Ever stop to think about how our previous generations used to live? Chivalry had more meaning, people carried themselves with a sense of propriety, and you'd be damned if you didn't look good. Today, this method has seemed to fade in the wake of being "swagged out". Yet there are those that strive to maintain a lifestyle of quality, class, and the wardrobe that pertains to such.
Allow me to introduce LeGrand Leseur, a Philadelphia based designer that has a taste for the elegant, yet the talent to maintain individualism in each of his pieces. Under the guise of the mantra "unique designs for unique people", Mr. Leseur most definitely projects a style for his clients that will not be soon forgotten. I was able to ask him a few questions about his process, how he sees his designs making an impact on fashion and lifestyle, and most importantly, where he wants to take this project:
RT:Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you are where you are now?
I am a 23 year recent college graduate from Philadelphia. I graduated college in 2013 with a bachelors degree in Humanities from Anna Maria College which is located in Massachusetts. I originally went to school for music composition and my audition was actually a technical death metal song I wrote. My soon to be teacher accepted me into their music program same day after hearing me play. How I got where I am now? I honestly couldn't tell you. I started going to college for music and now I am working on a high end fashion line. Life happens and you have to learn to adapt. I see opportunities and I grab them.
RT: When did you find your passion for fashion?
College I believe. I had a lot of self esteem issues in high-school. I was cute, but far off from handsome. My confidence was slacking and my clothing style back then reflected it. I knew I looked good in my church outfits but I just didn't think to wear them outside of that setting. I was always attracted to women in dresses and in the movies, television and in print they were always attracted to men suited up. Though I never realized if it was the suit that gave men confidence or vice visa, I knew I had to change just to feel better about myself. I realized this in college so in order to stand out, more so then I already did, I started getting "suited up". I guess it worked. I get called "handsome", "attractive" or "dapper" so often now that it changed the way I see myself. Back in the day I was too busy trying to impress other people but now I am only trying to impress myself. I guess my passion for fashion comes from me trying to impress myself constantly. I will say however, my mothers dress game has always been crazy. I was influenced by her growing up for sure and still am today. I promise you she can out dress any girl half her age without even trying.
RT: Do you have other style lines besides suits?
I run a street wear line called Elephant Squad. Its a tee shirt company I started a few years after my dad died to help inner city children. I am currently trying to find ways to expand that.
RT: Take us through the process of suit design.
Client calls or emails me. I meet up with them and go over options. I like to get a feel for the person and try to reflect their individual style within the design. I draw up a rough sketch on my tablet so they can get an idea and feel for it. I measure them up same day. I work on the idea till I feel it looks perfect then email a factory I am using and talk about the design, dimensions, special instructions etc etc. Shoot them the design and boom 3 weeks later its in my hands ready for inspection.
RT: Do you have a particular demographic that you like to go for? (Business, Music, Fashionista, etc.)
My demographic is anyone who wants to look fantastic. No matter the occupation, if you want to look your best and stand out at your party, social event or just at work in general I can help you.
RT: Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
As I stated before, I liked to reflect one's personality into the design. Example: my most recent personal suit jacket has red angled "cuffs". They are cut at a right angle and feature black buttons. Red and black are my favorite colors so I wanted to incorporate something for my sleeves more than just a one tone look. With individuality, ones work will not be duplicated by myself for anyone else. If I make you a special outfit I wont make the same for anyone else. Maybe similar but never the same. My inspiration is simply the client and their personality. I will say however the Great Gatsby costume design has been stuck in my head lately. I believe the designer actually won an award for that.
RT: What is 2014 looking like for you?
To be honest I don't know. I am looking to move to Miami soon. I am 100 percent over this winter and I do not feel like I can take another. I want to travel with the brand and get into as many fashion weeks as I can as well as experience. I am taking this year to help build my reputation and brand recognition. I am going to add accessories to the line soon. I want to tour the world, marry Lana Del Rey and take care of my mother.
There you have it. The truly inspiring quality of LeGrand's process for me is his adaptation to his client. It makes me interpret a design as a journey of likes and dislikes, determined and understood in the threads of something completely custom. Something that can be boasted as a wearable announcement of individualism. Bravo, sir. For those that wish to check out the rest of his work, and schedule an appointment for your own outfit, visit his site, Facebook, or other social media sites.