Shaper: Adam Brown

Based in London, Orlebar Brown was founded by Adam Brown and launched in March 2007 as a tailored approach to men’s swim shorts. OB Classic swim shorts remain the original and best ‘short you can swim in’, offering something you can wear on the beach or by the pool, yet smart enough to wear to lunch or for a drink. Based on the pattern of a pair of traditional men’s suit trousers, Orlebar Brown’s swim shorts were developed to feature a four-part shaped waistband, zip fly closure and side fasteners to adjust for the perfect fit.

In 2010, they progressed from beach to resort with a full range of holiday clothes that can also be incorporated into everyday wardrobes, including polos, chinos and shirts. In addition, they offer a Design Your Own service which enables you to create your own bespoke pair of photographic swim shorts using the #SnapShorts app in-store or online.

The flagship store in Notting Hill is the epitome of all things Orlebar Brown; from the five metre-high palm tree to the wall of hero shorts, the holiday feeling that is intrinsic to Orlebar Brown’s DNA is always visible.

2017 brought Orlebar Brown’s 10th Anniversary, marking a new chapter in the evolution of this British success story.


“I was getting no satisfaction from what I was doing”

“Pressure definitely drives you on… you have to make this work”

“I had absolutely no career path at all”

“I enjoyed doing stuff but there was nothing I particularly loved”

“I am the ultimate consumer”

“I thought ‘I am going to prove you wrong, I am going to try and make this happen’ “

“You’ve got to ask the right people, you clearly make so many mistakes and you do things very differently now to how you would then but it just gets you to a better place, it enables that progress to start happening”

“I used to go on the shop floor every Saturday and talk to customers”

“Listening to what customers thought when they put the product on was absolutely key to understanding how this might work” 

“You’ve got to take some risks”

“I had a very clear idea of what Orlebar Brown should look like and what Orlebar Brown should sound like”

“In the early days it wasn’t in any way planned, it was purely instinctive and I went with my gut”

“You’ve got to be aware of what you are good at and what you are not good at” 

“I had a very clear definition of success” 

“I am a story teller”

“If you are worried about stuff then you are going to make it better”