Certified by The Woolmark Company, the new men’s swimwear capsule from Vilebrequin puts a playful spin on swimsuit tailoring. Vilebrequin said it has long used textiles not normally associated with swimsuits, including African wax fabric, sailcloth and linen, as long as it draped well and met performance qualities.
“Merino wool is real source of eco-innovation and perfectly in line with Vilebrequin’s target to create 80 percent of collections using exclusively sustainable fabrics and processes by 2023,” Vilebrequin CEO Roland Herlory said. “We feel confident our clients will appreciate its remarkable quality and the naturally chic way it hangs on the body. Partnering with The Woolmark Company has introduced us to cutting-edge techniques that reduce our impact on the planet while delivering a uniquely elegant product.”
Vilebrequin’s studios played into the idea of a “suit made for swimming,” producing the capsule collection in navy, light gray and classic gingham using Super 120’s Merino wool from Italian mill REDA’s non-mulesed active collection. The Australian Merino wool met the brand’s standards for a long lifespan, softness, durability and natural fibers.
“The Vilebrequin x Woolmark Merino wool boardshorts highlight the true versatility of the fiber,” said John Robers, CEO of Australian Wool Innovation, the parent company of The Woolmark Company. “Soft next to skin but resistant enough to handle the ocean, Merino wool continues to drive unexpected product offerings. Thanks to manufacturing techniques, Vilebrequin is redefining the way we wear wool by bringing the sophistication of worsted tailoring to the water.”
The Merino wool also had to pass the swim test, the company noted, which it did thanks to its scale-like structure that forms a naturally water-friendly, quick-drying shell, especially when woven at higher densities. The drying rate was also good, with the fabrics achieving a drying time of five to seven minutes, which Vilebrequin said is much quicker than the target level.
The brand also touted the fabric’ high breathability, moisture-wicking and thermo-regulating properties, as well as its natural biodegradability. The company said switching to natural, high-quality fibers such as wool, linen and organic cotton isn’t for style or show, but a matter of survival.
Vilebrequin has pledged to act now to ensure healthy oceans tomorrow, with current estimates that 35 percent of microplastics in the oceans come from synthetic fabrics.
“By collaborating with The Woolmark Company…we’re working toward offering a more sustainable solution, products that are easy to care for and require less laundering,” the French swimwear company added.
The Vilebrequin x The Woolmark Company swim short capsule will be available in Vilebrequin stores and at vilebrequin.com starting in May.