Known for its iconic nautical aesthetic, Italy's Paul&Shark entered the luxury sportswear sector with a collection inspired by the sea and the world of sailing.
With instantly recognizable archive styles, the brand's silhouettes are constructed for the high seas, resulting in a nuanced duality of high-performance features and versatility – making them perfect for everyday wear.
We spoke to brand CEO Andrea Dini about how the brand has evolved over the years, the concept behind its SS23 collection and its Sail the City project.
What was the initial concept behind the Paul&Shark brand? And How has that evolved over time?
Our FW22 campaign claims ‘Wear the Ocean’ and it fully encapsulates the concept behind the Paul&Shark philosophy. The water element is what inspired the brand, emphasizing Paul&Shark's commitment to making the world a better place by innovating its recyclable and circular processes.
Today, Paul&Shark is a contemporary lifestyle premium brand that adapts and transforms according to contexts.
We have a desire for performance and elegance with a relaxed and conscious attitude, alongside a measured attitude that takes inspiration from the sea.
If you could choose a person of interest (past or present) to be a muse/brand ambassador for Paul&Shark, who would it be and why?
Paul&Shark doesn’t identify with a single person. The brand has a strong sense of community that keeps growing, consolidating, and reverberating. In fact, our PITTI booth will be dedicated to our community of contributors, leveraging user-generated content to create a very special installation.
Please tell us more about the Sail the City project?
Sail the City is the project that better represents the mood of the SS23 collection and the Paul&Shark DNA. A one-of-a-kind jacket that integrates technology, outdoor inspiration, and contemporary urban style. Made of disused sails, we give new life to materials, recovering and reinventing them. The brand succeeds in giving the garment both a sports vocation and daily use.
What is the concept behind the SS23 collection?
Our SS23 collection is evolving towards circularity, in the everyday use of garments that become more beautiful the more they are worn. Our archive garments are reinterpreted and made contemporary, reaching a deeper meaning. Alongside the daily lifestyle concept, we incorporate the timeless elegance of linen, the versatility of marine-inspired garments and the inclusiveness of pure creativity.
What are the key pieces that you are most excited about from this collection and why?
We are presenting Dynamic Stretch as a modern uniform – a garment never to be abandoned. Dynamic Stretch is performance turned into elegance, a fusion of activewear and lifestyle, in terms of materials, design and use.
Can you talk us through the key silhouettes that define the collection?
Alongside contemporary circularity and dynamic garments enriched by elegance and performance, the SS23 collection proposes Resort Linen - a relaxed line with a conscious attitude. Pull 1983 finds new graphic contemporaneity in the aesthetic codes of the Archive garments, codes that belong to the most authentic DNA of the brand, reinterpreted and redefined. The Fisherman line features a sober attitude that comes from the sea and is cool in every situation. The Paul&Shark Fisherman brings a relaxed elegance to the city suggested by the sea.
What key element would you like people to take from this collection?
A new concept of circularity and contemporary, transversal lifestyle.
What was the biggest issue that you had to face during the design process for the new collection and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges we faced was the difficulty and, at times, inability to communicate with suppliers. However, we were able to adapt to a new way of operating, pushing and investing heavily in digital, which enabled us to quickly overcome this challenge.
What's next for the brand?
Paul&Shark has an important opening and reopening plan that has already involved several countries and key locations. Our new store concept is characterized by elegant and refined furnishing and display elements, conceived to maximize multimedia services for the benefit of customers. Recent reopenings include the prestigious boutiques in Via dei Condotti in Rome and Forte dei Marmi – Dubai is coming soon.
What are you looking forward to at PITTI?
The sense of community is exactly what Paul&Shark is going to celebrate at PITTI. We look forward to dedicating a special installation specifically designed for the event.