When Adam Brown was on a birthday holiday with friends at a swanky resort in Rajasthan back in 2005, he noticed an inconvenience whenever it came time to eat. “I remember we had to change to have lunch at the poolside bar,” Adam explained, “I felt there really was a need for a pair of shorts you could do more than swim in.”
It was at that moment Adam knew something had to be done when it came to resort wear. The former London-based photographer then joined forces with an old friend, Julia Simpson-Orlebar, the summer of 2005 and Orlebar Brown was born. We sat with Adam to learn more about the brand and its new flagship store set to open this month here in Kuwait.
What is Orlebar Brown’s style ethos? Who does it target, specifically?
We began with the ‘short you can swim in’ but all our clothes are designed as a celebration of sunshine, travel, happiness and good times. Vibrant, they’re holiday clothes crafted in key hero fabrics that help you feel summer all year round.
It targets men, of course! Men of all ages can find something here, and the beauty of OB is that the fits and fabrics are timeless. Plus, you can style it as you feel fit. They’re versatile clothes designed to take you from urban settings to the beach.
How has Orlebar Brown revolutionized menswear as a brand?
I’m not sure if ‘revolutionized’ is quite the word, but what we’ve done is bring a new category to menswear which perhaps wasn’t celebrated in such a big way.
Historically, resort wear and holiday clothes were very much tacked on to bigger collections. By bringing this tailored approach to swim shorts it was a real switch in focus and emphasis.
What was the most exciting thing about creating the SS17 collection?
Spring is always one of our favorite seasons. As the weather begins to warm up there’s a real feeling of freshness around.
It’s also the first of a two-part Artist’s Studio story, beginning with Pablo Picasso. The inspiration for the season was so much fun to play with; we looked at Picasso and his years on the Riviera, which were so rich in imagery, color and storytelling. It was a fabulous starting point.
Are there any pieces in the collection that stand out?
Spring 2017 features hero silhouettes in key fabrics and a fresh new palette. The combination of pomodoro, bluestone and fawn is an exciting color palette for summer.
The ‘Jack’ short is a really exciting launch for us. As part of our tenth anniversary we’re introducing a whole new product category with our brand-new sport swim short. It has 13 percent stretch and is tailored for flexibility. It’s a more sporting approach to our OB Classics—all the same DNA just with lightweight fabrics and tonal finishes.
We also collaborated with Gerry McGovern, who is the Design Director at Land Rover.
He’s an excellent designer and a great friend of OB so we’re thrilled to be working with him on a three-part collection.
What tempted you to open a branch in Kuwait? Do you feel your brand style attracts a Kuwaiti male demographic?
The Middle East has a highly desirable climate that is intrinsically linked with everything OB does. We also know that a lot of our customers choose to summer in places like Kuwait and Dubai. The vibrancy of our palette is incredibly appropriate for the customer and the linen capsule collection offers great fabric weights for hot weather. I think that the essence of anything that is classic in style and approach is will be celebrated and relevant in years to come. One of our founding principles is that our clothes shouldn’t look dated in five years’ time and could have been worn five years ago. Our products, our fabrics and our palettes should all stand the test of time. That’s what OB is all about.
The Orlebar Brown flagship store will be located in the 2nd Avenue – The Avenues this month!