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September 2017

Bringing The 209 Concept to Life

209 Mare Co-Founder and Creative Director Federico Uribe talks about how he came up with the concept for 209 Mare and the iconic 209 Beach Blazer as well as why today, the 20th of September, is such an important date not only for him, but for 209 Mare as well.

20th of September 2015 (20/9/15)

 

 

The 20th of September is a very special date for me personally. While finishing my MBA at IE university in Madrid, I was invited to attend a celebration for the Chilean Independence Day on the 20th of September (even though the Chilean Independence Day is on the 18th of September). While speaking with friends I was leaning against a skylight of an underground parking garage, when suddenly I heard a crack. The skylight broke and with it I fell 10 meters down on to the hard concrete of the parking garage. I don’t remember much of the minutes following but I was rushed to the hospital. When I finally woke up the doctors told me that I escaped this near-death experience with only a broken shoulder,  and a few broken ribs. Me walking way from this accident almost unharmed was a 1 in a million chance I was told by the doctors. I was given a second chance at life.

I vowed to use this re-birth as an opportunity to pursue a dream: starting my own fashion label.

209 Mare Founder Federico Uribe 20/9 Accident

 

209 Mare Founder Federico Uribe 20/9 Accident

 

The Idea – Elevating Men’s Beachwear

 

 

The problem was that I did not have a clear idea on what it was that I wanted to do, most products in the fashion world already exist, making it very hard to be innovative. It was only during a trip to Chile, while sitting at the beach on a chilly evening, that the idea of a Beach Blazer came about. One of my friends mentioned that bathrobes at five star hotels tend to be quite shit to be honest, at which point, it went DING DING DING inside my head.

 

 

I realized – why not take the shape and functionality of a bathrobe, with its waist belt and toweling interior and create an inconspicuous elegant blazer that brings functionality and glamour back to the beaches and yachts of the Mediterranean. Essentially, a BATHrobe is made for bathing as the name suggests, but people used it to walk around their house mostly. So I thought to myself- “Let’s put the bathrobe on the street in the form of a Beach Blazer and repackage the idea as a gentleman´s summer essential.”

 

Putting Idea Into Action

 

In the next year (2016), I would design various prototypes and work on a business plan. When the time was right, I asked my highly capable and organized brother Gabriel to join me and help me start the business. After giving it much thought, he bought into the idea. Next thing we did was move to Monaco and begin scouring for fabric suppliers and manufacturers in Italy. We went to countless trade fairs and accumulated 30.000 kilometers on a brand-new car in less than six months. To be honest I don’t even know how Kyra (my dog which I had adopted in Colombia years back) put up with all of this.

Monaco grand Prix 2016 – Testing the Beach Blazer

 

Back in May 2016, we tested our first prototype at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and we got an amazing response from the people, a sort of “WOW” effect, as they had never seen something like this. We made it a goal to launch a full collection at next year’s Monaco F1 Grand Prix at the very same beach club (Sunset Beach). Not only did we launch our Beach Blazer collection, but also a full range of men´s swim shorts.

 

 

Today is a proud day for 209 Mare and we celebrate our one year anniversary in style.

-Cheers,

Federico, Creative Director and Co-Founder

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