I got the chance to interview one of the best dressed men in the industry not because he wears his own collection, but he manages to dress in a way that is comfortably interesting and effortlessly chic.
Have you ever pulled on a pair of beach shorts that made you look twenty pounds heavier - the kind that balloons out from the back as if you're wearing bloomers from the 30s?
(Oliver Tomalin, founder of Love Brand & Co. Photo by The Fashion Ache)
Oliver Tomalin, founder of Love Brand & Co., shares why looking good at the beach with the right pair of shorts is the only key to standing out in a sea of tacky board shorts.
(Oliver Tomalin, founder of Love Brand & Co.)
Tell me about your personal style.
Classic, colourful and cool. (I wish, that’s what I hope people would say about
my style, sadly they would probably say, ‘quite normal really’.
Someone well dressed as you, what would we find a lot in your closet?
Summer stuff. Lots of Love Brand’s (Trunks), linen shirts and espadrilles.
Sounds like a perfect summer uniform! Among linen shirts, espadrilles and shorts, what is the one item of clothing in your wardrobe that best represents you?
Difficult question…lets go with the espadrilles. Originally from France, like me,
much better in the sun than in the rain, very like me and my mood, and smelly
after a while, hopefully not so like me and they are timeless, not to say I am
timeless but I think my wardrobe is. I like to limit my wardrobe to essentials
that I love and that I know I will still love in 10, 20, 30 years time…and have
them in as many colours as possible.
What things would there be in your bag?
I don’t generally carry a bag with me but if I did, it would have a camera and
an ipod in it, I love music and taking photos. And an idock, I want one of
Growing up in France, what do you love most it?
I didn’t grow up in France. My families origins and my name is from France. I
was born in Hong Kong and when I was young I lived in New Zealand and
Japan and the Middle East. I loved the opportunity to travel and see a bit of
the world. I love to travel, I think one of my favorite places in the world to be is
in an airplane seat, everything I love is happening or going to happen soon.
Movies, Food, Wine, Shopping and then a sunny place, hopefully.
(Oliver in Thailand)
What inspired you to launch Love Brand & Co.?
Lots of companies retro-fit social responsibility, it was important to me to start
a company that places socially responsibility at its core. So instead of selling
lots of product, scratching heads and picking a charity to give a donation to, I
start with the charity and the product, together, before I have even made a
prototype. This is what I call bisociation or concept blending. The product
becomes a vehicle for raising active awareness for the charity as well as
donations and in turn the charitable cause too enriches our products. For
example with my first concept “Trunks for Trunks” - swimming trunks for
endangered Asian elephants, I designed our men’s trunks with elephant tusk
shaped aglets for the drawstring ends, this is a special detail that symbolizes
the cause the product is in aid of.
When I was deciding on the Love Brand Bisociation of the men’s classic
swimwear collection, I chose elephants not because I was an elephant
enthusiast as such at the time, it was because I read an article about the
Elephant Parade in London, the charity Elephant Family really inspired me
and it just clicked – ‘Trunks for Trunks’ It’s fun, it makes sense, it’s
memorable. Also I wanted to use the elephant as the identity of Love Brand &
Co. as a label, so it made sense to start by supporting the animal we use in
motif form. In terms of company ethic also, we like to share a similar nature to
elephants, never forgetting, iconic and (hopefully) big but friendly! It is only
since starting all this, I have truly fallen in love with elephants and could
perhaps consider myself an enthusiast.
Your brand was a huge success in the UK, India, Spain, Maldives,
Mauritius and Bahamas. Any plans expanding in Asia?
We have launched this year with relatively niche distribution channels,
starting in a few of the worlds best resort hotels and boutiques. Next year
we want to bring Love Brand & Co. to the high street more selling at the
worlds top department stores, including in Asia. The big dream is also to
one day open a series of stand alone concept boutiques, again this would
be amazing to do somewhere in Asia.
What was your inspiration for this season’s collection?
This season’s Trunks for Trunks collection is classic in style with some
nautical stripes and pastel blocks, the prints are also classic or simply good
fun, like the Lady birds or Cherries. But even these brighter and bolder prints
derive from vintage French originals. All our prints are limited editions also
and can be checked out at lovebrand.com
Who would you want to see wearing Love Brand and Co.?
To be honest, every time I see someone wearing Love Brand’s it gives me the
same absolutely amazing feeling.