For Sene’s latest denim launch, the 4–year-old brand turned to an unexpected source of inspiration: activewear.
According to co-founder Mark Zheng, the brand’s new denim line that launched on Monday, along with the marketing around it, is inspired by the way activewear brands like Nike and Lululemon have built strong communities around their products. To do so, the brand tapped Emma Lovewell, Peloton instructor and fitness influencer (with more than half a million followers on Instagram), to collaborate on the jeans and be the face of the campaign.
There are six pairs in the line, all light wash, are selling at Sene’s standard $149 price point. Like all of Sene’s products, the jeans are custom-made for each customer after they take an online fit quiz, and can be freely altered for 60 days after purchase. They are pre-distressed, pre-ripped and made from lightweight Japanese denim, all in the service of making them as comfortable as possible. Sene is emphasizing fit and comfort in all marketing materials across its social channels.
“We’ve been doing denim since late 2019. We launched it because of the amount of frustration we heard from people,” Zheng said. “Jeans were consistently mentioned as something that was hard to find the right fit. We wanted to provide an option for people to find jeans that fit, that are comfortable and that make them feel good about themselves.”
In a post-pandemic world, even when people go back to wearing “real clothes,” many are still desiring the fit and comfort of sweatpants and loungewear. According to Levi’s CEO Chip Burgh, 25% of the brand’s customers are wearing a different jean size now, either larger or smaller, than they were pre-pandemic. For Zheng, tapping into Lovewell’s ethos of wearing clothes that are comfortable and accepting of one’s body, was a match for Sene.
“I like to say [that you should] work out because you love your body, not because you hate it,” Lovewell said. “With jeans, it’s about getting the jeans that are made to fit you, instead of trying to fit into jeans.”
To advertise the line, Sene is launching a series of narrative videos across its social channels about Lovewell, her path to Peloton and her philosophy on fitness and life. Additionally, Sene will be hosting a livestream event featuring Lovewell on Facebook and Instagram in November. It will allow customers to ask her questions directly and talk about the launch.
The focus on comfort, the use of Lovewell and the live-streamed events are all meant to invoke the same marketing strategy that Zheng has admired from Lovewell’s employer, Peloton, which grew 172% over the last year, with revenue exceeding $4 billion. Activewear brands, Zheng said, do an exceptional job of building a strong loyal following around them.
“Those brands are incredible at creating communities of their customers,” Zheng said. “That’s something we’re looking toward. The launch with Emma is akin to what Nike has done with the Nike Fit app or what Lululemon did with its acquisition of Mirror. Creating a community that’s engaged with the brand’s values and not just the product, that’s essential.”