The beach is probably the last place you’d expect to find punters wearing wool — but not anymore. French swimwear brand Vilebrequin this month announced it had incorporated Merino wool into its range for the first time, in partnership with The Woolmark Company. The pair have launched a set of three Merino wool swim shorts — certified with the Woolmark label — in time for the northern hemisphere summer. Vilebrequin is a French luxury brand specialising in swimwear and ready-to-wear for men and women. The brand promotes itself as a product of the joy, freedom and seductive charm of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera in the 1970s, where it opened its first store in 1971. It has a global presence in more than 62 countries. Vilebrequin played with the idea of a ‘suit made for swimming’, letting the quality and technical attributes of Woolmark-certified Super 120’s Merino wool from REDA’s Active collection shine through. AWI chief executive John Roberts said the partnership with Vilebrequin would help bring the sophistication of worsted tailoring to a new market for Australian wool. Vilebrequin chief executive Roland Herlory said Merino wool was eco-innovation, and was perfectly in line with Vilebrequin’s target to create 80 per cent of collections using exclusively sustainable fabrics and processes by 2023.