Seaworthy fashion startup inspired by Ralph Lauren – The Westerly Sun

WESTERLY — Nattily dressed in a bright “oriental salmon” blazer, crisp white shirt, khakis, and loafers, Ryan Quattromani represents a fashion style reminiscent of Ralph Lauren.

A Westerly native, Quattromani, 20, is starting a nautical-inspired lifestyle brand called Seaworthy and Lauren’s work is a big part of his inspiration.

“He is my idol — my mother always dressed me in Ralph Lauren and it began to be a hobby and every season we’d go out and shop the season,” he said in an interview at The Sun on Wednesday. “Lauren takes fashion and he presents it as something elegant and classy to be worn anywhere — he takes polos that you’d see in Watch Hill and he’s on a farm with horses. I think he reinvents the American fashion industry because I can see a lot of it as New England collegiate style — plain, simple, Ivy League — and he just makes it practical.”

The idea for the Seaworthy brand started in the classic fashion — with a sketch on a napkin.

“I was at the Weekapaug Inn, sitting in the bar area to get the dessert menu — I was with a few friends and I proposed the idea of starting a brand and I drew out the logo on a napkin,” he said pointing the ship’s anchor in the center of a ship’s wheel that represents the Seaworthy brand.

“Seersucker” is Quattromani’s first collection that comprises seersucker baseball-style hats that are made in five colors that represent significant places in his life.

“The pink is ‘Montauk Point,’ which represents my connection with New York, and the Hamptons, which is the preppy side,” he said. “The yellow is ‘Watch Hill Harbor’ because I think it’s the most expessive hat and I think some of the most expressive people in town are from Watch Hill, and Ocean House is painted yellow.”

Other colors in the collection are named Newport Blue, the purple is Weekapaug Overlook, and Chapman Pond is a red named for his childhood neighborhood.

Quattromani said he chose seersucker because “it’s lightweight, easy to wash, soft and aesthetically pleasing,” and it’s a classic from a bygone era.

“I think it’s an older style — you saw a lot of seersucker blazers in my grandparents’ generation — I want to bring it back and make it a year-round item,” he said. “I could see seersucker being scarves in the winter — I could take out the stripe and make it a solid color but keep the texture.”

As a junior at Manhattan College majoring in mechanical engineering, Quattromani said he plans to go into manufacturing in the fashion industry.

“It’s about getting into jewelry, getting into clothes, home collections — those things require engineers,” he said. “And even buttons for sport coats — that’s injection molding plastic.”

Being in college in New York affords Quattromani the opportunity to keep up with fashion trends in the city, especially Lauren’s work.

“I make it a goal to go downtown a lot and we’ve had fashion week, and I just love going to Fifth Avenue and walking the streets and visiting Ralph’s new flagship store that I was at the grand opening for,” he said. “I eat at the Polo Bar all the time, and one night I met Ralph and shook his hand. I said, ‘I idolize you, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.’”

Quattromani said he will always remember that moment and he hopes to work for Lauren in the future.

“That’s a goal and I’m talking to HR at Lauren,” he said.

But first, Quattromani is looking to establish wholesale agreements with retailers who will sell Seaworthy products. He is in conversation with potential vendors in Kennebunkport, Chatham, and the Ocean House.

His products are available on his website and he’s already had some sales.

“Right now I’m selling online with free shipping,” he said. “The hats retail for $30 and so far I’ve sold about 30 and I just launched a week ago tomorrow.”

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