Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse Interview
Mix, match and set: An interview with actor Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse
Words— Yang Shi
Known for her unique style, sporty aesthetic and diverse talents, Sarah-Jeanne translated her fearlessness and individuality into La coupe collection with Frank And Oak.
As part of our conversation, Sarah-Jeanne describes the creative process behind her collection, speaks about sustainable fashion, and explains the importance of giving back to the local community.
Can you run us through the creative process behind your collection? What are your inspirations? Which pieces are you most proud of?
Ethan, one of Frank And Oak founders, contacted me for a potential collaboration. He gave me carte blanche and I considered making a belt collection at first. In the end, I came up with the idea of creating a collection inspired by sport, especially, tennis— since it played an important role in my life. I wear a lot of sportswear even in non-sporting contexts.
The short is my favourite piece of the collection. It is a bit longer and more comfortable than the norm and can be worn in a chic or sporty way. But it was really a dream of mine to have drawn an anorak like this one— I know I will wear it very often.
How does fashion play an important role in your life?
Since I was a child, I was lucky to be able to wear whatever I wanted even if it looked too much sometimes. My mother was really supportive in my style exploration, she would tell me that I can put on whatever whenever. Sometimes she would wear super flashy stuff which reassured me. In general, the way I dress also influences my day-to-day mood. For example, when I am tired, I try to wear structured clothes to make me feel strong and awake.
Today, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the carbon footprint of the world, making it one of the greatest polluters. What is your vision of sustainable fashion? How do you bring this vision to your collection?
Unfortunately, with my job, I don't have much choice but to purchase a lot of clothes. But, in the last two years, I decided to quit fast fashion. I try to consume less and prioritize quality over quantity. My wardrobe has shrunk dramatically and I think about it as a whole by mixing the basics— I think my collection follows the same direction, all the pieces work well together. In addition, Frank And Oak gives a lot of importance on ethical and sustainable fashion and this is something I want to explore more.
How do you want women to feel when they wear your collection?
I want them to put this collection on a given day because they feel like it and give them the freedom to style it in their own way. While designing the collection, I tried to take into consideration all body types. Almost everything from la coupe can be shortened or lengthened. There was a big concern with sizing, I didn't want women to feel like they were wearing bigger than what they actually wear. Plus, everything is adjustable with drawstrings. Women should be able to define their femininity in their own way. I think many pieces can also be worn by men, like the anorak, pants and shorts.
You use your voice to support local organizations, such as Tel-Jeune, what does it mean for you to give back to the community?
This is very important. If there is one advantage in life to be known, it’s to be able to use my spotlight and support causes or organizations that are close to my heart. I don’t want to pretend that I am changing the world, but I try my best to use my voice whenever I can. I pay close attention to the organizations to which I associate with and make sure they are aligned to my values.
Right now, I feel really close to young people through my projects so naturally, Tel-Jeune is a cause that speaks to all my values. Psychologists there are really equipped to guide young people in their personal journey.
What is your definition of success?
Good question, (laughs). Our success shouldn’t be defined in the eyes of others. It isn’t performance-related. For me, being successful in life can be as simple as getting the closest possible to your true self.
What advice would you give to young artists and entrepreneurs?
To stop waiting and postponing projects for later. To start things now, even if they have no proper training. To hold on. We tend to say to young people where there is a will, there is a way. And I really believe in this. Everyone is capable of doing great things and hard work will eventually pay off. But, you have to work hard, put a lot of effort and start right away.