In 1971 in Saint Tropez, the same year the Jaggers married in the exclusive Côte d'Azur resort and Mr Slim Aarons photographed the louche, jet-set crowd in vibrant technicolour, a young sports journalist named Mr Fred Prysquel developed the first pair of Vilebrequin shorts. Seated on the terrace of the famous Café Sénéquier overlooking the port, Mr Prysquel pulled off the chequered tablecloth and cut out the pattern for a pair of swimming shorts, quite unlike the figure-hugging styles which were popular at the time. Once Mr Prysquel alighted upon the perfect material (a durable and fast-drying spinnaker canvas, inspired in part by the sailing culture of Saint Tropez), the Vilebrequin range was born, and the shorts soon became renowned for their stylish design, and superior comfort and practicality.
Named after the French word for "crankshaft", partly because the founder was a motoring enthusiast, and partly because he liked the odd-sounding word, Vilebrequin has always retained a fun side, with its matching father-and-son shorts and jaunty prints. That is not, however, to discount the serious style and quality of Vilebrequin shorts, which are made in Europe, with 32 different manufacturing phases required for each pair. Read more about Vilebrequin