Orlebar Brown, the UK-based resort label, has achieved remarkable growth since its establishment, thanks to its stylish swimwear featuring captivating photo imagery. The brand’s founder, Adam Brown, has an unconventional background in the fashion industry, having previously worked in children’s charities and prisons. It was during his travels that he realized the lack of fashionable leisurewear for men and conceived the idea for Orlebar Brown. By incorporating technical fabrics and eye-catching imagery, Brown quickly built a loyal following.

In a relatively short period, Brown successfully sold Orlebar Brown to the larger Chanel group while still maintaining his role as creative director. In an interview with FashionNetwork.com, he sheds light on his entrepreneurial journey and the impact of being part of the Chanel group on his approach.

Brown attributes his entry into the fashion world to serendipity rather than a deliberate ambition. After working in different sectors, including photography, he stumbled upon the concept of tailored swim shorts, which became the cornerstone of Orlebar Brown. Witnessing people wear his products on the beach for the first time was a defining moment for Brown, and he takes immense pride in the brand’s evolution and the values it embodies.

While there have been challenges along the way, such as financial management and expanding into new territories like the US, South America, and the Far East, Brown emphasizes the invaluable support and resources provided by the Chanel group. He also acknowledges the synergies between Orlebar Brown and Chanel’s cousin company, Eres, in terms of target audience, geographic locations, and regular communication.

Brexit has presented ongoing complications for Orlebar Brown, particularly in terms of manufacturing in Portugal. However, the brand is adapting by exploring alternative warehousing solutions in Europe to ensure smooth delivery to customers.

Looking ahead, Brown envisions Orlebar Brown continuing to excel in its area of expertise, but on a larger scale. He aims to expand the brand’s presence in untapped holiday destinations like South America and the Far East, while also venturing into new product categories such as travel accessories, outerwear, and footwear. Moreover, Brown underscores the importance of aligning with customers’ evolving needs and expectations, tailoring the brand’s services and products accordingly.

Reflecting on his experiences, Brown wishes to inspire young entrepreneurs by emphasizing the importance of simplicity, focusing on a hero product or service, and avoiding the pressure to grow too quickly. He believes that bold thinking and storytelling are key to business growth, and he is excited to share his insights at Vodafone’s #ThoseWhoDare virtual conference, where he will discuss leveraging data insights to understand customers and minimize costs.

Vodafone’s week-long event aims to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and features keynote speeches from over 30 influential entrepreneurs. Brown’s participation highlights his commitment to sharing knowledge and helping businesses navigate the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic era.

Ultimately, the success of Orlebar Brown serves as a testament to Adam Brown’s entrepreneurial spirit and adaptability in the ever-changing world of fashion. As the brand continues to thrive under the umbrella of the Chanel group, it remains true to its core values while embracing new possibilities for growth and innovation.

Useful links:

1. Orlebar Brown Official Website
2. Vodafone #ThoseWhoDare Conference