There’s a common phrase told to children that goes: “you are what you eat”, promoting healthy diets to young people and that phrase could be retold to youths in streetwear: “you are what you wear”.
Many young adults find meaning in the items of clothing they buy and these products become a representation of who they feel they are or want to be. Les Gens, a UK brand, identify and relate to this.
“Les Gens translates to ‘the people’ in French, and from finishing school and going through university, a lot of people my age were questioning who they were and going through a time where they did not have any idea what they wanted to do.” Rhys Loydall, creator of Les Gens, told Wear? Magazine.
“The idea behind Les Gens was to create a brand that represents that uncertainty amongst many people through the majority of our designs.”
The uncertainty inspiration comes through outstandingly in the ‘Horror’ t-shirt. Based on 1980’s movie poster, the design incorporates pixelated, faceless figures who represent people unknowing of their true purpose.
Yet, the brand seeks to contrast this uncertainty in other aspects of their production. Les Gens opposes the ‘Horror’ design with the creation of the ‘Barcode’ logo t-shirt.
“The Barcode logo signifies the complete opposite of uncertainty. A barcode can tell you the exact information of what something is.”
The brand aims to sympathise with people who are yet to establish their purpose and, from its base in Nottingham, looks to reduce the pressure on young individuals.
“We represent the people who do not know who they are or what they want to do by normalising the thought that its fine to question these things. Les Gens graphics and designs show this.”
This purpose comes from within, and Rhys believes the upbringing he’s had has shaped Les Gens into what it has become. Nottingham, the people in his life and the education he received have all contributed to the culture Les Gens is creating.
And, having seen its second drop received successfully, the brand is clearly striking a chord with other young individuals around the globe.
“Due to our name Les Gens [the people], we don’t just want to make it exclusive to just one city, we want to try and represent everyone no matter where you are.”
To do that, innovation is needed. A brand can never rely solely on its past successes. Les Gens acknowledge this, and all eyes are on what’s to come.
“Our vision for the future is to create more unique designs and also create more bespoke products such as outerwear and accessories fully designed by Les Gens. On a bigger scale, the brand wants to host specific events that tie in with future collections.”
With the plan laid out in front of the label, execution is all that’s needed to take Les Gens from Nottingham to the globe, and more importantly, to the people.
Rhys Loydall speaking for Les Gens to Wear? Magazine.
Images courtesy of Les Gens (@lesgensclothing).