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Chanel acquires British men's swimwear brand Orlebar Brown

Lauretta Roberts
28 September 2018

Chanel has acquired British men's swimwear brand Orlebar Brown for an undisclosed sum from its investors including founder Adam Brown and private equity house Piper.

The label will sit alongside's Chanel's existing luxury swimwear brand Eres and will continue to be run by Brown and chief executive Paul Donoghue.

Originally launched as an online only brand in 2007, Orlebar Brown now has 24 stores and more than 250 wholesale accounts globally. It also has a legion of celebrity fans from Daniel Craig to Leonardo Di Caprio.

As a ‘digital native’ brand, Orlebar Brown will enable Eres to strengthen its digital expertise and optimize its omnichannel distribution strategy.

Chanel chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux

Chanel sees a number of synergies between the brand and Eres, which it has owned since 1996.“This acquisition represents an ideal opportunity for synergy between Orlebar Brown and Eres. As a ‘digital native’ brand, Orlebar Brown will enable Eres to strengthen its digital expertise and optimize its omnichannel distribution strategy. Orlebar Brown, on the other hand, will benefit from the retail experience and expertise of a long-standing player in high-quality beachwear," said Chanel chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux.

Orlebar Brown is believed to have sales of around £25m (whereas the Chanel group turns over $10bn) and last summer it appointed advisers Cavendish Corporate Finance to explore funding options. Brown said the business had found "the perfect home for the brand to continue to thrive and grow" in Chanel.

While Orlebar Brown is best known for its swimwear it has, latterly, been branching out to become a more fully fledged lifestyle brand.

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