Nottingham based label LES GENS is propelling out of Northern England into the global fashion space, striving from keeping its creativity true, and the community at its core. The emerging label shows the ability to make streetwear authentic, whilst creating a community of like-minded individuals in the making. Bridging the gap for many creatives in the northern quarter, LES GENS humbles itself on collaborating with aspiring move-makers, design-forward thinkers and providing an opportunity to become a part of a journey open for all.
In a brief conversation with founder & designer, Rhys, we get acquainted with LES GENS with an open-minded Q&A,
What encouraged or provoked you to start LES GENS?
LES GENS was born through a desire to have a wider creative community in our hometown, Nottingham. There are so many unreal creatives, not being able to get their foot in the door in the industry or stop entirely on a ‘who you know basis and we just didn’t like that. We wanted to create a brand that represented all creatives, regardless of the background or standing within the community. Everyone starts somewhere, right? We started with our first release of clothing and although that remains at our core, we have started to branch out with different creative platforms like ‘The 5’. It really is about bigging up everyone who is out there trying to do something different – there isn’t enough of that around.
Do you feel like where you’ve come from is part-inspiration to your brand or even products?
Originating from Nottingham, you can sometimes feel that you’re missing out with the likes of Manchester and London only hours away and always got so much on. Be it with fashion, music or even other creative expressions like art. This really reflects in us as a brand because we are trying to bridge that gap. Starting in Nottingham but coming globally soon.
What does success look like to you & LES GENS?
Success to us is growing LES GENS to a level of where we’re not just known by our clothes, we’re known for our events and our brand ethos. The clothes are an incredible core and we want to see LES GENS in the streets everywhere but more than that we want you to be a part of LES GENS.
You’ve built a notable UK community, where in the world would you most like to take the brand?
It has got to be Japan for us, their appreciation for fashion and street culture as well as it is such an amazing birthplace for so many brands really resonates with us.
What does the summer and winter seasons this year look like?
We are excited for what’s coming, it is definitely going to be a more varied showcase of what we have done previously. We have been blessed to work closely with some local designers over the last year on some LES GENS originals that are currently in development, we are levelling up everywhere though. Just shot a really lit campaign that will come out next month also, alongside booking our first event with some special headliners. It is a really exciting time in the brand at the moment.
Do you ever find yourself with creative struggles? & How could these be struggles become easier?
All the time, burnout is a real thing, having a good team and people around you that you can bounce those ideas and not just stress about on your own is such essential. Sometimes, it’s good to have a break and take care of yourself. Taking a step back and thinking ‘am I making something people will like and interact with?’, if the answer is yes then just keep plugging away. It isn’t about how fast you rise, success is different for everyone.
Can you pick an item out from the archive or current season which you like most?
Our future jeans for sure, each pair meant a lot to us, a lot of hours put into each pair, each one hand-painted. The response on those was crazy – still to this day we get daily requests to bring those back. Best believe we’ve got some more jeans coming very soon.
Amongst many dreams, what dream specifically are you championing right now?
We are moving towards more limited releases of high-quality products, some of the samples we are sitting on are crazy. The events side of LES GENS…we’re really looking forward to getting started. To create style of event that can be replicated to other cities around the world supporting their creatives and music artists.
Stay connected with LES GENS by visiting www.lesgensclothing.co.uk & follow us on social media for the latest style news and fashion releases.