We had the good fortune of connecting with Sebastian De la Begassiere – Keitel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sebastian, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
As a Broadcast Journalism Major at SMU, I had always loved clothing, but never planned to start a clothing brand.

By senior year in college, I had grown tired of traditional button down shirts, and wanted a more causal option.

Having spent time in Egypt as a kid – where my some of my cousins lived, I was fascinated by tunics and Egyptian workwear.

I longed for a perfect mandarin collar, tunic style shirt. These were extremely popular in the 60’s and 70’s, but as I searched for these in stores and online, I realized a void in the market.

I did not know anything about production or the clothing business, but I suddenly found myself starting a brand.

Drawing on an ancestors legacy, I sought to merge eastern and western culture through the lens of a luxury fashion brand.

So, in 2017, De Lesseps was born, with our first order of 100 mandarin collar shirts.

The concept was for our linen shirts to be elevated in design while remaining casual in feel, thus rendering it easy to wear formally.

Our shirts, we’re equally elegant at night as they were comfortable and casual during the day.

We sold our first collection, but made several mistakes throughout the process and have learned so much.

From learning the pitfalls of production, dealing with MOQ’s, and delays in lead time, to adjusting our sizing, quantities, and diversifying our product range — each step has been a learning curve.

What should our readers know about your business?
I think business in general is about never giving up, no matter what the field or product.

It’s a constant fight, and it takes a lot of long term belief and self correction.

Nothing happens overnight, and even as a business owner it can be hard to remember that sometimes.

As a leader, I’ve had to better understand how to motivate people and how to bring the best out in them. Being a manager is no easy task.

Eisenhower said, “The greatest leaders are the ones smart enough to hire smarter people than them.”

I truly believe that is the best advice.

It takes a whole team, and there are so many things I can’t do myself. I enjoy getting to let other people do the things they’re good at! That creates a winning formula.

Execution is extremely important – and it hasn’t always been my strong point; but as time has progressed, I’ve learned how to better delegate to increase efficiency.

After four years, I feel like I’m back at square 1, but this time starting at the right square.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In New York , my favorite spots to eat are Le Charlot, Le Bilboquet, Bar Pitti and Bond St.

For afternoons, I enjoy walking the west side highway, stopping at the little island, and then exploring the West Village or dumbo in Brooklyn.

Don’t forget about walking Central Park and make sure to get a slice from my favorite Upside Pizza.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people have helped make De Lesseps what it is today.

From my women’s designer, Marion Sealy, to my friends Deyvon, Calvin and Austin who all devoted their time to help further the Brand’s development.

To my team in the early days, who had to deal with a lot of uncertainty: Cesar, Kendall, Mariah, Gray and Nick, thank you!

I’ve been lucky to work and collaborate with some amazing people and brands that have shared a common vision.

Thank you to American Artist Travis Hedemann for designing beautiful hand painted motifs in our first collection and to NBA star Justise Winslow, and his foundation, for teaming up with us in multiple charity efforts

Thank you to Stubbs and Wootton for trusting me with a collaboration at an early stage of our brand, and thank you Thierry Lasry for providing glasses for our last campaign.

To my professors at Parsons and to my peers who have inspired me to push harder, thank you!

Lastly, thank you to our returning customers! Without you we would have no reason to continue doing what we do!

I’m excited to expand into the next chapter

Website: www.delessepspalmbeach.com

Instagram: Delessepsofficial

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/delessepspb/

Image Credits
Photo of Man in Black shirt taken by Dylan Nine Rest of Photos taken by Isabella Lanaro

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