Often we will come across something, at an event, through a conversation or in print, that piques our interest to the extent that it requires further investigation. When we heard that there was an Italian activewear line that creates foul weather gear that is as stylish and functional off the water as on, we were intrigued. We soon learned that SEASE, the name a combination of 'sea' and 'ease', is a brand that caters to the active lifestyle. Their premier lines are sailing, skiing and urban sportswear. SEASE co-owners and brothers, Franco Loro Piana and Giacomo Loro Piana graciously agreed to indulge our curiosity with an interview.
Your family has been in the textile business for many years, what was the impetus for including sailing-related gear into SEASE fashion lines? I can easily state that sailing is in my roots just as much as sourcing the best raw materials, and producing the highest quality product is part of our heritage. Other than being involved in the last generation of our family business, my brother and I have, in fact, been passionate sailors since childhood. As sailors, we missed having gear with that blend of performance and elegance that we have in our family's clothing line so we've tried to infuse that into each of our SEASE garments. When we happened upon your brand SEASE, we felt a kinship to your mission to pair the traditional with the modern. What made you decide to take this approach with your clothing line? It was both a matter of vision, and market. When approaching the idea of a new brand, we examined the current activewear market and came up with the idea of creating a contemporary wardrobe of select items, ideal for the outdoors as well as for the urban life, blending design with contemporary elegance. SEASE is the result of our own passions, and of genuine Italian engineering. Tell us about your philosophy of "Kits / 6 items?" In an ever-more complicated world, this ethos of simplicity seems particularly well-suited to a busy sailor's lifestyle. The idea behind SEASE is to create versatile companion items that can outfit contemporary men in both the outdoor field, and on most urban occasions. By reducing the number of items and focusing on the essentials, we have come up with the idea of Kits and of a Contemporary Wardrobe that is both design-driven and practical.
A perfect example is the Sunrise Spray Top - onboard or on the dock, it's the ultimate comfort-with-style performance item. Accessories and items meant for different destinations blend in a single and versatile wardrobe: formal men's tailoring inspire a comfortable, casual design. It's technical activewear coordinated with everyday urbanwear. The codes of elegance from the past coexist with modernity and performance. We were particularly intrigued by your choice of unique colors, thoughtful closures to keep out harsh weather, and the clever use of sustainable materials (bio nylon, technical wool). Can you tell us a little more about these choices and the thinking that went into them?
Technology that is ideal for city, travel, and outdoor performance can be easily found at the crossroads of our use of noble and natural fibers - such as cashmere, hemp and linen - and our investment in new and innovative solutions. The SEASE Solaro Sunrise, a traditional Solaro menswear fabric re-engineered with up-to-date sustainable features - from a blend of wool and bio-based nylon from castor seeds - is the expression of such aesthetics and values. Contemporary elegance and performance that are respectful of the environment stem from selecting the best raw materials, while following a strict Protocol of Sustainability. We also work with technologies that allow for the use of high-quality, low-impact, recycled down and recycled denim in our collections. Above all, manufacturing a product while keeping quality and durability top of mind, is, in our opinion, a choice towards sustainability and a more responsible behavior. SWYD uses local building talent in Maine and New England to build and execute our designs. Can you tell us a little about your manufacturing process? Where you source talent, the role of traditional processes, local mills, etc? All of our fabrics and items are fully manufactured in Italy, at a close distance. We hire talent through a network of professionals who also subscribe to our Protocol of Sustainability, therefore ensuring lower emissions. Equally important is the high level of skill that they bring to their work which has often been taught to them through their family businesses. As you say, local mills and traditional processes matter as much as research and development, which we also conduct internally and with our most trusted business partners. How do you test your products? What type of feedback or suggestions have you had from yacht owners? First and foremost, we test them on the ground, through friends and family, as well as at dedicated experiences that also serve as testing moments. We also listen to select users, who often get the chance to try new items in advance because of a close relationship. We listen carefully to all sorts of feedback, because even the smallest details can make a difference. To date, yacht owners have been quite enthusiastic about the brand and sailing kit.
Where is the company headed with this approach? For example, do you have plans to expand the sailing gear line? Recently, we've added variations to our sailing inspired items, such as more colors for the High Pressure Spray Top, as well as knitwear that is reversible, ultra-lightweight and employs natural materials. Also, the partnership with Nautor's Swan highlights SEASE's passion for the world of sailing, with uniforms exclusively developed for the ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone, and Drifter Sail. More than a business line per se, at this stage we see it as a tribute to friends of the brand who have believed in the project since the beginning. Yet Sailing is, for sure, more than a key inspiration theme at SEASE: we are glad to serve the segment with specific aesthetics, functionality, and attention to detail, blending contemporary elegance with performance. As our research is non-stop, hopefully, we will soon be adding even more new designs and materials. Are there other brands in sailing that you respect and admire? We are always listening to new ideas and we respect the work of a lot of today's big players. Friends of the brand include Dario Noseda, the solo Star racer who's on a trans-Atlantic journey and who develops reused sail items with Rivelami. We're also fond of boards shaped by Beau Young. We appreciate big and small adventures that speak to the spirit of the time. I personally like Deus Ex Machina shop in Bali, as well as the Mollusk Surf Shop in Venice beach. We hope you enjoyed learning about SEASE as much as we did. This forward thinking company is dedicated to maintaining high standards while continuing to innovate. As spirit-of-tradition yacht designers we, at Stephens Waring Yacht Design, feel a kinship to their aspirations. To stay updated on where SEASE is headed, subscribe to their newsletter. Interested in seeing the sportswear line in person or outfitting your crew? For the first time ever, SEASE is coming to the US market. Visit the SEASE U.S. Pop-Up operated with Moda Operandi in Manhattan at 160 West Broadway from October 24th through November 3rd. When overseas, visit their stores in Milan, Porto Cervo, St. Moritz and St. Topez. The SeaseRPM (Rarities, Photos and Music) experience space is on the first floor of the Milan concept store.