LeGrand Leseur is a Philadelphia menswear designer who is on the rise in popularity. As a college student studying music, Mr. Leseur started a t-shirt line that did well but he didn’t sport tees himself preferring the look of a suit. One day he decided for more options in the suit world, he’d have to start designing himself. And that he has done, offering bespoke suits for men with creative detail such as diagonally placed buttonholes and contrasting colored cuffs.
Your line is very distinctive, how has that developed?
Menswear today is so redundant. So many of the same color suits and it has all been done to death, it’s actually quite exhausting on the eyes. Men’s fashion hasn’t changed in 100 years, and the few changes that were made haven’t stuck. I’m out to change that. Designers today think they can just have a fancy pattern fabric and that changes everything but the base suit is always the same. The breast pocket has been the same for 100 years as well, you have the welt and the small patch. What else? Nothing. Within a year I have come up with 10 different breast pockets. Any men’s fashion house or designer hasn’t successfully or efficiently changed the way the man’s suit looks or how the features affect the overall feel of the outfit. I saw a need to create unique looks, things that would stand out from the person in the suit next to you. People spend a ton of money on boring suits and that should end.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Villains. Any evil doer from comic books and movies always have interesting clothing, not necessarily suits but it’s always something that makes them stand out especially in movies. It’s not always the costume you see first but the music you hear. Then when the character is on screen it’s just like, “Oh shit, this dude means business.” One day I’d like to be a costume designer for Hollywood because I feel I would make villains truly come to life on the big screen.
Who is your customer?
My customers are stylish men, students to businessmen, who want a change from the everyday norm. I also have a women’s clothing line coming out soon.
What would you say to a young fella who wants to up his style game? Where should he start?
I would say start simple. Find extravagant socks and ties then branch out from there. It is easier to start off with accessories. It is a lot cheaper than getting clothing custom-made so if you are on a budget it can help you get your feet on the ground and enough time to save up.
Philadelphia is one of my favorite cities – how does it influence your style and your designs?
I can say it truly doesn’t. Philadelphia was ranked one of the worst cities for fashion in the US but that’s why I want to stick around to help change that. Even people who wear “classic” suits get small things such as the buttoning wrong all of the time (e.g men button both front buttons on a 2 piece suit or all 3 on a 3 piece). I go up to people all the time and unbutton their bottom button or at least point it out to them. I would say Philadelphia doesn’t itself influence me but the overall vibe of the city helps me to bring art to the fashion world. When Philadelphians get behind something they really get behind it but you have to earn that respect first and that can take some time.
You like to use color in your designs – what do you think color adds to a look, particularly for men?
Most men don’t know that color is everything for other people’s perception. One of the reasons Black, Grey and Navy Blue are the three most trusted colors in the business and professional world is because it clearly represents the “establishment.” In the business world it shows a sign of trust, a sign of – he looks like me so he is in the club. What most men don’t know is that there are other colors that can be used. Don’t forget color changes the way we feel and perceive things. There is a reason why a woman in red at a cocktail party raises the heart rate of men when they see her verses someone in black, white, or silver.
Colors for me convey a strong emotion that’s why I like to mix them into the cuffs and other areas of the suit. For men, I think it is important to understand basic color theory from a psychological perspective and the emotions color place on the person looking at you. It gets really deep but I don’t want to go too far down that road in this interview.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Seeing new ideas come to life and having the creative freedom to allow it to happen.
Thank you, Mr. Leseur, for sharing you fabulous sense of style with the world.