The latest addition to The Rake's SS19 complement
comes courtesy of Frescobol Carioca, the London-based,
Brazilian-inspired resortwear brand founded by lifelong
friends Harry Brantly and Max Leese. Launched in 2013 with just a
collection of beach bats, from which the brand takes its name, the
two former city financiers have turned an idea dreamt up on holiday
into a global business, boasting some of the most sophisticated and
thoughtfully designed beachwear in the world. We recently caught up
with Harry to discuss the brand's evolution from those early days
and how his native Brazil continues to inspire him today.
Tell us how the idea for
Frescobol Carioca came about and how it evolved from beach bats to
"Max and I came up with the idea
when we were on a surfing holiday on France’s west coast. We didn’t
actually spend much time surfing, instead we were playing with
these beautiful beach bats that were given to Max for his birthday
and people were really curious about the game, they would stare and
ask questions, that’s when we realised we had introduced Rio's
beach lifestyle to another part of the world. Essentially
transporting the spirit of Rio. We
really wanted to build a brand and knew that resort wear was a big
opportunity for us. At the time there was really only one brand
doing it in the menswear market- no supply but a lot of demand, so
we decided to do it ourselves."
How does Rio inform the design of
Frescobol Carioca resortwear and
"It's all about the
Cariocas’ attitude; they focus on spending time and having fun and
relaxing with their friends and family rather than working 24/7.
This is reflected in their very casual dress sense; you never know
where the day will take you! This informs and is reflected in our
pieces. We also look to a wide variety of local
‘Modernismo’ was based on Oscar Niemeyer’s works and ‘Jardim
Botânico’ on the colonial botanical gardens in Rio. Recently, for
example, we looked at Bossa Nova – we were inspired by the original
record covers from the 1950s/1960s albums – and Roberto Burle
Marx’s landscape architecture."
How was taking the leap from the city to starting a
Well, we quickly found that a lot
more that goes into running this kind of brand than Max and I, two
boys from finance, first imagined. I think maybe we moved into swim
and ready to wear very quickly, perhaps too quickly, and it took a
while to get right. But we hired the right people in the right
places and we knew that swimwear was ultimately the right road for
us. Now, our single greatest achievement is that we’ve developed an
aspirational lifestyle brand, with great imagery, great stores and
most importantly, great product. We are excited about developing
our range and moving towards resort and ready-to-wear.
How do you rate yourself at Frescobol?!
"I’d say my business partner Max definitely takes the top spot in
the office. Having played my whole life I can hold my own although
I haven’t yet been able to challenge the likes of Federer or Nadal.
The toughest “exhibition” games were actually when Max and I were
asked to play in our first few wholesale and
Press meetings when we
started the brand (think
narrow corridors at World Trade Centre and Selfridges!)."
Shop the first drop of Frescobol Carioca SS19 here