For a brand which will be celebrating 40 years in the business, there’s actually very little out there about the Italian label Paul & Shark. I’m going to try and rectify that today. I have a huge soft spot for this brand – perhaps because of my deep appreciation for anything timeless – but mainly due to the respect I hold for any company that can keep consistently producing quality and style after 4 decades. Impressive stuff.
For those who are uninitiated into the Paul & Shark club, I’ll lay down the basics for you in 10 tidy points:
1. It was founded in 1975 by Gian Ludovico Dini.
2. It’s 100% Italian. Everything is made there. From the yarn to the packing process, it’s all done at home.
3. It’s a privately owned family business with Andrea Dini – 3rd generation – at the helm.
4. Gian Ludovico’s eldest son Paolo was the one behind the company’s name. Finding himself in a small sailmaker’s shop in Maine, he found an old sail which was inscribed with the words ‘Paul&Shark’. Paolo and the shark. Name sorted.
5. It’s inspired by the world of sailing.
6. it’s sold in 73 countries across the globe with stores sitting on some of the world’s top shopping streets. All in good company.
7. Comprises of sportswear, smart-casual and luxury lines.
8. They’re innovators. Just like Stone Island, they focus on creating technical fabrics that are both functional and stylish.
9. In ’78 their now iconic COP918 pullover was introduced, kicking off a successful line of water repellent knitwear.
10. It’s THE Italian luxury lifestyle brand.
So there are the basics but to really know the brand you’ve got to give it a try. It may look plain but it’s all about the quality and innovation that’s been put into it – take a look at the details. Any brand that is 100% made in Italy is always going to have ‘quality’ stamped all over it, but beyond that it’s the fabric technology that makes it worthy of the luxury labelling. Water repellent knitwear? That’s a pretty good idea, you have to admit.
Who’s does Paul & Shark appeal to? Well anyone who has an appreciation for the more casual but elegant style. I personally think that P&S is the perfect weekend wear, replacing the suit and tie for something more casual and comfortable. It also seems pretty fitting for holidays, both winter and summer – especially if you plan on spending time on a boat/ship/yacht.
Just like Ralph Lauren has it’s preppy polo players, Paul & Shark has it’s European luxury sailing boats – or at least the people who sail them. It’s about the lifestyle that they’re representing, and it looks pretty damn good from here.
Check out the new season’s collection so far here