When a clothing brand says it’s inspired by New England, you typically know what to expect: gingham shirts, Nantucket red shorts, maybe something with a lobster motif. But Manresa—whose tagline reads “With Love from New England”—is not that brand. Like a certain well-known preppy label, Manresa is named after an island in the region. However, its namesake is not exactly a vacation destination: Manresa Island, located off the coast of Norwalk, Connecticut, is best known for hosting a defunct coal-fired power plant that most locals consider an eyesore.
But not all: 32-year-old Manresa founder and Norwalk native Mike McLachlan appreciates it as part of the local landscape. “It’s something that other people think is ugly that I think gives my town some character,” he tells Robb Report. A connection could be made between that sentiment and the clothing McLachlan designs, which draws inspiration from workwear and outdoor-minded brands