News & Runway

21 Questions With… Lululemon Lab Head Designer Marcus LeBlanc

Image: Courtesy of Lululemon Athletica

Image: Courtesy of Lululemon Athletica

If you think being the head designer of Lululemon Lab, a conceptual design and retail space stocking limited-edition capsule collections, means that Marcus LeBlanc is some kind of bone broth-loving, green juice-sipping health nut, you couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the designer who previously worked at John Varvatos and Theory told us that he doesn’t have “a taste for healthy food.” He does, however, have a taste for fitted joggers, which explains why it’s so easy to want every single thing he designs — and not only for the gym. Lululemon Lab now has two locations (New York City and Vancouver), each carrying their own range of exclusive designs priced from $60 to $450. The spaces also house the brand’s design teams, so if you need help styling or fitting a piece, someone from the design team may just be on hand to help you out. Ditto if you have feedback for future collections.

Curious to find out more about the designer behind one of the latest It athleisure brands, we asked LeBlanc (yes, he’s single!) our 21 quickfire questions.

  1. When I look at my closet in the morning, I think… “Marcus, you’re a genius!” I’ve simplified my closet to the point of not having to make any decisions in the morning. I have 10 of my favorite T-shirts and three quite similar trousers that I rotate. They call it a uniform. Jealous?
  2. A key to starting my day on a positive note is… getting a good night’s sleep. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping or just refuse to sleep because I want to be doing other things. If I really want to treat myself, I make all the adjustments necessary to get my full eight hours.
  3. When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I… struggle with consistency. I can give it a good run for about a month (usually leading up to some kind of event or trip) and then I need a reboot or new motivation to get back on track.
  4. My favorite clothing items include… my James Perse clear jersey T-shirts, my Lululemon Lab tailored joggers and my Theory blazer.
  5. The last thing I googled was… protein bars…I’m trying!
  6. The best gift I ever received was… my education; might sound corny, but I really do appreciate it. Meanwhile, my birthday is coming up and I think I need to start dropping some hints!
  7. When I’m looking to get inspired, I… do some research online. I love a museum visit or a gallery stroll, but nothing beats the convenience of the good old Internet.
  8. When I’m stressed, I… do everything I can to solve my problem, complain a little and then get over it.
  9. My favorite healthy snack is… water. I don’t have a taste for healthy food, but I drink a ton of water!
  10. If my days had one extra hour I’d… probably watch an extra hour of TV; I’m obsessed with period films/shows, but I also need my reality TV.
  11. What attracted me to Lululemon… was that the company has an amazing culture of wellness and support, it’s unlike any company that I’ve ever worked for. Also, the idea of starting the NYC Lab is any designer’s dream. I’m no fool.
  12. What sets the Lululemon Lab collection apart… is that we are creating collections with an emphasis on both style and function. When I wear our pants, I still feel dressed up yet they are so comfortable that I feel like I walk differently…they improve my strut.
  13. If you looked at my desktop you’d see… water bottles, fabric swatches and top secret new developments that I am no good at hiding. Our design space is within the store and guests (customers) are invited to come get a behind-the-scenes view of our process. Come see for yourself!
  14. My biggest style pet peeve is… a Tumblr clone. I use the Internet as a research tool and of course there are great resources for style and trend information, but I love to see individuality and function come into play, not carbon copies.
  15. When it comes to fashion, everyone should own… I think that “cool” enters the picture when someone breaks the rules.
  16. The most surprising thing about my job… is how fun it is to come to work every day. I’ve always enjoyed being a designer, but having our design studio inside the store is a whole new level of entertaining. You never know who is going to walk in and the cast of characters is quite unexpected. (Where’s our reality show @bravoandy?!)
  17. One thing I do badly that I wish I did well… is flirt. I’m single and I really need to step my game up.
  18. My favorite quote is… anything that has ever come out of the mouths of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
  19. The coolest piece I’ve ever designed is… I love all of my babies!
  20. On a typical Saturday, I… order Seamless and catch up on Netflix (LGBT section).
  21. The one career highlight I’ll never forget is… taking my first work trips to Milan with John Varvatos and his team when I was an assistant designer — life-changing.