The Man Behind the Fabric – Paolo Sala

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When Paul Trible visited northern Italy earlier this year to source fabrics for our spring and summer releases, he had the pleasure of meeting up with our good friend Paolo Sala. Paolo is the owner of TCS Fabrics, a second-generation mill located in the hills of Lake Como, Italy. With his particular specialization in printed textiles and a shared appreciation for mid-70s Neil Young, Paulo is a natural collaborator for us and a creative force.

We really didn’t understand the full nature of Paolo’s creative abilities until we visited his offices. Portraits of Elvis and iconic movie stars, a monochromatic corridor of yellow, and a significant collection of vintage radios and vacuum cleaners all make this studio a fascinating one to walk through. Oh yeah, there’s also a floor-to-ceiling display of Coke cans that form a peace sign. It’s all a perfect extension of Paulo and his work.

You might recall that we first introduced Paulo last summer, when we worked with his team on a limited run of swim trunks. We learned a lot through that process, and this year, when we wanted to drop a run of printed shirts we saw an opportunity to collaborate with Paolo. We designed the fabrics with Paolo and printed them there in his Lake Como studio.

Our experiences and memories of Virginia summers were the inspiration for this run. We wanted to be fun with the design without being overly boisterous, but we definitely wanted it all to link back to our home state. For example, The Delaney features a repeating bird pattern with our state bird, the cardinal. We spend a lot of time on the water during the warmer months, so we gave The Garda a speeding 1950’s Chris Craft boat pattern. We wouldn’t mind having one of these classics tied to the dock. Lastly, many late afternoons with a rod and reel inspired our Hemingway shirt. It’s just enough pattern to make a statement without feeling visually overbearing. We would like to think that the old man would have put it on to settle in at his favorite bar.

The collection of Short Run Shirts is both a significant departure for us and right in line with our commitment to fine shirt making. We hope you enjoy our first collection of printed shirts as much as we enjoyed making them.

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