-fitting jeans and more included in both the men’s and women’s collections. Men’s styles range from $34-$330, and women’s styles range from $24-$138.

“This campaign embraces optimism, authenticity and tenacity—characteristics that are inherent to the Lee brand and shared with our consumers,” said Brigid Stevens, Lee North America senior director of marketing.

The campaign continues Lee’s premiumization strategy, which has helped carry the label through the challenges of Covid-19. Parent company Kontoor Brands stated during a Q2 earnings call that Lee is exceeding its financial expectations, bringing in $176 million for a 105 percent increase since last year.

Some of the brand’s most recent collaborations, such as its partnerships with streetwear brands The Hundreds and Alife, as well as H&M, are helping to elevate the label and attract younger shoppers.

The Lee Originals campaign is streaming now on YouTube as well as across Lee’s social media channels and e-commerce website.