When I first saw Mr Adam Brown, I thought “That’s a man with Style”. After the interview I realised that, his style was what made the brand work. “Orlebar Brown” is a Swimwear Brand launched in 2007 as “the more tailored approach to swim shorts”. The brand now includes Tees, Polos, Shirts, chinos, sweats and more. A lot of celebrities choose their own OB’s like Hugh Jackman, Christiano Ronaldo, Eddie Redmayne, David Guetta, Sir Jonathan Ive, Daniel Graig. In Greece you can find “OB” at Salt Water.

I have to say, Mr Brown is my role model.He pursued his dream, he never gave up no matter the difficulties and now he is a successful businessman.

Adam Brown Interview - Orlebar Brown - VESPER gr Magazine

How did you started working as a fashion designer after working as a photographer.

The idea came in 2007 when I went in a holiday to Rajasthan. I was by the pool and I had to go and change for lunch. Then two things happen. One was that I looked around the pool and I wondered why everyone was wearing reef, boat shorts or boxer shorts. Second thing was I had to go and change for lunch. So I thought I don’t need a swimshort I want a shorts that I can swim in. I went back in London, I did some research, I took a three day “Start your own fashion business” course, I did an one week drawing course, I’ve spent eighteen months sourcing fabric, side fasteners, zips, I managed to find a factory and I  made 1000 pairs. I’ve put them in a storage unit and I just started to sell them. I had no fashion design background what so ever and the Orlebar Brown was a series of challenges. On the other hand I love shopping, I love clothes, I love the way things are made and I think its common sense that if you like something and you love the way it looks, you will do it.

How did you became a worldwide brand.

Well I don’t think we are worldwide yet. We have gone from being a start up to being a small company. We have 350 wholesale accounts and we have 19 stores. How we did it? For 2 years it was just me, knocking on doors, doing everything you can. Requesting for appointments, Keep trying to make new product, trying to involve. I think we were lucky because we only had the swim shorts and our story was very clear, we are tailored approach to swimshorts. If you have a big collection its much more difficult for the costumer to understand what you are doing.

Adam Brown Interview - Orlebar Brown - VESPER gr Magazine

So now you are traveling around the world trying to promote your brand?

Yes, we have just been to Florence, we do trade shows, we have a showroom in New York, a showroom in London. But mostly I am in London. I believe I have to be in the office, where I am needed and where the work is. Internet is also very important for us. 30% of our business is online.

What is the most important thing for you that you cannot leave without.

Well I have to say my dogs and my partner of course. It sounds very corny but I believe that you have to be happy at home and enjoy life. And this comes across in your work and your product.

Isn’t it contradictory the fact that you design mostly swimwear and you leave in London?

All of us travel a lot, we go abroad. Besides with the internet and the email it doesn’t really matter where you are. London is grey, it rains a lot but after all if you can make swim shorts work in London, well you can make it anywhere. I think people like the fact that we are an english swimwear brand, because its so strange,it’s not expected.

I guess you love the sea.

Of course. Ever since I was a 4 years old, I  used to go on holiday to a place called Cornwall in England which is big waves, surfing, wild beaches that I love.

What is a typical day of yours?

I get up at six o ‘clock, I go to the gym and I am at the office by eight o ‘clock and I work. If you start your own business you are involved in the business all the time, 7 days a week 24 hours a day and you have to love it. As for fun I travel a lot, but even then I use every experience for research and inspiration. Its important to see what people are doing, how they are enjoying themselves, what they are wearing, what the vibe is or the mood.

Adam Brown Interview - Orlebar Brown - VESPER gr Magazine

Do you have any regrets?

Yes, not starting the brand sooner. I did not start until I was 40 years old. I had a similar idea for a swim short brand 10 years before. I thought I couldn’t do it and I wish I’ve done it. I thought “Well, everyone thinks that he can be a designer”

What was the best advice someone gave to you?

First is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Second came from a lady called Anya Hindmarch, that creates handbags. She said “Always price according to what you think something is worth, not what it costs”. I think its so true. I don’t think you should over charge for something if its not worth it, but on the other hand if something is so fabulous has a value that is more.

Adam Brown Interview - Orlebar Brown - VESPER gr Magazine

What are your hobbies?

I surf, I swim, I watch a lot of series but overall I really enjoy working.

What are your advantages and Disadvantages?

I think I am very critical. I always try to find reasons to do things, not the reasons not to do things. I might get into situations that maybe I shouldn’t have, but I believe you should try things. If you don’t try you are not going to do it. So those are pros and cons on both sides.

Thank you Mr Brown!

Adam Brown Interview - Orlebar Brown - VESPER gr Magazine