Fashion
How To Stay Waterproof This Typhoon Season
Combining technical expertise with innovative fabrics, Paul&Shark makes a splash.
IMAGE Paul & Shark
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Paul&Shark, the Italian luxury “athleisure” brand, presented its newest clothing lines in a novel but appropriate manner, bringing select groups on a short cruise to experience firsthand the ethos of the label. As the private yacht pulled away from the dock, models showed off the latest styles dominated by the brand’s signature nautical themes. Raymond de Malherbe, Paul&Shark’s regional managing director for Asia Pacific, was also onboard, taking guests through the finer points of the collection as well as the brand’s history.


A model in a nylon jacket and Heritage denim pants.

As Malherbe tells it, the Dini family had been in the milling business under the name Dama S.p.A for many years—supplying many luxury brands, including Christian Dior and Balenciaga, with knitted goods—but it was only in 1976 that they started manufacturing clothes for themselves. The brand name the company settled on was the idea of Paolo Dini. In the 1970s, on a visit to a sailmaker’s workshop in Maine, he came across the sail of an 18th-century ship. It read “Paul&Shark,” and Dini took that as fate, a sign from above. Malherbe admits that the name is a little confusing (“some people have the impression that we’re a British brand”) but stresses that once they get to know more, they’ll see that it’s always been proudly made in Italy. Andrea, Paolo’s son, now runs the company.

From the start, the brand has staked its name on the quality of its garments and its technical expertise, coming up with innovations that make them essentials for yachting enthusiasts, but with enough style to be worn even in the city. There are coats and blazers fashioned out of waterproof fabrics, nylon windbreakers that are nearly waterproof thanks to a special weaving technique, and trench coats that are not only water-repellent but unbelievably light. The brand’s pique shirts have also been updated, now bearing the trendier slim-cut shape. Despite its innovations, the brand hasn’t turned its back on tradition, as its knitwear offerings still feature luxurious weaves from cashmere, silk, linen, and special cotton. The difference is, some of these garments have also been treated with high-tech, nonpolluting molecules that provide water-repelling properties.

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A model wears a cotton round-neck sweater from the brand

Among the highlights in the label’s recent offerings is the Soft Touch line. Run your hands over the collection and you’ll understand why. The shirts, jackets, chinos, and denim jeans are made with fabrics that have been pressed or rubbed against a diamond-encrusted surface, giving the garments their extraordinary softness. Shangri-La Plaza East Wing; City of Dreams; Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa.

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Pierre A. Calasanz
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