The global luxury eye wear market is expected to expand at the rate of 6% in the coming five years ahead and will go on to account for a total of $20 billion in revenues, with the Asia Pacific region the fastest growing regional market in sales, as reported from Global Luxury Eyewear Market – Forecast, Trends & Opportunities 2013-2017 report.
A new player on the radar is LeGrand Leseur Eyewear.
Fashion is like art in that both the designer and the wearer can utilize fashion to express themselves. Many, particularly celebrities and high profile people, take what they wear very seriously and consider how they want to be seen. LeGrand Leseur Eyewear creates eye wear along those lines as stated from LeGrand Leseur’s quote on his website, “How will you express yourself? How will you present yourself to the world? How will you define ‘I am.’?”
EDGE interviews LeGrand Leseur, whose emerging fashion house, of the same name, makes unique men’s suits and clothing. LeGrand is an awarded designer in the Philadelphia community. A recipient of PHL 17 Hotlist’s BEST Men’s Clothing and BEST Tuxedo awards and winner of 2015’s Best Men’s Retail in Philly’s Happening Award. LeGrand shares his passion on creating with an “out of the box” vision and developing his new business category – luxury eyewear.
LeGrand, you are very directional and advanced for a men’s suit line. Congratulations! We need to reverse the trend of the same old thing. That is what EDGE is about – giving us something we never thought was possible. You have recently added eyewear to the LeGrand Leseur brand. LeGrand Leseur Eyewear has a bold look and it appears the vision for your eyewear line is in sync with your men’s suit line, offering something different, daring, and unexpected.
Well thank you for that delightful symphony of words and compliments. Glad to be a part of EDGE!
How did you get started in the fashion business?
In college I started to brand a t-shirt company called Elephant Squad in honor of my father who passed away during that time. While learning about the industry I realized that I enjoyed the look of a well tailored suit way more than t-shirts. I also noticed that due to my love for tailored clothing I was wearing suits everyday anyway. I then decided to search for tailors and factories to work with me to help kick start ideas that I was working on. After I found one that suited me, no pun intended, I started getting my designs and ideas produced.
Let’s talk about the fashion eyewear business. From the Research and Markets Global Luxury Eyewear Market report, eyeglasses are increasingly being used as a facial accessory and a matching item for a wide variety of outfits, and for highlighting the personality of eyeglass wearers. The ‘report’ goes on to say that the sunglass market will benefit not only from increased awareness of the dangers of UV exposure but also from frames and sunglasses being increasingly perceived as fashion products.
That is correct! Its really interesting how fast things are taking off in such a short time frame.
How are you positioning LeGrand Leseur Eyewear in this very competitive market? How do you differentiate your line from the other players in the industry?
To be honest I am not really looking at what I do from a competitive standpoint, which in the business world is slightly foolish. I have achieved more while not worrying about others than I did when I was constantly looking at other brands. I think the thing that truly separates me from other brands is the fact that I’m not even trying to compete with them. I am always looking to improve myself rather than worry about how I am doing against other people. The levels of success for some brands might not be the same level of success I have for mine so I completely took that element out of the equation for myself.
Tell us about the The LeGrand Leseur Eyewear Luxury+ Club. This exclusive fashion club concept is a great marketing tool to keep your audience/consumer engaged with your product and brand.
The thing about my brand is that I don’t want it available to everyone, I used to however. For my products, mainly suits, price wise people can’t afford them and it isn’t because my prices were unreasonable. People kept complaining that I was too high but when compared to other brands I was much cheaper. So I heighten all of my prices. I want the right people coming to me. I create art and I want people who buy my clothing to realize that. This is the reason I came up with the Luxury+ Club for my eyewear line. I want people to feel like they are a part of something different. Something a little more exclusive than just wearing a famous brand name that everyone else has. To wear LeGrand Leseur is to enjoy the finer things in life and revel in the fact that they are a part of something much bigger. I have a huge launch party for the brand on August 1st in Philadelphia, of course you are more than welcome to attend, but it isn’t open to the public. I want my brand to be more contained than other brands that just want everyone’s money all of the time. I rather have a smaller following that has a deeper understanding of my brand than a huge following that just doesn’t get it.
Product placement on celebrities is any designer’s wish or can be seen as the ultimate means of exposure. How important is this tactic to your branding and marketing plan? What celebrities or high profile people would you like to see wearing LeGrand Leseur Eyewear?
I have been blessed with having the ability to have a handful of celebrities wearing my products already from the band Phantogram to the rapper Philly Freeway. This tactic is huge when you are trying to push your brand forward but I feel like solely focusing on this can have you lose you way. I don’t want to be a brand that is constantly look for the next A-Lister to support my brand. I just want my brand to take off more organically. However I do have a few celebrities that I do want associated with my brand which includes, Kevin Hart, Lana Del Rey, Leonardo DiCaprio and the band, The Roots. Only time will tell who will be wearing them next.
Eyewear is my personal favorite accessory and I agree with the ‘report’ on how it is considered a fashion product, far from its utility use. Where do you draw your inspiration from in designing eyewear, both shape and color influence?
Coming up with eyewear is something you have to work with a team on. Since you aren’t hand making the sunglasses yourself having your team or factory working with you to come out with looks is key. The one thing I told my team was that I wanted something more retro looking than anything else. I want people to wear them and feel like they are movie stars. I wanted the shapes to be some what classic looking, something that is easy to relate while being able to stand on their own. The colors had to be something that could blend my influence today so obviously there are black pairs for every frame but I did include a color like red that has a very dynamic individualized voice. Also red is my favorite color!
One word to describe today’s fashion industry?
Photo Credits: Brian Hunt of Ethimo Foto and courtesy of LeGrand Leseur.
There is a place for LeGrand Leseur Eyewear among the critical mass giants. Thank you for being innovative, selective, and creating outside the boundaries.
EDGE congratulates LeGrand Leseur on the journey so far and extends continued success for the future!
Read more emerging designer interviews at EDGE Radar.