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Charles LeBrun is the Melbourne-based label designing genderless sportswear for every occasion

Images via Charles LeBrun

Words by Gabrielle O’Hagan

It was created as a platform to help people that wouldn’t usually be seen in the community and to create opportunities for them.”

If you’re someone who automatically equates fashion with discomfort, then Australian label Charles LeBrun will prove you wrong. The Melbourne-based designer is blending sportswear with fashion to create a range of comfortable, genderless, transseasonal garments.

All of the clothes are designed and made in Melbourne – which is only fitting, since the idea for Charles LeBrun blossomed in country Victoria, where the brand’s creative director Georgia R Haynes grew up.


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


Named after her great-grandfather who fought in the Second World War, Charles LeBrun celebrates courage, freedom and authenticity, and pays homage to the LeBrun family motto: ‘fortune favours the brave’.

During her teen years, Georgia spent the bulk 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 combined comfort with style, allowing people to find outfits to suit almost every 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 achieved that with Charles LeBrun.

Tell us about you. What’s your fashion background? 

I’m a photographer and creative director – my background is in graphic design but I was always interested in fashion, which led me to fashion photography. I would always buy fashion magazines growing up and I really wanted to do fashion design, but I wasn’t really into sketching so that’s why I turned to photography as my main medium when doing graphic design at uni.

 

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A post shared by Charles LeBrun (@charles__lebrun)

How did the label get started? Talk us through the process and the challenges. 

I started the label when I started playing basketball again after taking a big hiatus from it. I grew up in country Victoria, playing basketball throughout my childhood and teenage years. I was obsessed with the baggy shorts and jerseys we would wear. 

I was looking for new basketball shorts to wear to training. I wanted a pair that were baggy and weren’t super tight around my thighs. I couldn’t find any at the time that I liked so I started doing my own research on how I could get the perfect pair of basketball shorts made. I wanted them to be able to be worn on any occasion. Sunday brunch, dinner and basketball.

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

I was wanting to create a brand that wasn’t just a brand that sold clothes. It was created as a platform to help people that wouldn’t usually be seen in the community and to create opportunities for them.

Doing the events has been really special, it brings people together. Some people have come to Charles LeBrun events and met new friends, and continue to remain friends, because of the Charles brand, culture and connection which is something that makes me super happy. It reminds me that having a community, supportive and supporting friends is really important, especially over the last few years.

What are you trying to communicate through the brand now? 

Over the years I have learnt a lot. Not only just about fabrics, dyeing and silhouettes of the clothing but I have also learnt a lot about myself and being true to the brand and why I started it. I had a realisation [about] what having a brand means to me… I envision it not only as a basketball-inspired brand, [but] one that is genderless.

 

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A post shared by Charles LeBrun (@charles__lebrun)

Where did 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 found in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.

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

Creating a brand that is inclusive and making the clothing locally in Melbourne. 

What do you wish you knew when you started? 

I wish I knew it was going to be this hard having a label. It ain’t easy!

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

Love Manifesto.

 

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A post shared by Charles LeBrun (@charles__lebrun)

What about the Australian fashion industry needs to change?

There needs to be a fashion week that showcases small labels that helps them be seen by the rest of the world. There are so many incredible brands and designers coming out of Australia who never get noticed on a global scale.

Go-to dinner party playlist? 

Channel Tres’ LA rooftop bumpin’ house set.

Who is in your wardrobe right now? 

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

How can we buy one of your pieces? 

Currently only online, here.

Anything else to add? 

[We’re] working on new pants and shorts as the focus of the brand.

To shop the full Charles LeBrun collection, head here.

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