SLAM, Italy’s high-performance sailing clothing brand, has joined forces with four-time America’s Cup winner Emirates Team New Zealand in the build-up to the 37th edition of the iconic event in Barcelona next year.

SOON talks with MAURIZIO PRIANO Brand Manager for SLAM

What is the reason of this incredible connection between the America’s Cup 37th Preliminary Regattas and Slam as you focus on world class technically innovative and high-performance sailing clothing? 

This connection exists because the America’s Cup is the equivalent of the Formula One for sailing in the world. If you want to be a sailing technical brand you cannot avoid working with the America’s Cup Team. They are the biggest innovators and providers of knowledge on boat building, engineering, and sailing techniques. (Everybody is looking forward to seeing the foiling monohulls in Barcelona in 2024.)

As the brand manager for SLAM, do you think that we can talk about a new luxury attitude in the sportswear world for this Italian made historical brand created in 1979 in Genova? 

Globally, the sailing and yachting wear market have a great chance to develop in the coming years. When you know that Jeff Bezos hast just bought a mega sailing yacht, we see a lot of new participants stepping into the yachting activities. Why? Because we do believe that sailing has value in itself, and those values fit in and say more and more to people who are very conscious of the need to change their way of life. On the other hand, people with vision and great investors understand that sailing is a great way to invest their money and also to improve their lives and ultimately have fun.

Sailing is becoming like a very natural new way of living. What about the technical issues adopted by Slam? 

First of all, I think that holding the product you produce accountable is no longer an option or a choice it is an obligation for everyone.

Even the European Union imposes on companies like ours to be very alert and conscious about the production methods and the reuse of our products. 

The challenge for Slam is to always be determined to bring innovation under constant sustainability efforts to produce better. 

At Slam we are also very concerned about new ways of life that we try to anticipate. We support sailing schools and young talents. Secondhand products are a main focus to us. 

SLAM Ready to Fly is one of your slogans? 

Because of the newest foiling boats technology, we can literally say that nowadays boats are really flying. They are going three or more times faster than the wind speed. The idea is that we are ready to fly like those boats. As a brand we and our team are creating our vision for the future, and we are embracing the huge change and evolution in the sports world. 

 Why is America’s Cup so vital for a company like SLAM? 

America’s Cup is an incredible playground for new ideas and technologies, but it is also a great inspiration. For us, to be part of these events with the Emirates Team New Zealand that has successfully defended the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021 having previously won the world’s oldest international sporting competition in 1995, 2000 and then again in 2017, America’s Cup remains an incredible stimulus to all our teams. 

 How important is sustainability for Slam? You are partners with the One Ocean Foundation, how does it work? 

As seafarers we nurture a culture of protection for the marine environment. That is why we share the same values, objectives, and the search for solutions with One Ocean Foundation under a total respect for the environment. 

SLAM has signed the Charta Smeralda, an ethical code of rules intended to guide individuals and organizations to adopt an environmentally friendly behavior. 

 We are very sensitive to the fact that, today we can no longer let the earth and the oceans be ruined by a huge waste of plastics and other materials that need to be recycled. 

As a father I am completely devastated by what we still see today on the oceans while sailing or having other nautical activities. I think it is super important today to preserve the oceans in a clean and respectful way. 

 There is an expression that goes “like a drop in the ocean” … if you think that the ocean is made by drops then that’s exactly the solution for sustainability, the sum of small actions and little steps is what will make a real difference. We should not hide ourselves behind excuses that there is nothing we can do, that we are too small… we have to take our responsibilities every day and meditate on what we have to do by supporting initiatives and organizations that are taking care.

 How far has gone SLAM on the social responsibility for the future of our children and our planet? 

SLAM has restored the Leon Pancaldo, an 18.5-meter ketch designed by Studio Brenta in the 1980s and it is actually a ‘training ship’ that hosts sailing courses specially organized by SLAM for students at nautical institutes. The aim is to encourage the young people to approach sailing and to teach them how to sail. Thanks to the support of the Menkab il Respiro del Mare Association, students can access a degree of respect for the marine environment and learn how to protect its fragile ecosystem.