Jessica Lee, the co-founder of Modern Citizen, believes the era of the billion-dollar consumer brand is over.
“We’re in a world where customers don’t really want a billion-dollar brand,” said Lee. “The era of the mega-brand is over, and we’re in a culture and environment now where we have these community-minded brands speaking specifically to people. That’s what builds a brand.”
Modern Citizen, founded by Lee and her partner Lizzie Agnew in 2014, checks all the boxes of a buzzy new digitally native brand. The label was launched to offer luxury-quality goods at attainable prices; establish a minimalist wardrobe that promotes buying higher quality less often; and target working-class women — particularly those in male-dominated industries like the San Francisco tech scene, where Modern Citizen is based. It’s a vertically integrated brand that doesn’t plan to deal with the retail middlemen.