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Andrea Dini of Paul & Shark on customisation, sustainability and protecting our seas

With a wide distribution network in 72 countries and 280 mono-brand boutiques, Paul & Shark is more than just a ready-to-wear label. Even though their cool jackets and knitwear pieces stand out in the brightest of hues making a mark, it is the brand’s commitment to sustainability that makes it one-of-kind. As the global fashion scape debates fast fashion‘s impact on the environment, Paul & Shark has already launched its initiatives to ensure minimal usage of energy limiting its wastage and campaigns protecting the seas.

Founded in 1976 by the Dini family, the brand is committed to the best of Italian craftsmanship and has been creating pieces inspired by water sports. The brand is currently presided over by Andrea Dini, a third generation family member. It was after the second world war that the Dini family saved a knitwear mill in Varese. Soon the business boomed and they started producing fine quality yarns. The mill gained popularity among some of the most well-known brands of the time such as Christian Dior and Balenciaga. On 4th March 1957, the mill was named  “Maglificio Dacò”, later officially renamed “Dama Spa” in 1966; which is the parent company of Paul & Shark, the brand.

Image: Courtesy Paul & Shark
Andrea Dini. Image: Courtesy Paul & Shark

Besides craftsmanship, love for the sea runs deep in the family. It was in the ’70s that Paolo Dini, father of Andrea came across an old sailing ship that caught his eye in a sailmaker’s workshop in Maine, USA. The ship has the words Paul&Shark emblazoned on it and this is what inspired Paolo Dini to name his brand.

In the year 2000, Andrea Dini took over the brand and became the Chief Executive Officer.  A Masters in Foreign Administration at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C  chose to work alongside his father and be a part of the family business. He honed his skills in yarn development, production techniques, and procurement. It was his encyclopedic knowledge of the global market that was instrumental in the growth of the brand, followed by opening stores in some of the most prestigious shopping hubs such as Via Montenapoleone in Milan, Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, Paris, Madison Avenue, New York, and Regent street, London.

Today from their cotton which is bought from Egypt to their state-of-the-art German and Japanese looms producing luxurious knitwear everything stands for great quality.

Andrea Dini, the current CEO and President of the brand spoke to Lifestyle Asia India on exploring different facets of sustainability in building a global brand and what sets India apart as a market.


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Shark details are a spring must-have. Feel close to the sea even when sorrounded by the crowd of the city! #PaulAndShark

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On his vision for Paul & Shark

Ours is a family owned brand and I am the third generation of the family in this business – we have and always will pride ourselves on the quality of fabrics that we use. What started as an initiative to help other brands source fabrics from our warehouse, has become a brand in itself. Whether it is Typhoon 20000 and its waterproof and weatherproof technology fabric, the EMW shield in P&S Jackets, or the 3 in 1 Kompact technology which makes the yarn more resistant allowing a maximum of 2% shrinkage, our fabric is what defines our clothes. That is the story we would never want to move away from – our most loyal customers buy from us because they know the durability, long-lasting nature of our products. Slow and sustainable fashion is what we will always stand for this is even for brands that are just starting out. From the time that a customer walks into your store, you have about 5 seconds to get his attention enough to retain him. You can only do this if you believe in what your brand stands for and communicate that effectively to the customer. 

On Paul & Shark customization services in India

India as a market has evolved drastically from the first Paul & Shark store in the country to now. Customization as a service is something that a lot of brands out there offer – but what distinguishes the P&S service from the rest is that you can personalize any product of your choice in a matter of minutes. Also, India is one of the few countries right now where this service is introduced – there was a generic gut feeling to go with to try this service, so it was launched in the Emporio, New Delhi store first. It has been widely appreciated within a little over a month of its launch.


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Feel confortable and stylish in your #PaulAndShark look. Find this striped sweater in our SS19 collection!

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On building a sustainable brand

Paul & Shark is a strong advocate of sustainability and has always been – right from its inception. It started with a sweater made especially for the sea which stood out because of the yachting-inspired packaging – a can, or a metal tube, which is still incorporated in the brand’s packaging to this day, globally. This has extended with the project, Save the Sea, where the brand continues to collaborate with artist Annarita Serra, wherein her art which is made of recycled items is installed live in stores – this is a worldwide event concept.


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Paul&Shark Fall-Winter ’18 Collection www.PaulShark.it #Followtheshark #PaulAndShark #PaulAndSharkFW18

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It allows the brand to engage with local associations that champion the cause of sustainability and use Annarita’s art sensibilities to draw attention towards the subject. Another great practice followed by the company is an installation of over 500 solar panels at its headquarters, making P&S a true Green company. These panels are able to transform the sun’s rays into electricity, providing 123,000 kWh of power which covers around 15% of the company’s annual energy needs.



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The story of the Typhoon by Paul&Shark #FollowTheShark #PaulAndShark #SharkHub #WaterJacket

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On India’s role in holding standards of sustainability

India is constantly evolving as a country. Sustainability as a journey, however, is not a short one – it’s made of continuous efforts that transcend into daily practices. There is some strong work happening locally and more and more people are becoming aware of the concept of sustainability, so we hope that this continues and more and more people champion this cause


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Enjoy your walk by the sea and feel comfortable and protected wearing Paul & Shark. #PaulandShark #SS19

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On being declared as a ‘Green Company’

A Green Company is a line of business which is concerned and committed to sustainability and running a business. So, the major difference between a business that’s green and one that’s not is environmental responsibility. Every business focusses on serving customers and turning a profit. However, Green firms, however, attempt to achieve these tasks while minimizing the negative impact their organization has on the environment.

For Paul & Shark, being ‘Green’ is not a trend or a recent development. We hold it very close to our heart and have made efforts across each of our collections to be as environmentally conscious as possible. A big part of it was also re-evaluating our day to day practices which led to the installation of over 500 solar panels at our headquarters. These panels are able to transform the sun’s rays into electricity, providing 123,000 kWh of power which covers around 15% of the company’s annual energy needs.


Andrea Dini of Paul & Shark on customisation, sustainability and protecting our seas

Anupam Dabral

Sr. Associate Editor

It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

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