For a lot of guys, the swimwear they don while hitting the beach or the pool is largely an afterthought. After all, the beach is a bastion of all things casual, right? Well, yes & no. There’s an important difference between casual and careless; it’s those degrees of design that decide whether your style leaves you awash in a sea of lookalikes, or a standout. This is why Theo Smallbone and Sean Venturi (pictured above) came together to form Venroy Australia, a label creating swimwear that seamlessly combines both fashion AND function. Thoughtfully designed, colorful and perfectly cut, their signature pieces are the perfect way to upgrade your summer look.
Q: With your expansion from the Australian market into the U.S., did you approach anything differently? IE: is there a Venroy “Australia” & a Venroy “America”?
A: One of the first days I spent in LA a couple winters ago I was out at Venice, some guy was walking around (it was obvious he was pretty drunk), screamed out “Fuckin Aussies!” at me. I asked him how he knew we where Australian and he said because of our tight jeans. Since then I have been pretty alert to some key differences between the Australian and American markets. For the states we initially dropped the shorts a little in length, which we are trying to ween you guys off of by slowly creeping up higher and higher! Chicks dig guys in short shorts!!”
Q: For a lot of guys, shorts (especially those for swimming) are a casual afterthought, what makes Venroy stand out over any other boardshort?
A: The focus of Venroy is on summer living, whether it be at the beach, pool, or at a bar – our shorts are lifestyle trunks that embrace this transition of functionality. We use a digital printing process called sublimation, where our prints are converted from dye and bound to our peach face polyester in a gas state. This means that we can develop really intricate prints that create a realistic, textured image – like our worn Turkish tile print. Comparatively, mainstream boardshorts are almost exclusively available in flat vector prints with no depth of field.
Q: What has your inspiration been for this seasons offerings?
A: We get a lot of inspiration from architecture, so we have included patterns like mosaic tile prints right through to a textured wood paneling. With our solid colorway pieces, we like to keep it within a summery pastel palette. The architectural inspiration is tied in with the focus on the durability of our swimwear. We live in our boardshorts, we know what goes wrong with them – where they are most likely to stress, where prints are most likely to fade or fray. We have countered this through various techniques: selection of fabrics, hardware, printing and dyeing. It takes 9 different types of Japanese ‘Juki’ sewing machines to construct our shorts.
Q: What is the first thing a guy will notice when he tries on a pair of your shorts?
A: Definitely our soft fabric and attention to detail. Our shorts have a more tailored above-the-knee cut. Not too short, not too long and not too tight. Comfort is also a huge factor which is noticeable straight away. Our core range has an elasticised waistband which means its easy to move between sizes so if you want a little tighter you can drop down a size or if you want a looser fit go up a size. Our in-built undies are designed so that you dont have to wear briefs to the pool. You can jump out of the water and be dry in 20 minutes ready for the next plan of attack.”
Q: What are your plans for the Venroy brand over the coming seasons?
A:We are working hard on organically growing Venroy’s awareness and distribution within the US. There aren’t really any other Australian Men’s swim lines that have set up shop over here, and we do have a unique style, so we want to make sure that we develop the brand while maintaining its integrity. We have developed swim associated apparel like Polos and tanks…but the focus still is our swimwear.
Q: What’s the response been from the American market?
A: We have had a really strong response from the US market. We launched through Fred Segal as our first retailer and are seeing hugely positive feedback. At the beginning of last year Theo and I where out here on a holiday for 3 weeks celebrating a successful season in Australia (our summer is your winter). We saw the potential of the US market and were really moved by what could be done here. Its a slow transition from longer below the knee boardshorts to above the knee, but once guys are comfortable with a shorter length they see that its a better option from a comfort perspective, but also as a more refined look”
Q: Lastly, Beach or Pool, & what’s the drink you have in your hand when you’re there?
A:Salt water can cure anything. We stick to beers in the sun.
Words to live by. You can purchase Venroy swimwear online here, or at these select stockists. Also, the boys were kind enough to set us up with a pair of their shorts, so expect a detailed review next week!
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