A love story, which fifty years later is a synonym of sea, happiness and summer. We are talking about Vilebrequin, the swimwear brand that was born in Saint Tropez and has already conquered the whole world. We spoke with Natalia Deguil, Country Manager in Spain to review the history of the turtle brand.
– 50 years! There is nothing Natalia, tell us the origin of this iconic brand.
Vilebrequin was born in 1971 on the French Riviera. It came out of a love story, actually. Fred Trysquel, founder of the firm, was a motor journalist. He was dedicated to covering Formula 1 races. He was married to Yvette, who was passionate about fashion. Then he decided that to impress his wife he was going to make the same swimsuit and he did it with the sails of a ship.
– How nice! How did the story continue?
The swimsuit not only conquered Yvette, but all the celebrities who vacationed in Saint Tropez, where Fred premiered it. They decided to register the trademark and it has been fifty years now. On this anniversary we have decided to reproduce this first swimsuit and select one per year to make a collection with 50 iconic pieces of the brand.
– From Saint Tropez, to the world
Yes, there are the origins of the brand, but since the 70s it began to be distributed in the US. Throughout these 50 years he has passed through various business groups but Fred Trysquel continues to be in constant contact. Keep approving collections. The brand is 100% its DNA. In the 70s the Côte d’Azur was the meeting place for actors and beautiful people from all over the world. It was the center of summer style, the perfect place for everyone to notice this new swimsuit. To this day we continue to preserve that chic spirit of the French Riviera.
– What is the Vilebrequin customer like now?
Our clients, being a very international firm, are people who travel, who like to move. We have the stores open all year round, because in addition, for a few years now, although our hallmark is the bathroom, we also have a collection of denim and winter ready-to-wear. We even have feathers, but yes, always keeping the spirit around leisure.
– In other words, Vilebrequin is a lifestyle brand.
Yes, we are conceived as a brand that you can turn to when you are in the sea or the pool, but also before or after the sea and the pool. In that holiday and fun environment, what we sell is that spirit of fun, relaxation, vacation.
A spirit full of positivity is to walk into the store and get a boost of energy. Prints are a very important hallmark!
It’s true. It is very nice to work for a brand like that. Here when people come to buy they are thinking about the summer, about the holidays … they come with joy and that is what we provide them.
– In addition, you provide it for the whole family …
Yes, the father and son model has been on the market forever. The truth is that it is a very identifying symbol of the brand, but it is true that we wanted to extend it to the family. When we took out the women’s collection we saw it absolutely necessary to take out the girls’ collection as well.
All with the same quality and the same spirit. The truth is that we like that spirit of family, of tribe more than of family: the uncle, the aunt, the, the mother, the son. In other words, everyone can wear our signature dress. from grandfather to granddaughter.
– Natalia, it is inevitable, we have to talk about Vilebrequin’s tortoise.
If the turtles are an icon of the brand, although it is not the logo. And it is also not random. Vilebrequin is a firm that is also very committed to the environment and the care of the oceans. We have just launched an ocean protection foundation, but for many years we have had a turtle sanctuary in French Polynesia called Te Moana. For many years we have always had a model whose sale is intended for the recovery of the turtles in that sanctuary. Furthermore, our commitment to the environment does not end here. We are committed to the sustainability of the product. Much of our production is recyclable or comes from recycled products.
-And this is getting more and more, right?
Our goal is that 80 percent of our production will be sustainable in a very few years. In a couple of years we have to be in those figures.
Natalia, your boutique is in # Distrito41BarrioDeSalamanca, how was your arrival in Spain
The first Vilebrequin store in Spain was in Puerto Banús, when the brand’s strategy included looking for spaces in the most emblematic cities of each country (without necessarily having to have a sea) we arrived in Madrid and we couldn’t be anywhere else than It wasn’t the Barrio de Salamanca, especially here in Jorge Juan. Madrid is the capital of Spain and Jorge Juan is the capital of District 41. In addition, we now have Dani García as a neighbor, who has brought us a little sea at our doorstep.
– And what people enter the store?
People looking for quality. There are very classic and very fashions, there are customers who repeat from the 70s and others who join every year, generally becoming very loyal customers. We also have a very personalized attention and a staff that knows the brand very well. And we have a lifetime guarantee! As time passes, if the swimsuit is damaged, we will repair it.
– That is incredible.
It is that we are aware of our quality and we answer for it. We have a polyamide that is patented and many parts of the design are made and sewn by hand. Maximum attention to detail.
Natalia, it has been a pleasure to share this little time with you and get to know this love story better.
Thanks a lot!