MILAN — Paul&Shark is ready to set sail on a different sea.
As it prepares for a rebranding later this year, the menswear specialist, whose DNA is rooted in its love of the sea and sustainability, made its first foray at Milan Fashion Week with an event to introduce its latest manifesto jacket, called “Re-Sail.”
“The project was born during a meeting with the sustainability team when we realized that already around 90 percent of our products come from either recycled or organic materials. However, as part of our commitment to step up our eco-mindset we acknowledged that the next frontier would be hitting the manufacturing process,” said Paul&Shark’s chief executive officer Andrea Dini.
Employing end-of-life sails sourced via its network of sail making specialists, the brand crafted one-of-a-kind jackets, setting the foundation for what’s next in the company’s green journey: upcycling.
“It’s hard to wear, kind of stiff,” the executive admitted, noting the project speaks primarily of company culture. A selection of Re-Sail outerwear, each jacket bearing numbers and fasteners related to the sail they were made from, is available at Paul&Shark flagships as part of the spring 2023 range.
Introducing its next green chapter at Milan Fashion Week reveals Paul&Shark’s ambition to evolve its DNA, softening its sailing message and embracing a more urban and casual aesthetic catering to a wider customer base.
“It’s not about disavowing our heritage, but rather a way to challenge ourselves,” Dini said. “It’s a long journey. We treasure our storied clients who are very much into the brand for how it looks today and need to be taken to newish territory,” he said.
The brand has been showing its seasonal collection at Pitti Uomo, and fall made no exception. The lineup was rich in garment-dyed knits and casually luxurious outerwear often done in cashmere, plus a selection of detachable layers to fit modern day needs for everyday pieces with functionality. Standouts included the T.W.J. 1954 aviator jacket bearing a plaid motif and eco-shearling collar.
“We’re still committed to Pitti Uomo as we see business has been picking up in the most recent, post-COVID-19 days, but our aim is to add new brand ‘experiences,’ including at fashion week,” Dini explained.
In 2022 the company’s revenues grew 18.5 percent compared to a year earlier, despite sales losing ground in Russia and China. In addition to Europe, its strongest market, the brand is seeing momentum in sub-Saharan Africa. Paul&Shark opened stores in The Congo and Ivory Coast and has plans to make a retail push in Angola, as well.
With a soon-to-be-announced new distribution partner in tow, Dini expects the U.S. to take off again, with a directly operated flagship in Miami part of the strategy.
A Paul&Shark unit will bow in London in the second half of the year, while New York City would be the main target in 2024. The brand has 154 stores, including franchised units.