It’s really amazing to present something to the world of fashion and share the stage with people who have been doing this longer or have more notoriety. – LeGrand Leseur
In a world where we are taught to conform, we must be diligent in using our creative power for change. This is our second interview with this awarded designer, LeGrand Leseur. He believes, “if you don’t fit in, stop trying to.” His namesake fashion house creates an advanced tailored men’s suit line and a bold collection of eye-wear. LeGrand not only pushes, but fits outside the boundaries with his contemporary men’s suit line. With today’s fashion industry suffering from an artistic rut, it’s refreshing to see a collection that is challenging the status quo with a bold statement of color and design. Even his runway presentation is not your typical men’s catwalk, see the ladies modeling his suit jackets and eye-wear.
LeGrand’s collection walked the runway at the 10th season of Atlantic City Fashion Week. He talks to EDGE about what it means to prepare for a show like this, the inspiration for his latest collection, and [with his high fan base] building a brand through social media.
LeGrand, what was the process for getting into Atlantic City Fashion Week?
First I want to thank you, Rhonda, for all the work you do. Your dedication to emerging designers is relentless and is truly inspiring. Thank you!
I was in talks with AC fashion week for a little while after my first show with them a year or so ago. I took a few seasons off to get my new ideas down before moving forward. When I was ready I reached back out where they took me in with open arms.
I can imagine your excitement in presenting your work. What’s involved in getting ready for this big runway event, what are some of the challenges and celebrations behind the scenes [BTS]?
I really am! It’s really amazing to present something to the world of fashion and share the stage with people who have been doing this longer or have more notoriety. It’s great to be humble during these types of events. It helps keep you level headed and focused on presenting the best collection possible.
Designers/brands invest thousands of dollars to participate in a fashion week runway show. Do you feel that this 10-20 minute catwalk gives you a return on your investment, and how so, if it does? If it doesn’t meet your strategy in, let’s say, getting orders placed or a media buzz, then what other avenues do you use to build commercial success?
Right now I am in the building phase. I am not at the point where A-list celebrities are knocking on my door to wear all my products for every red carpet event; however I feel I am close. Again this is the building phase. I am still learning every day about the fashion world. Success for me changes day by day, month by month. Monetary success is always the best way to see how someone is doing in our society however I base it on more than just that. Thanks to hard work I’ve been invited to NYC fashion week, shows in Paris and featured in several publications. I’m obviously not where I want to be in my career however I am closer than I have ever been! Money is slow but steady.
Congratulations with your over 100,000 followers on Facebook and your approximately 13,000 Instagram followers.
In marketing your brand, LeGrand, do you find that your social media platform meets your business objectives? If so, are you able to measure its financial benefit, if any? Feel free to elaborate on the pros and cons of social media in building your commercial success, in actually getting orders and engaging you audience.
Social media is a double-edged sword; however it is the most important thing any business needs nowadays. Having a big following is great but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and monitoring to keep it going. For example, Facebook’s new algorithms make it so that not everyone who likes your page sees every post. Only a fraction of the followers end up seeing it this way. Facebook can charge brands to have more of their followers and new people see their post. Once you figure out how posts benefit your business can you start monetizing off of it. This is something I have been working on. Once your brand hits a certain level, you start getting more and more emails from potential clients which is the goal.
I believe that innovation from fashion designers will have to exceed current expectations due to the world moving faster with the current state of newer technology. Designers are going to have to come up with newer and fresher ideas faster than ever before. – LeGrand Leseur
You are making some very unique contributions to men’s’ fashion and have carved out a niche in eye-wear. What inspired you to come up with the concept of this collection?
My collection this season is heavily based on movies, mainly the colors of movies verses the actual plot. The wide spectrum of colors used in movies set a tone that follows through the whole film. I wanted my designs this season to be memorable by leaving visions in the head of the audience that will stick with them like their favorite films do. The scene I wanted was whimsical and surreal. Thus I used purples, reds, and blues to create a sense of fantasy around my work.
At fashion week this year, I really want to show a futuristic world of high fashion – something new, but not ridiculous.
What’s your perspective on innovation in today’s fashion?
I believe that innovation from fashion designers will have to exceed current expectations due to the world moving faster with the current state of newer technology. Designers are going to have to come up with newer and fresher ideas faster than ever before. I believe I made my collection reflect that. I want to be remembered for pushing men’s clothing further, a feat I don’t believe is happening in the contemporary market as much as it should be.
Photo Credits: Brian Hunt and LeGrand Leseur.
Read more interviews on emerging designers and brands at EDGE Radar.