The Brand Origin
St Barth 2006
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The story starts with two brothers who embarked upon a bold personal quest to create a unique men’s swimwear line, MACKEENE, in St. Barth. With the relentless pursuit of perfection serving as their core remit, they followed their vision to create a brand that would redefine standards in both athletic pursuits and the European "art de vivre".
Rodolphe (left): A passionate and driven professional kite surfer, long-time resident of St. Barth, and Harold (right): Lives and breathes technology, art, fashion, and food, based between Paris and Portugal.
Everything begins in 1950 with a low-flying Cessna 370, and a pilot with his eye on the grassy airfield at La Savanne on St. Barth.
As Pierre Cent (the MacKeene brothers' grandfather) circled this unfamiliar territory, he spotted a plane similar to his parked in a field not far from the beach, and he decided to take the liberty of landing uninvited on the island.
Once on terra firma, he met Rémy, the twin of the owner of this plane, and they quickly became great "sky mates". Long before, Pierre had explored the island, fallen in love with it, and decided to make his place on this newfound paradise.
It was Pierre who imported the first Caterpillar to the island to transform the landing strip from a cattle pasture to a proper tarmac.
He also helped create some of St. Barth's first paved roads, in collaboration with Henry Greaux. Pierre's adventurous daughter, Cat, joined him in July 1967, quickly discovering the island's magic and settling down to make it her home.
After Pierre's death, Cat created Tamarin, the Saline restaurant that immediately became a beloved island institution and a celebrity favorite.
Cat's nephew, Rodolphe MacKeene, spent most of his childhood in the Caribbean and St Barth, living the idyllic island life as an avid diver, surfer and windsurfer. He eventually gained wide recognition as a professional kiteboarder.
In the 2000's he also relocated to St. Barth, where he extended the MacKeene family with Balthazar MacKeene, his young son, while his brother Harold remained in Paris.
In 2005, the brothers collaborated with Tara Matthews to create a swimwear-oriented fashion business combining their respective lifestyles and interests: Rodolphe's dedication to sports and appreciation of the island life, and Harold's keen eye for design and his love for the city life.
Thus MACKEENE was born.
Today the brand focuses on men's beachwear and daywear that is a blend of functional and chic; unique colors and luxury styles are combined with comfort and water-repellent fabrics.
Their Flagship Caribbean store is located in Gustavia with a collection of swim shorts, polos, t-shirts, bath towels and a carefully curated selection of complementary brands featuring sunglasses, bags, surfboards and books. Creating and offering products that embody both aesthetics and substance, they have not only boosted the island's burgeoning retail scene, but also truly captured the essence of the St.Barth lifestyle.