In their own words, Brothers Apparel is ‘in a class of its own.’ It seems the family that designs together, stays together in this soon-to-be dynasty that promotes comfort and style all in the one outfit. The label was founded by the Lebon Family, four Melbourne brothers, and is all about being simple yet unique with your wares. Using premium materials for long-lasting everyday outfits, they’re turning the idea of what’s dressy and what’s casual on its head. Chris Lebon chats to us about the label.
It’s often said, ‘you should never work with your family’. Why is Brothers Apparel the exception?
For most cases it’s true — you shouldn’t work with family but, what sets us apart, is we all have something to bring to the business and we’re very family oriented. So, even if we all did something separate, each brother would be there to help if it was needed. The best thing about running the business with your family is that we’re not afraid to express ideas freely, and you always know you can rely on your family.
Brothers Apparel (left-right) Matt, Chris, Vince and Nick
Describe the label’s style?
Effortlessly stylish. We’re a very causal brand with pieces consisting of ‘urbans’ (tracksuit pants) and hoodies. Despite being ‘casual,’ all our pieces are innovative and fashion forward, putting us in a class of our own.
Has there always been an interest in fashion within the family?
Definitely! With four boys in the family all with their own swag, it was difficult to not be interested. A big influence also came from the second oldest brother, Vince, who has been in the women’s shoe industry for many years, and has also launched his own show label ‘Rollie’.
Which designers inspire you?
A lot of the premium women’s labels such as Sass & Bide, Shakuhachi and UK brand allsaints really excite me with what they’re bringing to the world of fashion. With their bold colours and eccentric designs and contrast, it’s something that I’d like to incorporate in each season for brothers, too.
You’re known for your stylish tracksuit pants. What makes them such an essential item to the man’s wardrobe?
It’s definitely the comfort factor and the ability to wear them for any occasion. It’s great to see people wearing them to parties and even night clubs — it’s what makes these pants so great, they can replace cargos, jeans or chinos, only difference is — they’re more comfortable!
Alex Perry himself gave the ‘nod of approval’ to your track pant designs. What was that like?
It was at this point that I realised, I really had a great product and it was just a matter of waiting for retailers to give it a chance. Being 18 years old at the time didn’t help convince retailers but, after meeting him, and then receiving a few emails from Alex himself, I was determined to get the product out there and gain the support that I needed.
What’s the number one lesson you’ve learned in the industry?
To have a product that stands out from your competitors. The fashion industry is so competitive you can easily fall behind.
What’s next for the label?
We will be releasing our anticipated 2012 winter collection this month. It will consist of our urbans, hoddies and sweaters. It’s full of colour and contrast. We’re also working on some really cool tees for mid year, too.
What’s your advice for aspiring fashion designers planning to launch their own label?
Be fully prepared, and know what’s involved. Expect things to get hard but, in the end, it’s worth it.
Brothers Apparel can be found in all Globalize stores as well as online from May. Click here for full list of stockists.