Finezza & The Family Man Behind The Brand
Born in France and now living in Canada, Ivan Lehec studied dentistry, a very different profession than fashion designer. The family man spent years working in a Montreal menswear boutique before launching his own line, Finezza, of men’s tailored clothing in mid 2012.
While preparing to show his new ready to wear collection at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, (February 25th at 7pm), Ivan took time to participate in this #stmINTERVIEWED. Read on to discover who he credits as the most helpful during the launch of Finezza, where his love for fashion came from and why he started his brand.
(Above photo by Che Rosales)
…I’m a visual person… I need to see, to admire everything around me…
STM – Where did your love of fashion come from originally?
Ivan – Where it came from … ? I think sometimes you discover something in you that’s been sleeping for so many years… I can tell you that I always wanted to work in fashion, particularly in men’s clothing. Maybe all the travels I did with my parents when I was young have something to do with it. Or maybe because I’m a visual person … I need to see, to admire everything around me, every aspect of people when they walk on the street, nature with the sound of the wind. Maybe all these possibilities were transposed into my love of fashion.
We have to care about the tailors who came from other countries with their unique experience and vision.
STM – What were you doing before you launched your line?
Ivan – I worked many years in a men’s boutique in Montreal where I was able to climb the scale and develop the philosophy of Finezza.
Each client has its own mentality and life experience.
STM – All of your suits are made here in Montreal, Canada? Why did you decide to manufacture in Canada and what challenges did you find as you set things up?
Ivan – Yes exactly, they are all made in our workshop in Montreal. We have to care about the tailors who came from other countries with their unique experience and vision. We want to stimulate this work here in Montreal and give the tailoring art a chance to survive.
We had many challenges. But I think the challenge that was the most difficult when we started, and needed the biggest amount of patience, was to work hand by hand with our tailors in order to make THE perfect suit for each client that was trusting us to do so. We need to talk and understand each other for so many details when we make a suit…
The family is the most important thing for me. I cannot be happy without my wife and my kids.
STM – When it comes to designing for clients around the world, do you find there are many differences?
Ivan – Each client has his own mentality and life experience. Even though they usually ask similar questions, they are approaching them with different points of view. So we don’t have any big differences in our process, either we are serving a French, Canadian or American client.
We do our best to explain what would be better for him, for his life and what we will do in specific details to highlight his silhouette.
STM – What is your favourite part of working with a client?
Ivan – When we deliver the order and see his smile, when he tries on his new confections. Because it’s all about trust between us and the client, who will become our friend…
Without any hesitation, it will be my wife Emilie. She is my pillar.
STM – Tell us a little bit about your custom program and some of the benefits.
Ivan – It’s a necessary step to give a unique experience to our clientele. To give them an education about style, confidence, textures and the ideal cut for their own body. That’s why they can discover an amazing choice of colors and patterns coming from different countries around the world and play with different options, season after season.
STM – Tell us a little bit about your new ready to wear program and why you developed it.
Ivan – We are very happy and excited to present this collection. It is an alternative to our made to measure program. Since we are limited in the number of clients we can meet personally by appointment, we had to find a solution in order to spread the Finezza lifestyle across Canada, with the same inspiration when it comes to fabrics and atmosphere.
And, most importantly, we are proud to mention that all our ready to wear jackets and suits are made here in Canada.
The first tie you buy is usually for an important occasion and brings you to another level of maturity.
STM – You’re known for being a family man. How do you balance your business and your family?
Ivan – The family is the most important thing for me. I cannot be happy without my wife and my kids. This is one of the reasons why Finezza came to life, with its made to measure service by appointment only. Having the flexibility to be with my family when I want is my main goal.
Of course as time goes by, we have more and more responsibilities, but even with the growth of Finezza, I choose options that will allow me to be as much as possible with my family.
By the same occasion, it’s a good way of transmitting my passion to my kids.
STM – Of all the people who helped you build your business so far, pick one who you could not have done it without and tell us about them and how they helped you.
Ivan – Without any hesitation, it will be my wife Emilie. She is my pillar. We’re a good complement to each other. And now she is a full member of the Finezza team.
I would also like to thank everybody who is involved in Finezza… They’ll recognize themselves.
He represents the simplicity in everyday activities and his style is timeless…
STM – In your opinion what is the one thing every man should have in his closet, no matter his age or career? Why?
Ivan – I’d say a tie. The first tie you buy is usually for an important occasion and brings you to another level of maturity. Year after year, you will develop confidence, play with different colors and patterns, either for specific occasions or just for daytime … That explains why a lot of men have at the end of their life a big section of ties in their wardrobe. Because each of them is a reminder of a specific memory. The ties make us feel secure.
STM – Who is your male fashion icon and why?
Ivan – The Duke of Windsor. He represents the simplicity in everyday activities and his style is timeless…
Make sure to follow Finezza on instagram, @finezza_au_nom_de_lhomme and on facebook, Finezza Homme and to learn more about the brand, their services and selection, www.finezza.ca. For ticket info to attend their February 25th, 7pm runway show at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week click here.