Sketch, stitch, splash: Vilebrequin

With more than 50 years of expertise in swimwear, luxury brand Vilebrequin knows the beauty of teaming playful design with exquisite craftsmanship

Style 28 May 2024

Vilebrequin, known for its vibrant and playful designs, are for those looking to boost confidence and mood

Vilebrequin's latest partnership, Bathe in Art, features the work of painter Paul Signac, a pioneer of Neo-Impressionism, in partnership with Les Archives Signac

It’s no secret that fashion is a form of self- expression. We dress to feel good about ourselves, to boost our confidence and mood, and one of the most important ways to ensure this happens is comfort. This is something luxury swimwear brand Vilebrequin knows better than most. When you’re basking by the pool or bobbing in the ocean – a time when you’re likely wearing the least amount of clothing you can in public – the swimwear you choose should be the perfect blend of comfort and style.

Known to create products imbued with joy and freedom, channelling the spirit and charm of Saint-Tropez, Vilebrequin is a go-to for those looking to make a splash. Since 1971, the brand has been mastering the art of designing the perfect swimming costume, a model that exudes an enduring charm that can be enjoyed from one decade to the next.

Vilebrequin’s swimwear is always designed with a conscience using locally sourced OEKO- TEX®-certified fabrics from the finest suppliers across the Mediterranean. Its timeless style allows the vibrant designs to be passed on through the generations as heirlooms, made possible through this exceptional quality and high-performance fabrics. And it takes almost 32 steps and a team of highly talented craftspeople to create each pair of Vilebrequin shorts.

From its vibrant and playful designs, conceived in Vilebrequin’s studio, to weaving from a single, durable polyamide material that has been softened to enhance comfort, the careful construction process involves both ancient and modern practices for incomparable results.

Vilebrequin, known for its vibrant and playful designs, is for those looking to boost confidence and mood
Vilebrequin, known for its vibrant and playful designs, is for those looking to boost confidence and mood

The ancestral – almost lost – art of cylinder printing is teamed with precision inkjet, allowing for an infinite number of colours and design possibilities to be printed on the fabric. This is followed by the hand-building of the shorts, pocket by pocket, stitch by stitch by Vilebrequin’s talented artisans. The process that follows includes the cutting, folding and assembly of the back pockets, eyelet placement – to aid with water drainage and reduce the hot air balloon effect – drawstring assembly with engraved zamak tips (zinc, magnesium and zinc alloy) and brand label stitching. Each pair is also fitted with a durable mesh lining to provide comfort and durability – proof of the brand’s exceptional quality. Every stage of the process can be traced for ultimate brand provenance.

Creativity streams through the very core of Vilebrequin and art is a source of vitality for the brand. Alongside its detailed artisanal process sits a portfolio of artfully elegant designs and collaborations with photographers, designers and artists. Over the years, Vilebrequin has enjoyed collaborations with creatives such as photographer Massimo Vitali, artist Derrick Adams and designer Virgil Abloh. The latest partnership, Bathe in Art, is yet another step in reinterpreting the spirit of the original Saint- Tropez swimsuit, featuring the work of painter Paul Signac, a pioneer of Neo-Impressionism, in partnership with Les Archives Signac.

Signac was one of the first artists to shine a spotlight on the coastal town of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, and this collaboration – featuring two of his works reproduced as limited art prints – showcases the artist’s flair for colour, harmony and light. The Voiles et Pins print plays on the contrast between rich Mediterranean ochres and shadowy pine trees, while the Sortie du Port de Saint-Tropez print provides a vibrant juxtaposition between glowing earthy tones and deep green waters. Rigorously selected by Vilebrequin Studios and reimagined on shorts and a matching bowling T-shirt using a 360-degree printing method, the Signac collection will coincide with the brand’s funding of a comprehensive digital catalogue of Signac’s work with Les Archives Signac, allowing his modern genius to be accessible to all.

Its passion for the finest craftsmanship and the French art de vivre – epitomised with the charm and vivacity of a Saint-Tropez vacation – give Vilebrequin the edge when it comes to exceptional swimwear. And if you’re going to take a dip, you should always do it in style. See you by the pool.

The Vilebrequin and Paul Signac Art Editions, from £260, available in Vilebrequin stores and at