As the days start to get shorter and the temperatures slowly begin to dip, now’s the time to start padding out your cold-weather wardrobe. And, for us, chief among the brands to consider when wrapping up is Paul&Shark, the family-owned Italian label that’s been at the forefront of luxury sportswear since its 1975 launch.
Started by Paolo Dini – the eldest son of Gian Ludovico, who owned Maglificio Dacò mill, which was known for having every aspect of production take place in-house, and, as a result, supplied Christian Dior and Balenciaga with its fabrics – following a sojourn to a sailmaker’s workshop in Maine, Paul&Shark is most celebrated for its use of innovative materials and patented technologies that are folded into its line of outerwear and water-repellent knits.
Driven by the ‘the pursuit of excellence in both the quality of materials and manufacturing,’ and taking its cues from the seas and oceans, it originally set out to enter the sports-fashion industry with a range that weaved influences from the worlds of yachting and outdoor life with concepts of performance and elegance. With this core DNA established, the label had purveyed its signature piece – a waterproof sailing pullover, known as the C0P918, that was packaged within a metal tube — within three years of existence.
In the decades since, the nautical-centric venture has blossomed its stock, becoming what it calls a ‘total-look brand’ that revolves around high-performing technical materials. At the time of publication, you’ll find the Save The Sea RE 4×4 Stretch Typhoon® Jacket, whose ‘re-goose’ down padding will provide optimum protection against the bitter elements; the Color Block Quilted Vest, which has a lightweight touch that belies the chunky silhouette; and the one-pleated Technical Wool Trousers.
Of course, given its associations with the open waters, Paul&Shark also has an eco slant, with a firm commitment to reducing its impact on the environment; notably, it draws heavily upon regenerated cotton, which is created by recovering pre- and post-consumer textile waste and, as a result, contributes to saving up to 61.6 per cent water when compared to virgin cotton.
Of late, Paul&Shark’s AW23 campaign is an all-Italian journey that puts brand ambassador and Bond actor Pierce Brosnan and his son, Paris, who has previously walked runways for Moschino and Balmain, at the front and centre. With the Tuscan hills and a bijou village as backdrops, the campaign is defined by shots of father and son in the small but precious moments of life: playing cards on a picnic blanket; taking in the pleasures of the outdoors; strolling through narrow streets. While the older Brosnan is seen showcasing soft cotton shirts and fine wool knitwear – items that symbolise his timeless aesthetic – the younger Brosnan is shot in more off-duty pieces, such as the label’s signature wool beanie.
For those based in the UK, fans of Paul&Shark will also be glad to know that the brand has dropped anchor on Regent Street, London.
To reflect its sustainable ethos, more than 80 per cent of the materials used within the flagship’s interiors – which span across two floors – are recycled and made using fabrics sourced from production waste. Perhaps the highlight of the space, which is heavy with light boxes, digital presences, wood panelling and LED walls, is its customisation area that has an embroidery machine that allows customers to personalise the items they’ve bought.
“After careful consideration, we managed to find a prestigious location in the heart of the shopping district, a space of nearly 250sq m, which perfectly reflects the DNA of the brand,” says Andrea Dini, CEO of Paul&Shark. “[It is] a skilful balance between heritage and innovation, keeping our core value in mind: sustainability.”
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