It takes 52 steps to create a Vilebrequin swimsuit, a process perfected since the Saint-Tropez swimwear brand launched in 1971. The finished result is a resort-perfect piece, reflecting that relaxed, devil-may-care attitude of a man out of office and by the water. But we respectfully suggest an essential 53rd step: the footwear. Vilebrequin’s met its match in Brazilian flip-flop maker Havaianas and teamed up for a partnership just in time for holiday jet-setting.
Naturally, “the brands are very complementary,” as Brian Lange, President in the Americas of Vilebrequin, points out. The new sandals epitomize the effortless, carefree aesthetic both brands stand for with Vilebrequin’s bright colors and, of course, their swimming turtle mascot.
Here, Lange tells us more about their latest sandal options and offers a sneak peek into their plans for an outerwear collection.
Vilebrequin is known for its playful, nostalgic St. Tropez-summer style. Why do you find these qualities important today?
Our brand is really about your vacation time with family and friends on a resort, at the beach, or by the pool. It’s about that part of your personality when you’re not at work or taking care of other obligations and can finally let your hair down. It’s about being playful with what you wear and how you wear it, and just taking things less seriously in general.
Playfulness in and of itself is something that we’re all longing for, because our world moves so quickly and we have so many commitments. For many of us, the thing we cherish the most is that time away because with all of the pressures of today, that seems to be one of the things that is squeezed and reduced the most.
The Vilebrequin spirit has so much in common with Havaianas—how did Vilebrequin keep the collaboration fresh and unexpected?
Both brands are fun, both brands are colorful, and they’re both products you can wear when expressing that off-duty side of your personality while on vacation. But you’ll notice that the colors used in our flip-flops are not the typical colors used by Havaianas. We really took our love for prints, along with the turtle mascot, and did something that was unusual for them.
Anything gleaned from past collabs that Vilebrequin applied to this one?
We did a collaboration earlier this year with Dreamworks for Where’s Waldo‘s 25th anniversary and made a matching father and son Where’s Waldo swimsuit. We got a tremendous response for it and decided to do the similar father-and-son concept with our Havaianas, with a large size and a small size.
What’s next for Vilebrequin?
We tend to create things for the beach, but we also like to encompass the “journey” aspect of traveling. If you’re going from New York to Miami, for example, it’s a bit chilly this time of year, so we thought it makes sense to do an outerwear collection that men would wear in a resort location. The collection launches this fall, including a suede jacket in a variety of colors and some PrimaLoft products like a jacket and a vest.
Overall, vacation is about having fun, and wearing a color or a style you might not necessarily wear to the office. But you’re hanging out with friends at the beach, so who cares? Go a little crazy.