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June 27, 2012

Orlebar Brown’s Olympic Style

By Andrew Sessa | Fashion

Orlebar Brown’s Olympic Style
Courtesy Orlebar Brown

There are many ways to get into the Olympic spirit: crossing the pond to see the London games live (they start July 27); setting the DVR to catch every second of synchronized swimming, equestrian dressage and rhythmic gymnastics; or cheering on an adopted soccer team at a local watering hole (“Goooaaal!”).

But new to the list is donning the super-stylish Athlete Collection swim trunks by Orlebar Brown. Digitally printed in the UK and made of a high-tech, quick-drying Belgian fabric called polyamide, the new trim-fit swimsuits ($275 each) celebrate sport with crisp graphic illustrations of five different Olympic events: diving, volleyball, gymnastics, running and javelin. French-born, London-based illustrator Malika Favre created the imagery especially for the brand’s founder, Adam Brown, who says he “looked to the strong, heroic quality of the graphics and photography used by the Russian Constructivists of the 1920s” when working with the artist. “Lots of sportsmen have been photographed wearing OB shorts, and Matthew Pinsent, the four-time Olympic gold medal rower for the UK, is a regular customer,” Brown continues. “But really, I’m always thrilled when anyone wears OBs—Olympian or otherwise.”

This year’s Olympiad coincides with Orlebar Brown’s fifth anniversary, and the Athlete Collection is just one of the ways the brand has commemorated the occasion. There are also design collaborations with style gurus Simon Doonan and Nick Wooster and trunks printed with beachy vintage photos from the Getty Images Collection, including soigne scenes shot by Slim Aarons. orlebarbrown.com.