For many of us, James Bond provided an introduction to the thrills of luxury. The cinematic icon’s impeccable taste has spurred trends for everything from Vesper martinis (you know how he likes them) to Dupont lighters and Globetrotter luggage. On this website alone, there are over thirty stories dedicated to how 007’s on-screen influence has intersected with brands outside of the theater. While purchasing an Aston Martin or an Omega watch can be a considerable investment, it’s not so hard to look like Bond—or at least dress like him. It’s even easier thanks to brands like Orlebar Brown.
The British clothier returns, much like Bond himself, for another round of action this summer. Following two previous collaborations, the latest Orlebar Brown 007 collection launches today and is fittingly anchored around aquatic elements from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Thunderball and Dr. No. It’s an apt choice. After all, the brand’s first appearance in a Bond film was in Skyfall when Daniel Craig donned a classic pair of OB trunks. It’s a moment that the brand’s co-founder and creative director Adam Brown tells Robb Report was “pivotal” and clearly serves as a continued inspiration.
“Many of the scenes that we could pick [from] have been around the water—whether it’s around the sea, or around a pool or on a boat,” Brown recalled on recent Zoom call. “It just has those moments that are relevant to Orlebar Brown. With the last phase, it was very much about the theater—it was the onesie, it was The Man with the Golden Gun green jacket. This is a far more subtle, wearable collection, which I’m really pleased about.”
As a whole, this collaboration pays homage to 007 at his most understatedly elegant: breezy camp-collar shirts, a sleek Harrington jacket and one particularly suave knit silk tee. Many of the items use linen as their base, including a handsome suit that marks uncharted territory for the brand. “We’ve never really done one before,” says Brown. “To go into that really tailored, suiting-type thing was really an evolvement for us.”
While the brand uses historic Bond looks for inspiration, Brown stresses that it’s not as simple as just taking a costume and copying it whole cloth. “It’s tweaks…Inspiration definitely has to come from the Bond film. What you can’t do is just reproduce those items [without] an understanding of where things should sit or hang on the body.”
For as subtle as much of the collection is, there are a few pieces that carry Bond’s bravado. Two pairs of swim trunks are emblazoned with striking vintage poster art from Live and Let Die and Dr. No, making a graphic statement. Those trunks, when taken alongside the rest of the collection, yields an interesting juxtaposition: a bold swagger and a refined sense of debonair that is quintessentially 007. In many ways, those are key aspects of Orlebar Brown too. “The partnerships that don’t work are those where you don’t have shared values or a shared philosophy,” says Brown. “With Bond, there’s always been a natural, easy fit.”