As the Northern Hemisphere creeps into the colder months, people are packing up their favorite swimwear and unpacking coats and sweaters. For many, a cozy but durable sweater is an investment in the future because every year, like clockwork, the temperature drops and we find ourselves reaching for boxes overflowing with cotton, cashmere, and wool.
For Edouard and Andrea Leret, the sibling duo behind the chic-yet-laidback cashmere brand Leret Leret, sweater season is arguably the best season — because it’s the only product they sell. Designed in New York, but crafted using ethical and sustainable practices in Mongolia, Leret Leret's cashmere crewneck sweaters drop in limited, numbered collections (or “Editions” as they call them). They're a labor of love for the Paris-born, Caracas-raised siblings, who are inspired by every facet of art, from music to architecture.
Travel + Leisure recently caught up with Edouard, the actor-turned-sweater-mogul now based in NYC, and Andrea, a Parsons graduate who has worked with Jason Wu and splits her time between NYC and Mexico, to talk about how travel influences their designs, why Mongolia should be on your radar, and what’s coming next from the dynamic duo.
Edouard Leret: "It really depends on the type of trip. We've been traveling our whole lives, having half of our family in Paris and the other half in Venezuela. We enjoy traveling to different cities, staying with friends, or just enjoying the hotel life. But growing up in Venezuela, we developed a taste for nature, for the ocean, and we were spoiled having the Caribbean in our backyard, just a 45-minute drive from home."
Andrea Leret: "We traveled to Mongolia together, and a couple of designs were inspired by our trip. We also spent time in Paris last year and would constantly go to different museums and got inspiration from certain pieces. Just walking around Paris is inspiring, we highly recommend living in Paris as a transitional inspirational period."
EL: "Mongolia is a beautiful country. We traveled to Ulaanbaatar, where half of the country's population lives. We really enjoyed our time in the capital, although we spent most of the day working on our homage to the crewneck. It was a lot of fun, but the real beauty of Mongolia is in the grasslands. We drove about five hours southeast of the capital and met a family of nomads. The family hosted us in their yurts, and we spent a couple of nights learning how they work."
EL: "We've always loved cashmere, being French and all. And we both went into our parent's closet several times to borrow some of theirs. For some reason, cashmere has always been tied to a certain generation, at least in France. It's usually plain and elegant, so we saw the potential to bring our cards to the table. We wanted to do an homage to the classic cashmere crewneck sweater — a more relaxed, genderless fit. And when graphics came into the equation, we decided to get to work. We knew we had something in our hands, and a year later, Leret Leret was born."
EL: "From a personal point of view, a lot of our fashion influence comes from traveling. We grew up in Caracas, but we would travel to visit family in France once or twice a year, and that influenced the way we would dress. I have a lot of memories of my friends looking at me funny because of how I would dress when I came back from a trip. So, traveling is important because it broadens your perspective and grows your awareness."
AL: "I have lived in Caracas, New York, Paris, and now Mexico City. I love each of the cities where I have lived, and I am lucky that I still visit them very often and have a tight connection to all. The four of them inspire me in different ways such as culture, art, nature, and [the] people."
AL: "It depends where I am traveling to, but my three essentials are my LL sweater, a scarf, and sneakers."
EL: "This is a funny question for us because naturally, we like to travel as comfortably as possible. But our parents are always so well dressed when they travel — jeans, a white shirt with a blazer, and sneakers — and we like that look, too. But for me, it's usually formal sweatpants with a T-shirt and sneakers, and of course, my LL sweater."
EL: "A sweater is one of the most special pieces in your wardrobe. It keeps you warm, or sometimes, just comfortable. It's easy to carry, and you can wear it around your neck or waist if you don't want to wear it at any moment. It's also an item that can be shared with your partner, friends, or family. Our sweater was designed with that in mind — a sweater for all."
AL: "Europe. I am planning to go next year and hopefully visit different cities and my French family in Paris."
EL: "Mexico. I've been traveling more to Mexico since Andrea moved there. There are so many places I want to discover in Mexico. I think my next trip will be to La Paz."
Tanner Saunders is a sweater-loving travel editor at T+L who wishes he was from Paris. Follow him on Instagram at @tizanner.