Re-introducing Les Deux – Interview with Andreas Von Der Heide

Starting life over 12 years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark, Les Deux is a growing-in-momentum label that fuses streetwear with a more preppy refined style. Here we speak with founder  Andreas Von Der Heide about how it all started, what makes Les Deux tick as well as the brand’s latest refurbishment of two basketball courts in Tribeca, NYC.

Could you tell us little about Les Deux and how and when the brand started out?

I was studying at law school in my early twenties in 2011, and one day I met this guy through some friends. He was wearing this plain white tee with military patches sewn on by hand, and I just thought it was the coolest T-shirt I’d ever seen. We became friends and decided to start a business together based on the T-shirt. He was a creative guy with roots from abroad, I was from the suburbs of Copenhagen, and we thought there was a really interesting contrast of two friends with two different backgrounds coming together and chasing a dream.

He spoke French, so that’s where the name, which means The Two, came from. It’s both a reference to our style, which is preppy meets street, and to the original meeting of the brand.

We didn’t start off with anything other than an idea, and looking back now it’s kind of crazy that we’ve got as far as we have. At the beginning, when your phone isn’t ringing and no-one is answering your
emails, that’s really tough. We visited 50 stores around Denmark trying to persuade them to sell our
clothes and got rejected by 48. I mean, dealing with rejection is always difficult, but 48 rejections is a
whole other level.

I think for me, the moment when I realized that it was becoming more than a side project was quite early
on. We’d sold out of T-shirts and decided to invest in 300 sweatshirts. One day, this local celebrity was
sitting on a national TV channel wearing our new sweatshirt, and my jaw just dropped.

So, I took a photo of the TV screen and sent that picture to some of the stores that rejected us the year
before. We sold out our whole stock that day, and I just thought “we’re going to do this.”

There is a clear streetwear vibe, but the overall aesthetic is pretty refined as well, can you describe the products that we see and the brand’s evolution?

So that preppy meets street vibe is our signature style, and along with reflecting the duality that’s the
basis of Les Deux, it’s also designed so that there’s something for everyone. I mean, I think Les Deux
really comes alive when you partner the two different styles, but if you’re not into that and just like a
classic shirt or sweats and sneakers, then that’s totally fine too.

When we started out we just sold jersey – tees, hoodies, sweatshirts, that sort of thing. Now, we’re a
complete lifestyle brand, so we’ve got everything from leather shoes and basketball sneakers handmade
in Portugal through to overshirts made with Italian wool in bouclé. I just think the “that’ll do” mentality is
the opposite to how you achieve success, so our goal every season is to improve on what we’ve done

Denmark seems to be having a boost in terms of brands that are getting noticed, why do you think that is and is Denmark perhaps the new Sweden?

Ouch! There’s a bit of a friendly rivalry between the two countries, so my take on that one would be that
generally speaking Sweden follows Denmark…

But seriously though, shoutout to my Swedish friends and colleagues! Denmark and Scandinavia have
always been design-driven, both when it comes to furniture and interiors, but also with clothing and
lifestyle in general. Denmark is known for quality international design and entrepreneurship, so what
you’re seeing here is just a revival of our heritage, and our heritage has given us a platform to be heard
in the world.

Can you tell us about the Legacy Platform and what the latest activation in NYC was all about?

My goal is not to be perceived as just another fashion label. Les Deux was started by two friends who
wanted to build a company that changed people’s lives for the better. We started internally, and as we
grew, Les Deux became a platform to widen our reach.

Today, I see Les Deux as a community, and the reason for our success is thanks to a lot of effort from a
lot of great people, and their belief in a white T-shirt. Our business is a people business, and as a modern
company, our belief is that we have to make a positive change in the world.

We’re aware that we can’t change the entire world tomorrow by ourselves, but what we can do is make
small changes in the local communities that have a connection to Les Deux, and with that we hope to
have a ripple of impact, so the people that we help can then help others out there.

Last year, we rebuilt a school for refugees near one of our production locations, and this year we’re
investing $70,000 to refurbish a local basketball court in Tribeca, because we’re building a connection
there with an upcoming sales office in New York.

We’ve always had big ambitions, but it’s people who help you reach those ambitions, so I think it’s your
duty as a business and a person to give back.

Basketball is big for you guys? You have a court in the office and have created pop-ups in Paris, Copenhagen, and Pitti Uomo in Florence. What’s the link?

We love basketball because of its influence on street culture, and because it’s something people use to
build friendships, no matter where you come from. I love that it’s a sport with a bit of attitude and edge.
Most importantly, it’s a team activity that brings contrasting individuals together to push their limits.
That’s how it all began for us, so it’s something we like to invite people to be a part of wherever we can.

How important are brand partnerships and collaborations to Les Deux. What do you have that’s exciting coming up?

So the big one recently was with the cycling brand Rapha, who we’ve admired for a while. We co-hosted
three events called the Summer Series: a panel talk, a community bike ride, and a party to mark the end
of Copenhagen Fashion Week.

It was all based around celebrating the idea that we achieve more together, and it was brilliant to see
people enjoying the events, they were packed.

In terms of what’s coming up, we’ve got some huge collabs in the works with some household-name
brands, but if I say anything about that I’ll get told off by my marketing team!

Tell us a little about the AW23 collection?

Autumn ‘23 is called Souvenirs of America, and the inspiration came from this Japanese concept called
Ametora, which is all about reinterpreting and honoring classic American styles with a big focus on
quality. This idea of cultural exchange really spoke to us, so the collection is kind of a fusion between Japanese, American, and Scandinavian style.

Quality and craftsmanship are a big deal for us, so we used materials like Harris Tweed® in our
Maximilian Wool Coat for example, which is pretty much the gold standard around the world.

It’s our version of the typical Ivy League wardrobe, whether that’s the check coat of a professor or the
brand-new cable knit of a freshman, and we partnered that vibe with some Scandi minimalism, and ’90s-
inspired urban styles like chunky sneakers and classic denim in a wide Japanese silhouette.

Where is the brand going quickest and who’s wearing Les Deux. Break it down for us..

We’ve gone from a Scandinavian brand to becoming a full international brand, and we’re now sold all
over the world. We’re pushing hard in the US right now, and we recently signed with Bloomingdales in
four locations across the States.

What are the brand’s views on sustainability and where are products made?

Most of our work is focused around our Three Pillars of Responsibility: design, materials, and supply

So, we design clothing that lasts for a long time, both in terms of the production quality and the style,
and we’ve got a list of materials we never use, like rabbit angora, and ones that we use wherever we
can, like recycled fabrics.

We’re also working on mapping our supply chain and we only work with suppliers who sign up to our
code of conduct.

In terms of production locations, most of it is centred around Europe and Asia, and our largest location in
2022 was Turkey.

We’re members of a couple of organizations that promote and regulate best practices in the textiles
industry, so, for example, the vast majority of the leather we use comes from certified tanneries in

The Rewear platform, which we launched a few months back, gives our customers the chance to trade
their old clothing for store credit, and this is a great way of extending the lifespan of the clothing we

I think it’s important to be honest: we’re not perfect. Ultimately the most responsible clothing is the
clothing you already own, and that applies to every clothing brand, but what we are doing is working to
reduce our impact as much as we can. We believe that we can always do better every day.

Describe the brand in five words and tell us about the next steps?

Preppy, street, ambition, community, legacy.

As for our next steps…we’re focusing on establishing the brand as a household name across all of Europe
and we’re opening the new office in the US. It’s definitely going in a very positive direction, but as ever,
we stay hungry for more.

Mark Smith

I had pizza for tea.

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