Vilebrequin is a French brand, specialised in both swimwear and ready-to-wear for men and women. The brand was created in 1971 in Saint Tropez by Fred Prysquel a photographer and sports automobile journalist. It has stores in Saint-Tropez, Paris, Beverly Hills, Cape Town, Milan, New York City, Washington DC, Beirut, Houston, etc. It was due to Prysquel's passion for automobiles that he named his brand, Vilebrequin, the French word for automobile motor, the crankshaft.
In swimwear, the brand offers a large range of styles (Moorea, Merise, Master...), patterns and colours for all generations (beginning at 2 years of age and sizing up to 5XL).
In 1971, Fred Prysquel, photographer and automobile journalist, sketches and cuts out the swimsuit of his dreams from a paper table cloth in a well known Saint Tropezian café. Inspired by the swimsuits of surfers at the time, he creates a longer boxer-short style much different than the shorter and fitted swimsuits of that period. Designed from spinnaker cloth, this new swimsuit was bright, original and designed to dry quickly in the sun. It was an instant hit in the small boutiques along the beaches in Saint Tropez. It was then that the model known as the Moorea became the brand's signature suit.
In 1991, fellow Tropezian and textile worker, Loïc Berthet, takes over the brand. He further develops the brand by adding new styles and models. To men's swim trunks, he adds a back pocket secured with Velcro, eyelet holes made from a stainless alloy, Zamac, and a cotton lining.
In 1994, Vilebrequin expands its collection to include boys wear, introducing the concept "Father & Son."
Between 1990 and 2000, the brand expands worldwide and opens locations in London, Alassio, Paris, Geneva, New York, Hong Kong and Madrid. The brand additionally develops a network of distribution partners in over 50 countries.
In 2012, the brand is acquired by the American company, G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., that licences brands including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi's and Dockers. Roland Herlory, prior general director for Hermès Latin America and Caribbean, becomes the new CEO.
In 2013, after more than 40 years of expertise in menswear, Vilebrequin launches their first "Mother and Daughter" line and extends their product offering to additionally include resort wear as well as beach accessories for both men and women.
In 2014, the brand continues to open stores across the globe with a particular focus on expansion throughout Asia with openings in South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.
In 2013, the brand released a men's collector swimsuit embroidered in gold thread with solely 20 models available. In 2014, the model was replicated and sapphire elements were added.
As of 2014, Vilebrequin is present across 5 continents and in 52 countries with more than 150 stores. The brand has e-shops in Europe and the United States.