Highsnobiety

When Lesley Charles-Félicité founded Léonide in 2022, he did so with an aim of creating gentle clothes for a hard world.

By gentle, the founder means honest and sustainably-sourced garments with an emphasis on recycling. To the eye, this makes the clothes look kinda simple, but don’t be fooled: Léonide is careful, considered, conscientious, as its Instagram states.

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“I had been wanting to start [Léonide] for a few years,” Charles-Félicité told Highsnobiety. “I had worked for other brands before and had all the elements to launch my own brand, to do things that were close to my heart, and would make me come alive.”

Léonide is a menswear label that draws inspiration from the cultures and traditions of the Caribbean and French Guiana where Charles-Félicité is from. The name derives from the founder’s great great grandmother, an Amerindian who lived in Martinique and is was first in the family to blend multiple cultures.

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“I pay homage to her because for me the value of diversity is very important,” Charles-Félicité explained. “Léonide draws inspiration from the cultures and traditions of the Caribbean and French Guiana. I want to celebrate diversity and embody family and sports values.”

For Léonide’s latest collection, Charles-Félicité once again reflects on his roots. Denim takes centre stage, a material worn religiously by his father and several emblematic people from Caribbean culture.

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“My father has always been the person who gave me the taste for dressing and the taste for beautiful things,” added Charles-Félicité. “One of the most emblematic photos for me is that of my Dad with a royal blue tracksuit identical to my first collection.

“The jeans were a garment that he wore a lot and of all colors. I chose this cut slightly larger than my father's to adapt it to this aesthetic that I appreciate.”

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