Adam Brown of Orlebar Brown on collaborating with James Bond 007

Orlebar Brown 007

Orlebar Brown is set to release a new James Bond ready-to-wear capsule collection in SS19. In an interview on the From Tailors With Love podcast, hosted by yours truly and Matt Spaiser, author of the blog The Suits of James Bond, the founder of Orlebar Brown, Adam Brown, revealed that there will be a “phase two” to the already successful 007 Printed Shorts Collection, which launched this season.

The fortnightly podcast talks exclusively about the Style of James Bond and is available to download on iTunes and Stitcher. In the latest episode Adam Brown talks about his relationship with the EON franchise and how Sean Connery’s Bond was on the mood boards from day one of the design process.

Adam Brown, please tell what was it like getting that phone call from EON asking if you wanted to be involved in the movie franchise?

It came completely out of the blue, we had no idea the request was going to arrive. The whole thing happened by pure luck. A call came in from a PR company, we sent in some shorts, and the selection was made by the stylist with Daniel (Craig) having some input as well. It was very fortuitous for us that the selection was made.

Did you go the premiere?

We took the team for a work outing to the cinema and watched it in the first week it came out. I’ve always been a Bond fan – can’t say I know every scene from every film, I’m not one of those, but a picture of Sean Connery in baby blue towelling in some of the beach scenes were on the original mood boards when I first had the idea for Orlebar Brown (OB).

There’s always been a relationship between Bond and OB, an incredible alignment, whether it’s English symmetry, being internationally tailored, the way he dresses with that sense of fun, slight irony, humour; all the characteristics that we were trying to bring alive in OB were prevalent in James Bond.

How does a partnership like this come about?

It starts off with a random conversation in a pub: “Right let’s try and make this happen, let’s put a phone call in. Let’s talk to EON.” Then lots of conversations. What does the partnership look like? The design process is relatively straight forward. Very early on we wanted to do the artwork for the film.

We’re known for our photographic prints; for the swim shorts we felt this project was about the theatre and the illustrations, the posters that were used to advertise each film. So once you go into that, it’s then a case of getting all the different countries that were free to interpret the artwork for that country. There isn’t a single poster or type of artwork for every film.

Were you tempted to go for six designs representing the six different Bonds?

I was more tempted to go to three shorts. I found the more you edit down the better it is. Too much choice dilutes the project as a whole, and confuses the customer.

Is it easy to divorce yourself from emotion and nostalgia when working on a commercial venture like this?

It has to work commercially. Even if it was my favourite film, it might not be appropriate artwork. The representation of women and guns that was totally acceptable in the 1960s is unlikely to be seen in that way today.

Are you going to be involved in Bond 25 at all?

There are conversations and it would be amazing to be included. There is a phase two of the project that will be launching in spring next year that will include hero pieces from the films, reinterpreted for all our ready to wear – jackets, polo shirts etc. Then we’ll see what will happen with the film.

To listen to the full interview head over to iTunes and subscribe to the From Tailors With Love Podcast.

Peter Brooker

Peter is the Editor of From Tailors With Love, an online blogging site dedicated to classic cinema style from films we love. Originally from Cambridge he now spends most of his time on a plane or in the hub of humanity, London - where he stays up to date, and sometimes ahead, of fashion and style.