CLARKS SUMMIT — As borough resident Paul Galdieri glanced out his basement studio window a few days after winter storm Stella swept through the region, his mind was not on the two feet of snow blanketing the ground, but on warmer weather – summer days filled with sunshine, the beach, sailing and, most importantly, swimwear.
“Life is better when it’s warm out,” said the 33-year-old fashion designer, who recently launched his own brand of men’s and boys’ swim trunks, Paulson Swimwear.
The fabric he chose is hydrophobic and coated with a Teflon finish, making it resistant to water and stains. It also employs a UVA protectant. A sunglasses loop allows the consumer to hang a pair of shades at his side without fear of crushing them when sitting down. And an elastic waistband allows for more movement and flexibility than many styles of board shorts, which are often rigid.
“It’s a more functional way of designing,” said Galdieri.
But Paulson Swimwear’s purpose doesn’t stop there. The designer said his mission is also to create a brand that engages in “perpetual giving.”
“It’s the ability to, in doing something that I love, be able to do something a little bit more meaningful than just make clothes,” he said. “With every purchase, a portion of the price is going to be donated to some of my favorite charities.”
Galdieri grew up in Clarks Summit, started his education in the Abington Heights School District and graduated from Scranton Preparatory School. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Menswear Design and a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.
He entered the industry as a college student with a paid internship at Armani, next landing a job as an assistant designer for Urban Outfitters. After that, he worked about five years for a company in New York City, developing products primarily in activewear for a range of brands and big box retailers, such as Walmart. He also worked on an activewear line for Marc Ecko. Next, he relocated to Miami, Florida, where he worked for Perry Ellis for about three years. His next move was back to New York to accept an offer from Ralph Lauren. He was there for about about a year and a half, and also did some freelance work for Champion in activewear while in New York.
After working for other people for about 10 years, Galdieri began to think about his “next step,” considering the possibility of striking out on his own.
“I got all these different experiences with the different companies I worked for, and I felt like I had what I needed,” he said.
It was during his time in Florida that he began to consider swimwear.
“Living in Miami, it’s basically summer year-round,” he explained.
But the deciding moment came while sailing with a group of friends in Croatia during Yacht Week.
“I remember being on the water one day, thinking, ‘Maybe swimwear is what I should do.’ It’s what I love, and they say, ‘Do what you love,’” he said.
So, he began concepting his own brand, eventually returning to his hometown to set up a studio.
But before starting on the design, he conducted a survey among his target market, including boys and men, asking them, “What do you look for in a swimsuit?”
The top answers he received were “comfort” and “pockets,” so that’s what he made, utilizing various color schemes.
Paulsun currently has two lines: a core line, targeted toward hotel boutiques and designer boutiques, and an elevated line, Galdieri’s travel-inspired Destination Boli collection, which features embroidered designs illustrated by artist Ray Jerez, of Inborn Tattoo in New York City. The brand also offers custom embroidery on the elevated line.