Get to know the visionary designer who is redefining luxury and taking the fashion world by storm…

In the studio of Monsieur Blanc, an alchemical fusion of perspectives emerges. Hailing from the hallowed halls of the Art Institute of Chicago, an institution revered for nurturing global luminaries such as Jeff Koons, Kanye West, and Walt Disney – Monsieur Blanc (aka Andre White), was born.

White’s portfolio resonates as an ensemble of life’s defining moments, an anthology of cultures interwoven with the thread of his artistic finesse. His prowess extends across a myriad of mediums, weaving together award-winning commissions in the realms of fashion, film, art, poetry, and music. Each creation stands as a symbolic capsule, encapsulating not only the essence of his life but also the collective narratives of culture itself.

We sat down with the visionary to get to know the early beginnings of his own brand – Le Grand HEIRS, early inspirations and latest collection “LOVE S.O.N.G.”…

Read the exclusive interview below…

When did you initially begin designing and what was the process like of starting your own brand, Le Grand HEIRS?
It’s hard to pinpoint the specific inception of my design career but in terms of practical journey and process I had a brand that I founded with friends sometime back that completely went sour (because of egos, finances, miscommunication etc (but absolutely no love lost.) and I was completely disenchanted with fashion as a whole after the project went left.. it took some time for me and the industry/practice to get reacquainted … it didn’t happen until my taste level became more sophisticated and my pallet more refined , and that only came with becoming more mature in my spirituality, traveling and my eyes seeing the world, and becoming inundated with other artistic mediums outside of fashion like French new wave film, the cultural osmosis of jazz in japan, the history of perfumery in Africa to name a few — it all ultimately broadened my overall perspective on life and informed the foundation of my methodology In fashion. I define my journey by distance traveled (more so figuratively than literally) in terms of growth. How far have i come mentally and emotionally – do I foster my courage to make mistakes and cultivate my intelligence to course correct when needed.

Who were your early inspirations in the creative industries and what designers are you currently loving?
I don’t see inspiration as most do – most would answer this with their favorite designer when they were young, or the biggest cultural influence they could think of growing up.. etc. I consider those things but only secondarily. For me influence is at the root of where my imagination was birthed – and that is my parents and my community (the Southside of Chicago). I remember seeing my mom creating garments from the old sewing patterns that came in a paper pack, and then seeing pictures of her as a model I was blown away. And my dad owned one of the first black owned streetwear boutiques in the world on the east side of Chicago (Urban Male). The juxtaposition of their hard work ethic while still being fresh, mixed with the personal style of best basketball players and most dangerous drug dealers and gang bangers in my neighbourhood, those were the real time inspirations for me (in terms of personal style). But no one more than my parents. I think I just described a ghetto version of the movie Bronx tale lol.

What is the mission statement of Le Grand HEIRS? What does it stand for and how do you depict this visually?
Our core ethos is “Our Love will eclipse our sins.” — meaning our passions in their purest form will overshadow our greatest inadequacies. We ascend to our highest selves through our Love of people and our pursuits – it’s the truest romance, the form we take within ourselves when we move in Love. And I don’t just mean love in the fairytale sense – I mean it in the most comprehensive sense. The love we have with the moments in our lives that have expanded us, the love we have for certain fragrance notes that tie back to core memories, the love we have for the first person that truly believed in us… all of these have an inescapable and invaluable richness. Le grand HEIRS translates figuratively to “the great forthcoming – or what’s proceeding is better than the former” and that’s because – when we operate from Love whatever we create from it will be a greater contribution than what’s created without it — that’s what legacy means to me. By Love I mean God.

Your brand “redefines luxury” — calling empathy and authenticity the new currency. What does this mean in your own words?
Yeah I call this new era in fashion: “Post Luxury” because everyone is realizing the greatest luxury is YOU. There is a paradigm shift happening from where it was, and where it was, the establishment declared – the PRODUCT was you. I read somewhere where prior to this new guard of designers — luxury was strictly tethered to price, craftsmanship, and traditional notions of status and wealth. Luxury today is more complicated and more dynamic than acquiring rare and expensive items that symbolise traditional notions of “success.” NOW… luxury means (at least to me) authenticity, to be able to maintain your same sense of self on the block or in the boardroom (relatively speaking before I’m misquoted on that lol). Luxury is attention its consistency, its consideration, not being placated to during the 28 days in February, not the price of a Honda for a poorly made button up. It’s care, Ironically it is discipline not indulgence.

Do you have a typical process when designing? How does a design go from concept to final product?
The only constant in my creative process is Story. That’s the only consistent value when I’m creating a commission is what story do I want to tell and through what gaze do I want to tell it. Ironically I rarely want to tell any story from a fashion designers standpoint – it’s always through the gaze of another discipline. Sometimes it’s through a film directors vantage point – what considerations do they make when creating? What approach do they take when materializing what they see in their mind? Or a painter? How do I approach 3 dimensions from a 2 dimensional perspective? How do I consider Line, colour, shape, form, value, space, and texture? This is part of my creative approach..

Photography by Sahnah Voss

Photography by Sahnah Voss

We love “LOVE S.O.N.G.”! When did you start working on the collection and what does it represent?
Well that’s tough to answer – some pieces (the two dresses) were finalized literally right before the runway show in February. But they were conceptualized late last year. I was revisiting my grandfathers moonlighting as a DJ and remember him having this seemingly infinite record collection. It made me dive into the world of vinyl — which was a double edge sword because the last thing I need is another object to collect and catalog.. my home already looks like a museum gift shop meets record store meets plant shop. The suiting I’d been working on for a little over a year – it was my first attempt at suiting so I had to make sure my approach was patient and respectable to make sure the output was exceptional. I’m really proud of the fits and shapes I was able to achieve with the suiting, I’m really excited about where I can take suiting in the future from what I learned from my first contribution. So to answer your question – the duration ranged from a few weeks to a little over a few years.

To you, what is the intersection between fashion and music? Has this always been a prevalent theme in your work?
To me??? ME! lol I’m the archetypical representation of that space. If it were a Venn diagram, music would be in one circle – fashion would be in the other, and HEIRS would be in the small circle that is made from overlapping the two circles. le Grand Heirs is the ‘what’. The what being – each medium is an intrinsic extension of the other, they both inform each other, they both contribute to eaches existence. I feel like fashion is one of the materialized forms of music (maybe the most popular), and music is one of the philosophical or conceptual forms of art and fashion. Each practice is somewhat mutually exclusive, but there is an inherent cohesion between the two that I like to create within. Basquiat did it with his band Gray and his short lived clothing line man made. I feel like I’m running from his ghost in a sense lol. Everything I attempt to do he already did like 40 years ago lmao. I know a few people that grew up with him or were around at his peak and they tell me stories. Futura told me a story about him when I was showing him an HEIRS piece at Art Basel – it blew my mind. I’ll save that for another time.

What do the zine and record offer alongside the collection?
Great question. The Zine and the Vinyl are technically Commission 7.5 — an addendum to the Runway collection, they act as the show soundtrack and show program (not dissimilar to the programs they give you at broadway shows, which I also collect lol). But they are not for sale – they’re FREE. When you buy one of the Global tour tee shirts, you get the soundtrack vinyl and Zine for free. I designed the vinyl jacket, every element of the Zine and the shirt. If I had the time to learn photography … good lord the industry would really be in trouble lol.

You have dressed some of the biggest stars in the world, won countless awards, and gained recognition from the greatest fashion foundations. Was there a key moment where you felt like, “I’ve made it”? Or, do you have a career highlight?
Idk about the word countless haha… I could stand a few more awards in my humble opinion. No but seriously… I don’t know about an I’ve made it moment — I’m so weird about those things (in a bad way). I never take the time to be present and acknowledge achievement like I should or like my peers do. I’m working on that. My methodology is based on continuity.. just to continue forward with more than yesterday. And that “more” could be anything — more honor, more knowledge, more effort, more money, more humility, more understanding. More anything.. I just try to make sure the growth is incremental so that it compounds over time, long after everyone has either given up, or the weight of the journey or the advancements in the system has phased others out. Momentum and consistency is one of my core differentiators – it’s what’s sustained me long after talent and charisma and exquisite taste lol. The first runway show was a pretty proud moment though – mostly because my family and friends were there to see everything materialized.

You work across so many mediums — is there anything else you’d like to try that you haven’t yet?
Oh soooo many things — I definitely want to explore cuisine and the culinary world at some point. I’ve become really intrigued by a chefs perspective lately. That and furniture and ceramics. My great grandmother was a ceramicist – like RIDICULOUSLY good.. like Michelangelo’s apprentice hood (yea this a bias statement). I’ll dive into those practices soon, right before I make my way back to painting again. But prior to all of that I’ll be head down in garment design and storytelling – and of course this holiday we’ll be launching our inaugural fragrance. I’m really excited about that – if been studying olfactory communication (fragrance making) for the last two plus years so I can’t wait to express myself in that medium soon.


Photography by Sahnah Voss
Photography by Sahnah Voss
Photography by Sahnah Voss