LEISURE LETTER 17: A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT-TROPEZ

November 22 2020 – Dandy Del Mar

LEISURE LETTER 17: A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT-TROPEZ

LEISURE LETTER 17: A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT-TROPEZ

Nestled on the French Riviera between Marseille and Cannes, the now world renown Saint-Tropez spent most of its time throughout history as just another sleepy fishing village along the Mediterranean coastline.  

In the late 19th century, the village was "discovered" by painter Paul Signac who while traveling,  sought refuge from a storm in the town. Captivated by the surrounding beauty, he soon built a home there, where he hosted many prestigious artists of the time, including Henry Matisse.

Word soon spread of the idyllic bohemian hideaway on the French coastline to the fashion world. By the 1920s, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, among others, began to holiday there regularly.

The town's growing popularity halted with the second World War. After the allied victory, the harbor which had been destroyed was rebuilt and life again resumed.  

In 1953, Bernard de Colmont, a jack of all trades and documentary filmmaker, built three beach cottages for his family to holiday at on the pristine Pampelonne Beach. In front of the huts, (none of which had electricity or running water), under a bamboo thatched roof, the family placed a long wooden table in the sand where they would socialize with beach goers and host friends throughout the summer. 

In '55,  Bernard received a call from a production company interested in renting the cottages to house and feed the crew of an upcoming film. Without a business license and only a single burner gas stove in the kitchen, Bernard agreed, and the family hosted a crew of 80, all without them knowing that the modest establishment was merely their vacation home. 

The film premiered the next year featuring a captivating blonde in a new swim style called the Bikini. The blonde was Bridget Bardot and the film was Roger Vadim's And God Created Woman. With the release of the film, Saint-Tropez was put on the map, Bridget Bardot became an international star, and the pop up beach bar, which Bernard officially registered as Le Club 55, was the place to be. For the rich and famous and those seeking a life of leisure under the Riviera sun, Saint-Tropez was soon on their travel short list.

For a decade and a half, Saint-Tropez became where the who's who got away while still being seen. French film stars, musicians, and artists of the day spent their time lounging on the beaches, boating in the bay and partying on the town after dark.

Saint-Tropez was one of those places to be in time and space. It has its golden era where adults went to play excessively but with a cool and collected approach. It's an old town on a beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean coastline where art, culture and personalities went to intertwine and unwind.

So it's no wonder this iconic coast getaway became the main inspiration for our core mission, to live a life of leisure and have the wardrobe to match. The Tropez Collection seemed all too suiting for the name of our most popular pieces.

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