Vilebrequin Celebrates 50th Anniversary with 50 Limited Edition Swim Trunks
The brand is celebrating with a collection of 50 limited-edition swim trunks—one to represent every year of the brand. Each year is represented with its own personality and print, straight from the Vilebrequin archives.
This year, Vilebrequin celebrates 50 years since the St. Tropez brand first opened its doors in 1971. Believe it or not, the brand started over winning a girl’s heart. Returning to France in 1968, after spending years covering Formula 1 races around the world as a journalist, Fred Prysquel was determined to get back his childhood sweetheart, Yvette. His tactic, swim shorts.
Influenced by his time abroad in California and Africa, he wanted to make swim shorts that moved with ease like the ones he saw surfers wear and that had bold motifs like the African wax fabrics he came across in Senegal. That summer on St.Tropez’s Moorea beach (Moorea also being the name of Vilebrequin’s most popular style), Prysquel got the girl of his dreams while catching the attention of some celebrities. And voila! With the help of Yvette, the multipurpose swim shorts that can go from the beach to the disco were born.
Over its 50 years, Vilebrequin has provided a fearless approach to swim trunks with an attention to craftsmanship that keeps consumers coming back time and time again.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Vilebrequin is recreating the original model, made from African wax-print cotton as well as a different print or style for each subsequent year of business.
The brand is well-known for its loud and daring patterns, which have been worn by the likes of Jack Nicholson to Prince William. The visual identity of the brand has been revamped for the anniversary with a vintage-pop look to give it some flare.
Reinvention has been at Vilebrequin’s core from the beginning and on their 40th anniversary they partnered with Fabien Cousteau’s Plant a Fish charity. In 2016, Vilebrequin began working with French Polynesian nonprofit Te Mana O Te Moana (“The Spirit of the Ocean” in Maori) to create a conversation revolving around sea turtle conservation. The turtle motif, which first appeared in 2000, has come to symbolise the brand’s sustainability and conservation efforts.
Among 62% of the anniversary men’s swimwear collection was made out of recycled or recyclable materials. By 2025, the brand hopes that figure will rise to 80%.