Founded in 2007, London-based beachwear label Orlebar Brown is one of those quietly popular brands that those in the know, and those with a sophisticated style palette, will always go to for their holiday wardrobe. Eschewing bright, bold – and often garish – prints that tend to cover modern swimsuits, shorts and beachwear, this brand has a more tailored and refined approach to its designs.
The brand began when photographer Adam Brown was on holiday with friends in Rajasthan. Of the 30 there, most worked in design and took an interest in clothes but while the women looked great by the pool, says Brown, the men didn’t.
He comments that “all were wearing brightly patterned, baggy boxer short styles, briefs or board shorts. The idea for Orlebar Brown became clear when from sitting by the pool, we had to change to have lunch in the bar.”
Rather than creating a typical swim short, Brown went down a different route and created a ‘short you can swim in’; a short that can be worn on the beach, at the pool, and will be smart enough to keep on to go to lunch or straight to the bar. Two years and a one-week drawing course at Central Saint Martins later, Orlebar Brown was born, creating a range of tailored shorts before moving on to a full resort collection that took inspiration from the elegance and sophistication of the Riviera and Palm Beach in the 1960s.
In 2013, Orlebar Brown ventured into the realm of womenswear, creating swim and resort pieces that have that same magic ingredient; sophisticated beach-to-bar style. As with any true tailor, quality, fit and fabric construction is at the very core of Orlebar Brown, resulting in beachwear you’d happily wear all day, and be seen in – wherever you are.
Words by Angharad Jones