SSENSE, pronounced [es-uhns], is a Montreal-based fashion platform with global reach. Founded in 2003, SSENSE is pacing the vanguard of directional retail with a mix of luxury, streetwear, and avant-garde labels. We produce industry-leading original content and take pride in building our own technology solutions and systems from scratch. Our field of focus has grown beyond that of a typical e-commerce entity as we explore the nexus of content, commerce, and culture. Currently serving 150 countries, generating an average of 76 million monthly page views, and achieving high double digit annual growth since inception, SSENSE is becoming a cultural protagonist in its own right.
SSENSE was founded in 2003 by brothers Rami, Firas and Bassel Atallah. Born in Damascus, Syria, they emigrated to Montreal with their family when they were teenagers. SSENSE began as Rami’s part-time passion project, powered by his curiosity surrounding e-commerce in its early stages. An experiment with fashion’s secondary market revealed a compelling growth opportunity, leading him to build the first SSENSE platform as part of his graduate thesis for his degree in computer engineering. He was joined by his two brothers to fully explore its potential. Firas had recently graduated with a degree in Finance and Economics while Bassel had just begun studying mechanical engineering. With their complementary skill sets, the brothers set out to engineer a leading global fashion platform to merge online and offline; leveraging the internet to define the next generation of retail.
We are a creative community who believes challenging convention moves culture forward, so we use our platform to amplify the voices that are changing the way we see the world.
We solve problems by exploring unexpected paths rather than relying on established conventions, creating the next generation of experts.
Ahead But In Sight
We strive to be at the forefront, but not so far out that we lose the connection to our customers.
We take bold, calculated risks in pursuit of our vision and trust the shared experience of our team will overcome individual biases and unlock the best solutions.
Fast But Uncompromising
We move quickly towards our shared goals but never at the expense of our standards or our integrity.
We believe in healthy and sustainable growth. Over the years, SSENSE has grown from a passion project to a global fashion platform reaching millions of visitors in over 150 countries. Since inception, we’ve achieved double-digit annual growth while remaining profitable and nimble. Today, SSENSE employs close to 700 employees across our Headquarter, Distribution Center and Retail locations. As we continue to grow, so do our ambitions to expand our digital reach while scaling our physical presence globally, positioning ourselves to further collapse the commerce-culture binary.
SSENSE has quietly emerged as a leading global platform by pushing the boundaries of traditional e-commerce with a radically new point of view. We set out to create a different message, perspective, and approach to the way people shop. Whether in style, business or technology, innovation has always been top of mind. From collapsing the boundaries between luxury and streetwear, to launching the world’s first shoppable music video, SSENSE has been challenging preconceived notions from the very beginning, forging a different path that has since become prevalent throughout the industry. Read more about technology at SSENSE on our tech blog.
Regarded as a leading destination for the most coveted labels in fashion, SSENSE has long been a pioneer in exploring the intersection of content and commerce. Launching editorial content on the homepage of ssense.com was a radical move for a website known primarily for e-commerce and is a strategy that many have since followed. Our editorial content reflects the accelerated and broad interests of the 21st century consumer, covering fashion, music, art, design, film, literature, and popular culture, with incisive rigor and via multiple modes of production and presentation. This exploration extends into SSENSE MONTRÉAL, the spatial twin to ssense.com and the first building in Canada designed by David Chipperfield Architects. SSENSE MONTRÉAL is a hub of activity where human experience, creativity, and interaction converge in multi-disciplinary programming that has attracted international acclaim.
SSENSE IN THE NEWS
“Une chose est sûre : SSENSE s’attelle, avec succès jusqu’ici, à capter l’air du temps.”
“The entire space is open to promote teamwork and transparency, with ideas sparked through informal desk-side chats”
“SSENSE’s customers are big spenders like marketing executives, musicians and athletes who don’t think twice about dropping an average of $900 on a piece of clothing.”
“Lancée en 2003, la plateforme canadienne séduit les jeunes générations avec son approche décalée de la mode et des tendances.”
“This is the shopping destination where brands aren’t simply sold but shaped and moulded: a synergistic interactive space for the creators and clients of fashion.”
“Founded in 2003, SSENSE has since grown into an arbiter-of-taste with a sizeable global reach, evolving from a digital platform into a formidable (and profitable) brand in its own right with a digital media platform to boot.”
“Fashion is moving faster than ever to the next new thing, and SSENSE is selling it.”
“Unquestionably the single most significant development in the Montreal scene in recent times, SSENSE opened its first brick-and-mortar outlet in 2004, since expanding to an empire that accommodates a much-loved e-commerce site, a fastidiously curated content platform [...] and, most recently, a five-story flagship in the city’s Old Port.”
“La capacité d’analyse et d’utilisation des données mise en place par l’entreprise fondée par des ingénieurs est spectaculaire.”