Taking Bondi boardies abroad: an interview with Venroy

There are two types of designers in this industry: those who worship their customers and design solely for what they want, and others who design for themselves and take a risk for the popularity of the designs amongst the masses.

This young Australian duo, from the label Venroy, fits in the latter category, and they’re not ashamed of it.

An Australian summer lifestyle has created much hype in the travel industry, but Venroy is determined to uplift the disdained image of Australian beachwear. Especially when it comes to everything unrelated to bikinis. This time, the men are here to do the talking.

venroy mens swimwear

Click the thumbnails for full pictures:
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11
Venroy Men's Swimwear '11

Call them the male version of Victoria’s Secret, if you may, but these boys are gladly sipping man-drinks in the sun with slicked hair and nice shoes. Always, nice shoes!

Taking men’s swimwear to an escalated level of luxury in its yearlong span of running a successful business, Venroy has already created a buzz amongst famous Hollywood stars and international fashion buyers.

A label that was initially launched for personal reasons, today it has sent its designers Theo Smallbone and Sean Venturi on a worldwide fame tour.

Proving themselves to be an epitome of true Australian blokes, they said: “We were both really into our board short collections and we could only get so far… (Venroy) started off as an initial idea on a car trip home from an arvo swim on Bondi beach”.

As of today, Venroy is accustomed to bulk orders from top boutiques in Los Angeles, New York, Montreal and Tokyo. But for the future, the aim is to spread Venroy across every continent, as products are in the development stages for launches in Europe and Asia.

Theo and Sean have a chat with Fashionising.com and discuss the novelty of board shorts in an international market.

For a market that’s currently inundated with board shorts, what makes Venroy stand out?

It’s difficult to find prints that aren’t Hawaiian tropic themed or plain block stripes. But Venroy’s digitally sublimated prints have a focus on texture.

Our collection of summery pastels offers more diverse alternatives to standard block colours. Venroys have a tailored clean cut that sits mid-thigh using a peach face quick dry polyester which makes it easier to dress the shorts with button-up shirts and closed shoes, straight from the pool.

Men’s fashion in Australia is often blamed for being too partial towards board shorts. Do you see that as a threat for your label?

The saturation of below-the-knee surf specific boardies is definitely letting a lot of lads down. More than anything we see this is an opportunity rather then a threat – our shorts are a quality, above-the-knee, tailored cut short with a focus on versatility.

What made you dive into the market overseas and launch in the U.S?

We headed off to the U.S for holiday and took the shorts with us. We had a really positive reaction, so a three-week holiday turned into a seven-month stint in LA, as we launched Venroy at the yanks!

As designers, what do you think makes Australian swimwear different from the rest of the world?

An Australian summers day can involve the pool, beach, bar and everywhere in-between, we have designed Venroy to be with you from start to finish. This summer culture provides Australian designers with the requirements to create strong, high quality pieces that are suited to this lifestyle.

Your designs are famous for steering away from the usual beach cut of long hem and really baggy silhouette. What was the reason behind that?

Our shorts have a tailored cut which suit flexible summer living. We design our shorts to suit the lifestyles that we lead, living in our Venroys pretty much all year long thanks to the time we spend in the US northern summer during our winter. Theo sometimes even sleeps in them.

Why are Venroy board shorts tagged as being “luxurious”?

Due to their quality and the technical aspect to their design… It takes 9 different Japanese Juki machines to stitch together each pair of Venroys. Our prints are digitally sublimated, all trimmings are synthetic and all manufacturing occurs at a half-an-hour drive from Bondi Beach – meaning we have complete oversight of the entire production process of our shorts.

What the inspiration behind the spring/summer 2011/12 (for Southern Hemisphere) collection?

Inspiration was found in rough textures and detailed Turkish tiles, similar to what one might find whilst lounging by the pool. 
Our Solids collection was heavily influenced by the need to look good on the street – not just with thongs (or flip-flops).

For a look at Venroy‘s 2011/2012 swimwear range for men, click on the gallery above.

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Shitika Anand is a freelance journalist, based in Sydney, who is addicted to coffee, vintage boutiques, bright-glitzy earrings and British stand-up comedy. Her bank account weeps every time she walks out of a shoe shop, but her shoe rack throws a 'welcome home' party for the new member. Her undying love for words is obvious when she narrates her entire life story to a stranger on the train. Which is partly the reason she's resorted to writing. When not blogging, she can be found in a corner of her nearest bookshop, hiding under a monstrous pile of international fashion magazines. You can read more of her work on her personal site, Sweet Dreams in my world.