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Marc Schwartz
Not all swim trunks are created equal. Case in point: Vilebrequin’s new 40th Anniversary Edition Swimsuit, limited to just 2,100 pairs that ring up at a cool $550 each. What exactly goes into a swimsuit that costs more than the average car payment, you might ask? To find out, we tracked down Zaza de Brito, the Italian designer behind the famous French brand. From the outset, the inspiration was “to celebrate the quintessential Vilebrequin prints and create a swim trunk ‘photo album’ of our signature and unique prints from over the years — a mini retrospective of Vilebrequin,” de Brito says. “We simply could not have done the anniversary print with the traditional method.” So, instead of using their standard four-ply polyester drawstrings, which can withstand four metric tons of stress, de Brito opted for 100 percent cotton ones capped with engraved tips of antiqued Zamak, a zinc alloy, “to give the garment a more vintage look.” Most important for achieving the expressive photo album design, though, was going beyond Vilebrequin’s cylinder print method — which allows for up to 12 colors (as seen on their iconic Moorea suits, now available in more than 70 color/print combos) — for a special 17-color ink-jet method. As such, the patchwork design deftly reproduces the pastel flora and fauna (including flowers, fruits, salamanders, pelicans, kangaroos and the sea turtle from the original logo) from its most iconic suits dating back to 1971, when the brand’s founder famously crafted the first pair from a checkered tablecloth at a Saint-Tropez’s Café Sénéquier. Named for the French word meaning “crankshaft,” Vilebrequin has come to define boho beach luxury over the past four decades, and with the addition of a new sunglasses line, an expanded sportswear collection for spring and these plush beach bombers, odds are they’ll continue to define it for years to come. www.vilebrequin.com



Three other luxe limited-edition trunks that won’t (quite) break the bank

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Katin Apolis striped chambray swim trunk $128, www.apolisglobal.com


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Sundek x Neil Barrett Camo Trunks $154, www.sundekusa.com
Alex Rogers


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Orlebar Brown editions Dogs bulldogs $285, www.orlebarbrown.com
Pete Webb