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Is there a white space in the ready-to-wear market for water-repellent T-shirts? Area, the New York-based label founded by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk in 2013, is betting on it. The brand, which specializes in textile manipulation and particularly embossing techniques, has teamed with Dropel Fabrics on a collection of unisex, hydrophobic cotton T-shirts for fall. The two companies came together in a “great minds think alike” sort of way: Beckett discovered Dropel after researching waterproof technologies because she was interested in increasing the performance aspect of the brand. “We are interested in how modern technology can enhance traditional techniques…to create something completely new,” Beckett said.

It’s the first rtw collaboration for New York-based Dropel, founded by Simardev Gulati and Bradley Feinstein. The company uses invisible nanotechnology to create water-, stain- and oil-repellent fabrics that are soft and breathable, and Gulati told WWD the collaboration was a natural fit. “We’ve seen the advancement of polyester and synthetics fibers for decades, but innovation in cotton and natural fabrics remain stagnate and ignored,” he said.

Beyond the novelty, the shirts are meant to be practical. “You won’t need to wash these T-shirts as often or worry about stains,” Beckett said. “The beauty of the Dropel technology is that it is undetectable, so it’s almost like an invisible shield on the material that you can’t see or feel.” Available in black, white and charcoal, the shirts will retail for $150 each exclusively on the new Area e-commerce site,, slated to launch in June.