Vilebrequin is branching out of swimwear with its first sportswear collection, as well as two new licenses, one for underwear and one for children’s wear, all of which will be on display at Pitti Uomo when the brand exhibits there for the first time in many years.
“It’s all going to have the Vilebrequin DNA, a beach-environment lifestyle and a little bit transitioning from the beach,” said North American chief executive Thierry Prissert. “You won’t see suits or ties.”
The sportswear collection will include T-shirts, polos, lots of linen shirts, cotton knits, light sweats, and shorts and trousers in cotton or linen. Shirts, trousers, knits and swim trunks will all retail in the $200 range. The brand will also have bags for the first time and new hat styles.
As always, the swimwear — beloved by bon vivants since the brand was founded in Saint-Tropez in the Seventies — will be offered in a lot of novel prints. The brand has also developed its first reversible swimsuit, patterned on one side and solid on the other, which can pass for a versatile pair of shorts.
Also on exhibit will be Vilebrequin underwear and loungewear made under a new license with Madamar. Briefs and boxers will start around $45. The partners are aiming for initial sales of 3 million euros, or $4.22 million at current exchange, going up to 10 million euros, or $13.6 million, in four years.
Children’s wear has been licensed to Altana SpA. That collection will reflect the same categories as the new adult sportswear range, and will launch at Pitti Bimbo, a week after Pitti Uomo ends. The line will retail for $65 to $110.
Vilebrequin will control U.S. distribution for both new licenses through its New York showroom.
“Naturally we’re going to carry some in our own stores, and we are going to do selective distribution through department stores,” said Prissert.
Meanwhile, during Pitti Uomo, Vilebrequin will celebrate the redesign of its Florence boutique, the first one to reflect a new concept being rolled out. The interior used to be very white; now it’s light blue. And the space is configured to accommodate all the new product categories.
“But it still represents the beach and escape,” stressed Prissert.
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