By Megan Quitkin
Updated July 13, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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European men’s bathing suits usually mean those unfortunate, ever-so-skimpy Speedos. That’s why the boxer-style trunks from Saint-Tropez’s Vilebrequin are such a pleasant surprise. The colorful, quick-drying shorts come in 150 patterns. Fans of the suits, which are available at Barneys N.Y. and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as at Vilebrequin shops, include Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, and Guy Ritchie, who bought matching elephant trunks for himself and baby Rocco. While company prez Thierry Prissert admits to pressure to launch a bikini line, he insists two-piece suits won’t happen. ”Women’s [fashion] is a totally different business, and we like being a specialty shop,” he says. Inventive ladies like Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Cyndi Lauper pick up the suits for themselves. ”Women pair our shorts with bikini or tank tops,” says Prissert. ”And when they’re in France, they just wear them alone.” Ooh la la.

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