All About Lemaire

BY Josh Coope

You could call LEMAIRE a slow-burn. With over 30 years in the business the brand has maintained a steady path forward without wavering from their vision. You could also absolutely call the AW23 season a blazing inferno of pure heat. Man, what a show! Similar to Canoe Clubs own trajectory as a small upstart store with a hyper distinct vision, to what is now an internationally recognized sanctuary for people in-the-know, LEMAIRE has had a similar course from a small but acclaimed to label to a fully realized HOUSE encompassing everything from RTW to footwear and accessories and even scented paper for lining your cupboards. And let’s be clear here, Lemaire is a full-fledged HOUSE. Make sure to all-caps that. It deserves it. From humble beginnings to honest belongings, It’s only right that LEMAIRE and Canoe Club intersect along this rue de drapé and welcome the brand on deck with their own unique ideation. 

Christophe Lemaire is an OG in this business. Originally launched as a namesake label in 1991 with a full womenswear line, CL expanded to include menswear a few short years later. Taking an extended hiatus which included acclaimed stops at both Lacoste (2000-2010) and Hermes (2010), the Christophe Lemaire label was jump started in 2007 when it relaunched with partner-in-life-slash-partner-in-style Sarah-Linh Tran. This visionary duo has been quietly honing the LEMAIRE label together since 2007 as a continuation to the original Chrisophe Lemaire label and Sarah-Linhs incredible eye has truly taken the brand to new heights, especially in the world of accessories.

frizmworks carpenter pants, IPFU track jacket, and round cardigan on body

LEMAIRE is focused on comfort, functionality, ease and modularity distilled into collections that never reinvent, but always reinvigorate. Each season sees advancements in past ideas and favourite silhouettes. This helps long-time fans find familiar shapes and styles created with refined details and fabrication which seamlessly slot into the wardrobe next to pieces from 10- years prior, while providing newcomers with a stable, consistent lineup of wardrobe staples designed to get them from sun-up to sundown in crisp, drapey comfort. 

Whether the twisted pants become longer or softer, the parkas receive removable interlining or packability to increase the seasons they can be worn and the methods they can be transported, or the bags gain the ability to transform themselves into travel pillows for late commutes or relaxing days in the park. The goal is to give the wearer the ability to get the most use and the most function that serve their needs all while retaining the elegant nonchalance that the brand is known for.

frizmworks mil pants and balmacaan half jacket on body

This AW23 season sees the brand delve deeper into the ideas of cacooning comfort - a favourite term for the duos efforts to create protective layers for daily life - particularly in the wadded liners and toggle coats and oversized, enveloping bat-sleeved cardigans.

Disciples of the brand will recognize the classic LEMAIRE colours - the inky blacks and blue-grey coal or anthracite, the dusty beiges and roswewoods, the clover greens and hazelnut browns, along with some new rich yellows and oranges - even the colour vernacular provides a sense of in-betweens and roots the clothing to the natural world. 

The newly converted will notice the volume of the garments combined with a sensibility that means that volume is never out of place or without reason. They will see the practicality of the dropped pockets on the shirting and large corozo buttons on the jackets, the adaptability of the silhouettes and the exacting focus and sharp lines of the coats and trousers. When the earthy colours are added to classic styles like the twisted denim or the array of overshirts and the always-iconic outerwear that float around the body providing a cloud of comfort and protection you will find yourself fully immersed in what LEMAIRE has built. This is the “ah ha!” moment. You will be converted.

frizmworks parka and fatigue pants on body
frizmworks parka and fatigue pants on body

Offered at Canoe Club for the first time this season, the AW23 collection from LEMAIRE provides a brilliant welcome for the brand with one of the most stunning offerings in recent memory. If you’re new to the brand I would highly recommend watching the runway show, or as LEMAIRE would call it - presentation. And really, that’s what it is. In the world of LEMAIRE the clothes aren’t the focus, it’s the wearer and how they live with the clothes. It’s high-fashion with a low-effort ease. 

Practical trucker-style overshirts with ample pockets and comfortable proportions combine with rugged double-kneed pants with cinching details that allow everybody to find their own way into a dope kit. Those looking for some of that classic LEMAIRE elegance can focus in on the flap-pocket shirting or workwear blazers with a pair of razor sharp creased trousers. If your preferences are for that pure effortless-cool you can check the bomb-proof toggle coats and soft coats with their dramatic collars and length that frame every body in the most flattering, blanketing warmth imaginable. With several new takes on classic styles like the half-mule Birk-a-likes or Vans-adjacent sneakers, you can get a foot into the Lemaire universe no matter your stylistic inclinations.