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Monday, October 18, 2021

Phoebe Tonkin Shares the Inspiration Behind Her New Sustainable Brand, LESJOUR!

The actress launched the biz-leisure brand with the hope of helping people to achieve "quarantine comfort."

When the world shut down last March and remote work quickly became the norm, many people found themselves swapping out their typical pre-work stresses—getting up, getting ready, and getting through morning traffic with enough time to make it to the office—for another, unexpected stress: perfecting a Zoom look that provided polished, at-home comfort. Within the span of a month, trends in fashion suddenly shifted from berets to biz-leisure styles—and Phoebe Tonkin took notice.

The 31-year-old actress has always had a knack for fashion—whether it was on screen in The Vampire Diaries or in her day-to-day work as a Chanel ambassador, her laid-back Aussie aesthetic and “cool girl” style were undeniable. As it turns out, Tonkin had actually been brainstorming ways to extend her creative talents outside of the entertainment industry and into the world of fashion for several years. With the push of the pandemic, LESJOUR! was ultimately born.

LESJOUR!-Phoebe-Tonkin
Photo courtesy of LESJOUR!

LESJOUR! (French for “the days”) is a multi-functional leisure ware line that’s sustainably made and designed to meet the moment by helping people to feel beautiful, supported, and prepared for whatever their day may bring—which lately, feels mostly like attending an unnecessary amount of Zoom calls and sending emails from the couch. But with the styles from LESJOUR!, now you can feel effortlessly glamorous while doing all of those things too.

The fashion brand boasts everything from mock neck sweaters and wide-leg knit pants, to cozy cardigans and LESJOUR!-themed socks—most of which are made from a sustainable fabric called EcoVero (made from wood pulp). All of the clothing pieces retail at $198 a piece, while the socks are priced at $18.

We had the chance to connect with Phoebe and ask her about the inspiration behind her sustainable brand, the freedom she found in tapping into creative outlets beyond acting, and how she’d like to see the brand expand in the future. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I read that you were actually percolating on the idea of LESJOUR! long before COVID-19 evolved into what it did. Did the pandemic inspire you to really dive head first into the project?
The idea had been on my mind for about a year prior, but definitely manifested during quarantine. I have always loved the simplicity of a set—we have enough to think about in the morning, and the last thing I want to worry about is styling the perfect outfit. There is also something really chic and classic about your clothes being a foundation for your own personal style. I wanted to create clothes that the wearer could project their own personality onto. LESJOUR! was made to effortlessly take you from a Zoom meeting, to an afternoon of Netflix, to a socially distanced date with your girlfriends. Even after this pandemic is over, these clothes will be the perfect travel uniforms, or party outfits with a pair of heels. I love the idea that you buy less but get more out of what you buy, which is how LESJOUR! was born. I have always been passionate about the environment and being environmentally conscious, so from the beginning we knew we had to take into account all the ways we could reduce our footprint as much as possible. We partnered with an amazing company out of New Zealand who make our amazing, compostable and reusable mailers and packaging, and we have reduced the amount of unnecessary paper and tags. Our manufacturers and factory is 5 miles from our office, so everything is contained and local.

LESJOUR!-Phoebe-Tonkin
Photo courtesy of LESJOUR!
The items in this collection have been called the perfect “quarantine uniform.” What is your favorite way to style some of the brands’ pieces?
I personally love to style mine with sneakers or loafers, but since I have been home a lot there have been a lot of Birkenstocks and Ugg Boots. I am a big fan of matching the FANCY pieces with a bold red lipstick—but the pieces also work on their own. I love mixing the tops with denim, and the bottoms with a simple white tee shirt.
Did it feel natural leaning into the conscious design space, in particular? And was it always important for you to design these pieces with sustainability in mind?
I think starting any sort of company in 2021, you have to be sustainably accountable. We didn’t want sustainability to be the main message behind the brand, we wanted our customers to just trust us that we would do that homework and legwork ourselves. Consumers these days expect, and rightly so, that companies are actively using more environmentally friendly and conscious materials, and we were excited to challenge ourselves by looking for innovative, progressive fabrics and solutions to ensure we were a sustainable brand.
Where are the clothes made?
Everything is made and designed and shipped out of Los Angeles, California.

LESJOUR!-Phoebe-Tonkin
Photo courtesy of LESJOUR!

You strike me as a very creative person. How fulfilling has it been to be able to tap into another creative outlet with this brand?

Totally! I have always loved the creative aspect of fashion. As an actress, sometimes I am limited to just my experience on set, but with a brand you are involved in every step of the design and creative process. It’s a really amazing opportunity to get to learn and understand the business side of having a company.
Phoebe, you have such an established career in entertainment. But with the success of this endeavor, are you looking to continue to expand more of your reach in the landscapes of business or fashion? Any particular projects in mind or that are currently in the works that you could share?

Yes! I am excited to grow LESJOUR! We have some exciting new pieces and color ways dropping very soon, and the plan is to keep expanding and growing the business. There are a lot of exciting plans on LESJOUR!’s horizon.

For more information on LESJOUR! visit www.lesjour.com.

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