Having been active in the fashion world for the better part of 20 years, LeMond Hart has seen and done it all. The 43-year-old (“25 on Facebook”) has modeled all over the world, but returned to his hometown of Charlotte with his husband of 18 years. Hart’s store, the House of LeMond on Monroe Rd., was founded on the principles of individuality and thrift. Every item in the shop is as unique as its memorable owner, providing customers with an affordable way to express their own personality through fashion — just as Hart was inspired to do.
What inspired your love of fashion?
Fashion is my ministry. Fashion allows me the opportunity to pay forward what was already done for myself. Fashion saved my life. The love of fashion saved my life. My mom was murdered when I was 12 years old and I was really introverted and everything, and my band teacher back in 8th grade caught my attention because he used to dress real dapper… he pulled me to the side one day. I didn’t really have people that I could confide in, and he kind of came in and acted like a big brother / dad type figure, and that little bit of attention he showed me and encouragement, he gave me some insight…. He changed my perspective. He showed me how to tie neckties and stuff like that, and that got me started.
Did that experience inspire your store right now?
Absolutely, and thrift shopping allowed me an opportunity to start dressing really well. People appreciated that, I got some modeling opportunities … Everything I’m doing now is what I’ve learned throughout my entire experience traveling around the world, and now I get to serve, I say #tothekids.
Where have you traveled?
Munich, Germany; Verona, Italy; New Jersey, Oklahoma, California, Africa, and I’m going back to Ghana next year, Jamaica, Puerto Rico.
What brought you back to Charlotte?
One, being a native of Charlotte and understanding how it was growing. I wanted to be on the ground floor of that. Having the opportunity to have traveled, I’ve had the experiences and seen models going through different cities. I saw how models in New York had a network of people that they deal with, and if you’re not in that network, people don’t want you. Why do that when I could establish a platform here?
What makes your personal style unique?
I don’t do boxes, so when most people say to think outside the box, I’m already there. Even with my vintage styling, I love vintage clothing because of the details, the patterns and textures that are a lot bolder than today’s creations. So what I do is take those pieces and present them in a more modern way. I use the traditional pieces and modernize them. It allows my guys to go to places or attend different events as the individuals that they are. You don’t have to worry about running into someone with the same piece on … if there’s more than one, I’m not going to buy it.
What’s your favorite avenue for creativity?
I just recently created, I call it the “Renovated House Collection.” It’s a jean jacket line. The jean jackets are brand new, and then I go to fabric stores and purchase like high-end leather and upholstery, and I completely deconstruct the jacket and recreate it. I’ll add like leather sleeves and hoods and things like that. I just did one custom for Rico Burrino (SP?) for his video that he did last week.
Do you have hobbies aside from fashion?
I love exercising. I love being with my husband. My husband and I like to go on bike rides.
How would you describe your happy place?
My happy place is being in my store!
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I’m low-key introverted.