Have you ever scribbled an idea down on a napkin? Maybe an idea for a business venture, or possibly a name for your up-and-coming band? (We’ve all been there.) Well LOVE BRAND & Co. co-founder Oliver Tomalin has: and he’s never looked back. On his first date with his now wife, Rose (the other co-founder of LOVE BRAND & Co.), Tomalin designed the brand’s logo — two elephants forming a heart — on a napkin. And the rest, as they say, is history.
LOVE BRAND & Co.’s vibrant, luxurious swim and resort wear comprises colourful linens, beachwear and swimming trunks — all sporting iconic prints hand drawn by Tomalin — and it’s become a summer staple in our wardrobes ever since its conception in 2010, while raising awareness of the importance of protecting, preserving and respecting the natural world. This year, LOVE BRAND & Co. are ready to celebrate the great British summer — think partying lobsters at The Goring, and a reopened Chelsea flagship store in the form of a tropical oasis — and Gentleman’s Journal, for one, is ready to celebrate right along with them.
‘Somewhere Under The Sea’: the SS21 collection is a magical marine journey
The Tomalins kicked the brand off with a promise to elephants, in the form of their aptly-named ‘Trunks for Trunks’ mission: a promise to fight for the space that elephants need to survive. This promise has always manifested in LOVE BRAND’s clothing: have you ever come across the iconic Elephant Dance, or Eye Of The Tiger prints? They were inspired by the stories of endangered species that need recognition — and the brand’s commitment to the natural world is as present as ever in their SS21 collection.
This season’s clothing takes wearers on a magical marine journey under the sea. The line was inspired by the Tomalins’ love for the Bahamas: and those blissful Bahamian waters are visibly discernible in the colour palettes and the geometric motifs across the linen shirts (GOTS certified organic, no less) and swimming shorts (made from recycled plastic, naturally). We don’t usually go in for favourites, but we’d have to make an exception here for the father and son matching shorts. LOVE BRAND & Co. are committed to encouraging the next generation to get involved with conservation from an early age, and what better way to start than with a celebratory homage to the natural world?
The Star Gazing print pays homage to the day the Tomalins visited the Starfish Beach in the Exuma Caves, with patterns of the ‘White Finger’ starfish nestled in the deep blue shadows on the seafloor. The Ray Writing print — subtly containing the word ‘love’ — helps raise awareness of the 150,000 Manta Rays killed annually for their gills, and draws attention to the brand’s 2021 partnership with charity WildAid. The Octopus Kiss print appears in hues of hot pink and ocean blue, playfully arranged with kisses — those swimming trunks have ‘party’ written all over them.
'Star Gazing' Staniel Swim Short
'Ray Writing' Manjack Linen Shirt
'Octopus Kiss' Staniel Swim Short
And then there’s the Shark Sanctuary print: an in-store exclusive, this print was inspired by the creation of The WildAid Bahamas Shark Sanctuary in 2011, which provided a much-needed sanctuary for the overly threatened sharks (more than 70 species are currently at risk of extinction). In the print, sharks decked out in a cheerful Bahamas Blue are repeated in a way that creates the illusion of rows of jaws from the sharks’ fins. Possibly not a print for anyone still traumatised by Jaws; but certainly one for anyone with a penchant for helping marine wildlife.
‘The Lungs Of The Sea’: a mission to protect Posidonia Seagrass
Are you familiar with Posidonia Seagrass? If not, we’d assume that — as the sustainably minded, environmentally conscientious gentleman we have no doubt you are — you’d be looking to fill in this gap in your marine-biological knowledge. Luckily for you, we know all about it: thanks to LOVE BRAND & Co., and their collaboration with Nobu Ibiza Bay and IbizaPreservation.
The Posidonia Seagrass meadows are endemic to the Mediterranean, and they’re generally known as the ‘lungs of the sea’ — that’s how important they are, gents. They’re one of the most effective carbon sinks in the world, and they can soak up up to 15 times more carbon dioxide than a similar sized area of the Amazon Rainforest. That’s a lot of carbon dioxide.
LOVE BRAND & Co., Nobu Ibiza Bay and IbizaPreservation are several steps ahead of most of us; they’ve teamed up to campaign for the Posidonia Seagrass ecosystem that’s vital to the health of our planet. And not a moment too soon; around 34% of the delicate Balearic seagrass meadows have been destroyed, thanks to climate change, marine pollution and uncontrolled boat anchoring.
To keep people talking about seagrass all summer long (and beyond), LOVE BRAND & Co. have created an exclusive collection comprising signature swim shorts, a linen shirt and a Panama hat: all sporting a bespoke ‘Sea Weave’ print, designed by Oliver Tomalin. The design draws from the aqua hues of the sea and the deep blues of the seagrass shadows, and has a markedly soothing effect just upon a first viewing. The print is available exclusively at Nobu Ibiza Bay, the Almacen Boutique and LOVE BRAND & Co. stores, and all proceeds from the sales will go towards protecting Posidonia Seagrass.
The reopened Chelsea flagship store will be the destination of the summer
If you’ve ever hunted for a tropical oasis in the heart of London, you can stop searching now. LOVE BRAND & Co.’s Chelsea-based flagship store is exactly that: and it caters to all your summer needs, from sustainable beachwear to sipping coffee under a palm tree. That’s right: a palm tree. So stop fretting about vaccine passports: if you’re aching to get to the beach, just head on down to Chelsea.
Of course, if you’re looking to shop for beachwear, you should stay put on the ground floor, where you can find the aforementioned men and boys’ SS21 collection.
At the bar (of course there’s a bar) you can sip on one of the most eco-conscious cups of coffee in town, made from ‘El Calapo’ coffee beans and served in 100% recyclable cups: if you’re debating whether or not you fancy a coffee, perhaps you’ll be swayed in favour of the caffeine if we tell you that with every purchase, 1% goes towards helping elephants and other endangered species. Once you’ve bought a coffee and helped an elephant, you can head on out to the Coffee Garden at the back of the store. Rife with palm trees, parasols and upholstered chairs, it’ll probably make you wonder why you ever pay to travel abroad when you could just hop on over to Chelsea.
This is a brand that celebrates love, life and summertime
We’ve already waxed lyrical about the jubilant, celebratory print that LOVE BRAND & Co. are bringing to The Goring this summer: the “Party Like A Lobstar” print will bring a hearty splash of the Cornish coast to the renowned London hotel, and we couldn’t be happier. The exclusive print sees dancing lobsters and swaying palm trees decked out in hues of aqua blue and pastel green, and it’ll adorn every conceivable linen surface at the Goring Garden: from napkins to aprons. If we know fun (and we like to think we do), we’d bet good money that this print will bring smiles, chuckles and riotous, uninhibited frivolity to the Lobster & Fizz Garden this summer.
If all goes well (touch wood), this summer will be a summer of joy, love, fun and laughter: a great British summer, if ever there was one. And LOVE BRAND & Co. will be at your side every step of the way. Whether that’s decking you out with the perfect pair of the swimming shorts for a dip in the pool, or a jubilant linen shirt for all those garden parties; whether it’s an immersion in a Chelsea-based tropical paradise, or in a summer garden filled with partying lobsters — LOVE BRAND & Co. know how to do summer. If you want to do summer right this year, we’d advise taking them up on their invitation to get involved. We have a feeling you won’t regret it.