“We have quite a broad customer base right across the board,” she says, noting the company’s products are sold in 40 countries.
“In our core collection, we’re manufacturing a minimum of 65 unique styles that come in a rage of up to eight prints a month,” Jensen says. “In the accessory industry, that’s a very unique merchandising strategy.”
This year marks LeSportsac’s 40th anniversary, and the company is celebrating through multiple collaborations. This includes its partnership with New York-based artist Curtis Kulig, who has achieved international notoriety with his “Love Me” campaign.
The artist created several original designs for the company‘s bags, featuring some of the bright, bold marks that Kulig is known for. “We wanted to celebrate our New York heritage by working with up-and-coming artists,” Jensen says. “That’s been really fun.”
The company also developed a handbag and cosmetic bag collection with Benefit Cosmetics LLC that combines vintage glamour and humor. “The products are really emotional,” Jensen says. “The graphic nature of our brand and their brand is a great mix.”
LeSportsac recently completed a redesign concept for its freestanding stores and stop and shops, Jensen says. Previously, the locations had a look that “was very sleek and retro-modern,” she describes.
The company brought them more up-to-date with implementation of a new palette of colors and a wide variety of fixtures, Jensen says. “[It’s] really apparent [that] it’s a completely new look,” she says.
LeSportsac is in the process of updating its website. “The objective is to have a more user friendly interface,” she states. “E-marketing is something we’re really going to focus on going forward.”
LeSportsac has nurtured an environment where employees are dedicated to the company, Jensen says. “We have the most loyal and passionate employees,” she says, noting that many have been with the firm for more than 15 years.
This level of commitment is true around the globe, Jensen asserts. “We have a very multicultural staff base,” she states. “Whether they’re living in Hawaii; Osaka, [Japan]; or New York, everyone is passionate about the brand.”
When hiring, LeSportsac looks for associates who are skilled and have an entrepreneurial spirit, Jensen says. “We’re not a traditional brand from the way that we develop products,” she says.
“[We want] someone with an entrepreneurial and out-of-the-box sort of style,” she says, noting that the company has hired many interns who have shown strength in their work. “You have to be a really key player, no matter what your level is in the company.”
For the next year, Jensen plans to redefine the core of LeSportsac’s products. “[We want to] really take it into the future and make it as relevant today as it was in the ‘70s,” she says. “I think that this brand has a great amount of potential.
“I’d like to be the go-to brand for modern lifestyle needs,” Jensen says, noting that its plans include more collaborations, including a reunion with Tokidoki LLC. Based in Los Angeles, the company specializes in apparel, handbags, cosmetics and accessories that feature Japanese-inspired cartoon characters.
One of Tokidoki’s founders, designer Simone Legno, created a character exclusively for LeSportsac named Palette, Jensen says. “She’s a leopard who changes her spots with her mood,” she describes. “She is just like LeSportsac, a print or style for every mood.”
LeSportsac is also partnering with Ericson Beamon, a bespoke jewelry brand based in New York City. “We are inspired by their artistry and their fashion reach,” Jensen says. “Their customer base ranges from the first lady to Lady Gaga.”
She explains that LeSportsac will be doing a global travel line of bags with Ericson Beamon. “The prints are all images of their incredible jewelry,” Jensen says.