Founded in Paris by Frenchman Didier Lecoanet and Indo-German Hemant Sagar in the early 1980s, brand Lecoanet Hemant opened their first shop on Faubourg Saint Honoré, just opposite the Elysée Palace. A perfect blend of East and West, they have won the Golden Thimble known as Le de d’or (the Oscar equivalent of haute couture), among others. Their creations are in the permanent collection at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Deutsches Museum, Berlin, and the Musée des Arts de la Mode, Paris.
In 2000, Lecoanet Hemant decided to pursue their long-standing dream of going into ready-to-wear and moved to India. Twenty years later, as they showcase their new collection, we get talking to Sagar, designer & co-founder of Genes Lecoanet Hemant, on their journey thus far...
In your long journey as designers, have you seen any change in the way fashion is consumed?
I strongly feel that there is a barrage of ‘fashion’ on the consumer landscape today, and not in the qualitative sense. Intake has reached historic heights and longevity has taken a hit.
You keep it low-key, but are consistent as designers. What’s your marketing strategy?
To have a strong sense of integrity is key to achieve authenticity and present to the consumer a brand that is a true reflection of its ideals.
What brand philosophy would you never compromise with?
Making clothes that are a labour of love and a result of a process that respects the people involved and the environment at large.
At a time when glut seems to have got the design world too, what do you tell budding designers?
Vivienne Westwood put it best — Buy less, choose well. We are at a point when designers need to re-align their ideologies and create for a world of today that doesn’t really need more products.
What does the future hold for the brand?
I think we really need to clear the clutter and focus on the client. The need to prioritise longevity and ethical production has never been greater and the marketing strategy is to reflect that authentically through the lens of Lecoanet Hemant.
The philosophies of self-sufficiency and empathy for the surroundings are reflected in their clothes through the careful curation of textiles, construction details and breezy prints, a cause to cheer depth in designs!
They are out with their latest design symphony — The Purist, an ode to the gentle ways of country living. The clothes exude a quiet sense of softness and warmth. Here, silk linens, crisp poplins, abstract chrysanthemum florals in washes of hazel and sundew find a place.
For women, the template includes chic classic summer jackets with dainty tie-ups paired with pleated cotton trousers for that effortless transition from work to summer sundowners, while abstract floral prints are a breath of fresh spring air in billowy layered dresses. For men, there is a slightly tapered shape that introduces a new language of relaxed tailoring.
The designers say the idea to underline a new definition of masculinity through a fresh palette of summer colours like mint, apricot pink and soft charcoal.
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