When Adam Brown went on holiday to Rajasthan to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday in 2005, it was clear to him that while the women in the group displayed an effortless level of style and elegance as they lounged around the pool, the men did not.
This problem was emphasised even more, when the men – mostly wearing brightly patterned, baggy boxer short-styles, briefs or board shorts – had to head back to their rooms to change into another more suitable outfit so they could have lunch in the bar. The women, however, transitioned effortlessly from poolside to restaurant.
The need for a range of versatile men’s summer wear was apparent, and the idea for Orlebar Brown was born.
Launched in London in March 2007, Brown founded the luxury men’s lifestyle brand to offer a more sophisticated, tailored approach to men’s beach and swim shorts. Described more as a ‘short you can swim in’, than a swim short, Orlebar Brown’s shorts are designed for going straight from a dip in the ocean to having a drink or lunch after, and looking suave all the while.
As a natural progression, the range of shorts has since evolved into a full resort collection influenced by 1960s poolside utopia, drawing inspiration from Slim Aarons’ iconic pictures of Riviera and Palm Beach life during that decade.
Its latest collection, The Dunes, is reminiscent of the nonchalance of glamorous jet-setters, with a key collection edit aptly named The Playboy, embracing the relaxed charm of the 1960s.Comprising shorts, shirts, T-shirts and outerwear all ideal for layering, notable fabrics in the collection include washed denim, woven stripes, and double-faced towelling with the brand’s striking new Setting Sails graphic. A number of organic and recycled fabrics have also been used in line with the brand’s sustainability objectives and the BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), aiming to make global cotton production better for the environment and the people who produce it.
To accompany the main collection launch, the Sea Island capsule is crafted in sumptuous sea island cotton, a superlative cotton that is highly resilient and durable, with a silk-like lustre surpassing regular cotton.
Every season, Orlebar Brown features much-loved and distinctive photographic prints on its original Bulldog shorts and, for this collection, the brand has collaborated with photographers Pelle Cass and Stuart Cantor – whose work is often likened to Slim Aaron’s – to create four exclusive swim short designs. Pelle Cass’s destinations of choice are shown in Divers, Mission Viejo, and Surfers, Laguna Beach, and Stuart Cantor depicts iconic locations in his photographs of Sicilian Summers and Marbella Club Days.
But Orlebar Brown’s shorts are not limited to the designs chosen by the brand. Whether it is a favourite beach scene or a special moment captured on camera, clients can choose to create their own bespoke shorts with a personal photo, drawing or graphic of their choosing, with the brand’s ‘Design Your Own’ service. Simply use the #SnapShorts app on the Orlebar Brown website, or download it to your phone from the App Store or Google Play.