Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Jan 05, 2023 02:08 PM

What are some of the core values Les Bretelles de Léon stands for?

The first value is that we are made in France. It’s very important to us to make everything locally. Then elegance and quality of course: we want to design and make accessories with fine materials and with care. Lastly, we are a family business. I work with my husband and as a small brand, there is passion in everything we do.


How was the brand started?

Well, four friends were going to get married and they couldn’t find accessories. So, they decided to make them and started a business together!


What made you want to have a business that focused on men’s accessories?

When I found out that the four founders wanted to sell the brand, I made an offer. The name of the brand is “Les bretelles de Léon”, which means “Leon’s suspenders”. It appears that my grandfather’s name was Leon and he used to wear suspenders (bretelles in French). So, it was a bit of a wink! Simply put, I fell in love with the products and the brand.


"We have a very large range of suspenders with different designs, always offering elegance and quality."


Do you have a favorite piece in the collection? 

My favorite suspenders are “Bretelles larges Cabinet de curiosités“.


What is your favorite part about designing?

I can let my imagination go free, which allows me to believe that anything is possible. When you have the resources, you can do what you want. You don't have to be satisfied with what exists!


Where do you find inspiration?

I watch men in the streets (which my husband doesn’t like at all... haha) and observe what they wear for inspiration. I also listen to the concerns men have (my family, friends, and customers): they always are very talkative! 


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

We have a very large range of suspenders with different designs, always offering elegance and quality. We provide fun accessories to go dancing or formal accessories to get married, but whatever the occasion is, we always keep it elegant. 


What do you envision for the future of your brand?

Our goal is to be able to export to the US!


What is your favorite current fashion trend? What is your least favorite?

My favorite fashion trend is vintage revisited with a touch of modernity (neo-vintage if that’s a word!)

My least favorite is classical-nobody-sees-me! 


“It’s not just what you do that is important, it’s the people you do it with.” 


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

Trust yourself! There is no other way!


Do you find it difficult to have a brand based in Paris, France? What are the perks versus the challenges?

It’s not that difficult because making suspenders specifically is a niche, so there are not a lot of brands that do that (although there are a lot of people doing belts and socks, which we do as well). So that sets us apart and is a perk. We also have a lot of inspiration around here too! The challenge is more on the other accessories (belts and socks) which many other brands design and can be more difficult to be creative with.


How important is sustainability to your brand?

It is very important!


What sustainable measures has Les Bretelles de Léon taken to better the environment?

Our sustainability commitment is turned toward local production. This includes spare parts are always available, our round packaging being reusable (and it’s even suitable for food contact), and logistics. We recycle and use cardboard from neighboring companies. We have dematerialized tools to limit printing, particularly for order preparation. The transporters we work with use electric vehicles or take on carbon compensation. We worked to have a building as “clean” as possible, which is equipped with led lighting and presence detectors. We have also removed the hot water tank and put in a heating pencil. No detail is small enough!


How has the fashion industry changed since you first started out?

Honestly, I think men have changed. They have increasingly become more conscious of their look. I believe men are taking better care of themselves, and not just to please their partner, but to please themselves!


If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be? 

It’s not just what you do that is important, it’s the people you do it with.