Without any research whatsoever into the topics, I can recall two pointed headlines over the last week. The first related to the extreme dip in schizophrenic episodes (some 50% in this study) when patients spent time in clean, green nature. Another: a declaration in The New York Times citing a huge rise in the number of psychologists, clinical and otherwise, who are prescribing “green time” as an antidote to “screen time” and the myriad anxieties screen time creates, or is ornamented by. For start-up Italian lifestyle brand SEASE, an appreciation for the outdoors harmony pursuit, as well as the pinball-style of life found in this planet’s increasingly populated cities, is coolly intertwined. Franco and Giacomo Loro Piana—SEASE co-founders, brothers, lineage of the storied luxury cashmere and wool brand known by their surname, and, of course, outdoor enthusiasts (chiefly skiing and sailing)—forged the concept around the words ‘sea’ and ‘ease,’ which “reminds you how important it is to feel at ease,” I’m told over the phone by Franco, “and even time to time, to release pressure, ideally by chasing your own passions.”
As such, the line is sporty and relaxingly curtailed, but engineered with exacting, researched sustainability in fabrics and means of production, doubling down on the sentiment that “ease” can also reside in your mind as it relates to where and how your products came to reside around you or on your person. With two boutiques in Italy and a “detailed and very trusting” approach with wholesalers, SEASE stands out because you could not only stylishly take a cosmopolitan breakfast meeting in the gear, but later cheekily enjoy a mountain rainstorm during a late-afternoon hike. The attitude is quintessentially Los Angeles, the threads set the mind at ease, and so we’ll include SEASE in this particular magazine issue that is preoccupied with where things are headed.
I ask Franco, whom I met some months earlier inside he and Giacomo’s retail space in Milan on the via Fiori Chiari Angolo—which possesses a curatorial makeup that feels both handed down and hand-picked from the now—about the applied passions evident in the boutique’s feel, about the continuity between new garments created with state-of-the-art methods and the storied, eclectic ensemble of objects and art direction. Franco considers, “Every item at SEASE is the result of the most sincere passions that my brother and I, as well as the team, share—from sea and beyond to music and the arts: our stores and concepts stem from personal connections, casual encounters, or even very rational choices that are inspired by those core themes. For example, we have designed furniture featuring nautical elements that you can also spot on SEASE garments and details of our menswear kits and items. Consistency flows easily when the ideas truly belong to your passions, and activities you are really fond of.”
I consider another fondness: that of misappropriation and bending of the facts, a commonplace in the marketplace. I ask Franco about the necessary considerations around sustainable manufacturing and brand messaging with a consumer demo that’s more likely now in this era than ever before to scrutinize anything stamped “green” amidst the glut of products that worryingly claim to be so. “At SEASE,” he remarks, “we believe sustainability is a set of behaviors which are more than just a marketing hook. As a responsible start-up, we truly believe in working closely with conscious consumers who may want to adopt solutions such as petrol-free and bio-based yarns, but also who value the attention to detail, and the long-term vision that our items can carry.”
I remark how meticulous concern with the longevity of a SEASE product resounds with fairness. We deliberate on the word “fair” and its many applications in the world of fashion—fairtrade, fairly sourced, fairly priced. “To me,” Franco expresses, regarding the latter concern, “an item is fairly priced the moment you can experience the emotions and memories it carries, when you feel it really belongs to you: this proves that even consumer goods at a certain point can represent yourself and your feelings, and even carry a sense of belonging. To help create this association, of course an item should be carefully engineered and constructed, designed to exceed the average garment lifetime. That is something we definitely bear in mind throughout the whole process at SEASE, including components, manufacturing, and style.” I’d also add here that “fair” can very well mean rewarding yourself some with some much-deserved fresh air adventure after a long week. Why not do so in gear that won’t fail you, whether you’re mentally ill, subscribed, or working at a Hollywood-based magazine, the sincerest combination of the former two.
Written by Matthew Bedard,
Photographed by Keith Oshiro
Styled by Mui-Hai Chu
Groomed by Michelle Harvey