When usually it’s the stars in music videos who come up with a clothing line, this time, a music video director that’s notably known for his work with The Game, Nas, Rick Ross and many mainstream artists, C-Le, launched his own streetwear line. C-Le who’s also a graphic designer, talks to SoJones about his streetwear line: Grand Forte.
Introduce yourself and describe how your brand was started?
The name is Chris Le, I’m the 1/2 owner and founder of Grand Forte (meaning, Great Skill). I started GF in 2008 with a motive to support all those who “perfect their craft to achieve the American Dream”. I’ve been in the major music industry as a music video director and designer for 4 years and I remember how I came up. I had to build upon my set of skills to open the doors to work with many majors including The Game, Nas, Christina Milian, Def Jam, Universal Records, etc. So when I thought about Grand Forte, I wanted to recognize others like me who put in the work and effort to craft their skill and the best way to do that was through a streetwear line.
Describe this season’s theme for your line. Include any sources of inspiration (examples: 80’s punk, muses like Amber Rose, 70’s disco bands, Run DMC, etc)
This season’s line uses a lot of my styles I use in my graphic arts and music videos. We represented music producers and artists in a few of the tees and illustrated them through detailed line work in the illustrations. We mainly came up with tees that evolved around our motto, “Always for the Skilled”.
Any product placements on celebs to keep an eye out for (examples: publicity photos, magazines, movies, music videos etc)
The Game, Cool and Dre, BB the Jerk (UCLA Jerk Kings), and Crooked I (Slaughterhouse) wore it in his Mr. Pigface Music Video.
What has been a surprise fashion hit for you over the last year?
A huge hit was nude females on tees, we knew it was coming, but we didn’t know it would become such a trendy thing. lol.
What apparel trends are you really feeling this year?
Interesting pocket placements! A lot of the brands have found unique places on cut and sew pieces to throw pockets that is a perfect design element to a finished piece.
What fashion trend would you like to see thrown overboard?
Augmented Reality on clothing.
What is/was one of your own most prized fashion pieces, past or present?
Very hard question, we are feeling our “Perfect the Craft” graphic tee because of its unique line style in the art.
TuPac or Biggie?
I’m from the west side, so you definitely know who I’m going to pick…
Yes, we know what C-Le’s pick when it comes to hip hop legends, but do YOU know which Grand Forte items to pick? It’s doubtful that you can pick that easily because they are simply dope.
Grand Forte is available to purchase at DrJays.com and here are some of our editors’ picks: