Travel holds a special place in Christian Blanchet’s heart.
It was on a solo trip to Southeast Asia in 2017 that the veteran of Theory, Mackage and Macy’s Inc. realized how open and connected he became when he was outside of his regular routine. And that’s where the seed was planted for his first foray into design.
“I really connected with strangers and felt more present,” he said. “And coming out of COVID[-19], I knew that no one needs another product, but we all need connections.”
What that led to was the creation of Marèa Maréa, which translates to “tide” in Spanish, a swimwear offering created from sustainably sourced material from Portugal and manufactured in Long Island City, N.Y.
Blanchet, a onetime professional golfer who is getting his MBA at NYU, said he’d long been inspired by creatives in fashion and other industries and sought to create something all his own. With travel as his inspiration, he settled on resortwear and decided to start with swimwear. So he spent a year designing and creating a swim trunk for guys that was “luxurious but versatile,” he said, with a relaxed fit and a tailored aesthetic that could work in the ocean as well in a restaurant.
The trunk is available in two colors and is made from Seaqual, a fabric created from recycled marine plastics. “I’m not marketing it as sustainable,” he said, “but if you’re launching something in 2022 and it’s not sustainable, you shouldn’t even show up.”
The trunk will retail for $190 and be sold directly to consumers on an e-commerce site that launched Sunday night. It will be promoted through social media and email.
Blanchet said his long-term goal for Marèa Maréa is to eventually create a full “travelwear” collection with “clothes for the modern-day explorer.”