Charles LeBrun designs genderless sportswear for every occasion

Images of Charles LeBrun

Lyrics by Gabrielle O’Hagan

It was created as a platform to help people who would not usually be seen in the community and to create opportunities for them.

If you’re someone who automatically equates fashion with discomfort, Australian brand Charles LeBrun will prove you wrong. The Melbourne-based designer mixes sportswear with fashion to create a range of comfortable, genderless, trans-seasonal clothing.

All garments are designed and manufactured in Melbourne which is fitting, since Charles LeBrun’s idea flourished in country Victoria, where the brand’s creative director, Georgia R Haynes, grew up.

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Named after his great-grandfather who fought in World War II, Charles LeBrun celebrates courage, freedom and authenticity, and honors the LeBrun family motto: “Fortune smiles on the brave”. .

During her teenage years, Georgia spent most of her time playing basketball and falling in love with sportswear. Her love of basketball shorts and jerseys inspired her to design a collection that combines comfort and style, allowing people to find outfits to suit almost any occasion.

Georgia wanted to design clothes that didn’t adhere to gender binaries, but brought people together and created a sense of community. Below, she tells us how she got there with Charles LeBrun.

Tell us about you. What is your background in fashion?

I am a photographer and creative director. I have a background in graphic design but I’ve always been interested in fashion, which led me to fashion photography. I always bought fashion magazines growing up and really wanted to do fashion design, but I wasn’t really into sketching, that’s why I turned to photography as my main medium when I was doing graphic design at University.

How did the label start? Tell us about the process and the challenges.

I started the label when I started playing basketball again after taking a big break. I grew up in country Victoria, playing basketball throughout my childhood and teenage years. I was obsessed with the baggy shorts and singlets we wore.

I was looking for new basketball shorts to wear at practice. I wanted a pair that was loose and not too tight around my thighs. I couldn’t find any at the time that I liked, so I started doing my own research on how to make the perfect basketball shorts. I wanted them to be wearable for any occasion. Sunday brunch, dinner and basketball.

What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has this evolved?

I wanted to create a brand that wasn’t just a clothing brand. It was created as a platform to help people who would not usually be seen in the community and to create opportunities for them.

Doing the events was really special, it brings people together. Some people have come to Charles LeBrun events and made new friends, and continue to stay friends, because of the Charles brand, culture and connection, which makes me super happy. It reminds me that it’s really important to have a community, supportive and supportive friends, especially in the last few years.

What are you trying to communicate through the brand now?

Over the years, I have learned a lot. Not only about the fabrics, the dye and the silhouettes of the garments, but I also learned a lot about myself and the loyalty to the brand and why I created it. I had a realization [about] what it means to me to have a brand… I don’t just see it as a basketball-inspired brand, [but] one who is asexual.

Where does the name come from?

Charles LeBrun is my great-grandfather who fought in World War II and there is another Charles LeBrun who was a famous French artist in the 17th century. He painted for King Louis XIV and his work is in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace from Versailles to Paris.

What are you most proud of in your work on your label?

Create an inclusive brand and make the clothes locally in Melbourne.

What did you wish you had known when you started?

I wish I had known that it was going to be so difficult to have a label. It is not easy !

Who do you think is the most exciting in Australian fashion right now?

Manifesto of love.

What about the Australian fashion industry that needs to change?

There must be a fashion week that features small brands that help them get seen by the rest of the world. There are so many amazing brands and designers coming out of Australia that never get noticed on a global scale.

Must-read list for a dinner party?

Channel Tres LA rooftop house set.

Who’s in your wardrobe right now?

Come Tees, Aries Arise, Carhartt, Charles LeBrun, Polar jeans.

How can we buy one of your parts?

Currently only online, here.

Anything else to add?

[We’re] working on new pants and shorts at the center of the brand.

To buy the entire Charles LeBrun collection, go to here.

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