Mazu is a Chinese sea goddess who roamed the seas and intervened when Chinese and Southeast Asian seafarers faced trouble in the oceans. While science and technology has slowly replaced her aquatic miracles, certain parts of Asia, especially Taiwan, still hold annual temple festivals in her name. It is from this heritage that inspired Adam Raby to start Mazu Resortwear, an Asian luxury swim shorts brand.

A former professional Hong Kong rugby player, Raby grew up with water in his blood. His grandfather was in the navy and his father was a sailor. While working in the corporate world, Raby noticed a gap in the Asian market for luxury swimwear and decided to start Mazu Resortwear in Hong Kong five years ago.

Today, Mazu’s swim shorts are stocked in luxury resorts and department stores all over Asia. In Singapore, you can find the trunks at Robinsons as well as online at mazuresortwear.com, which ships for free to Singapore.

What separates Mazu from other normal trunks are the details. The fabric is incredibly soft yet waterproof and has been reinforced with double needle stitching to ensure that it can weather even the roughest of seas, or the heartiest of freestyle strokes.

On the aesthetics front, Raby has not cut any corners. The back pockets on each swim short is individually cut and aligned by hand so that the pattern matches up with the rest of the trunk and there are two engraved eyelets on the back of the shorts that let water escape quickly when you plunge into the seas, preventing that uncomfortable “balloon effect”.

We really like the handcrafted aglets attached to the end of the red cords. Crafted in the shape of a monkey fist knot, the aglets pay homage to Mazu’s oceanic heritage. It was used by old sailors as a stopper during calm times and as a weapon during emergencies.

We’re also impressed with how fast the trunks dry when we’re out of the water. Ten minutes in the hot sun by the poolside was all it took before the shorts were ready to be stored in the cotton canvas ditty bag that comes free with every purchase.

In a world where stylish great-quality trunks are far too much on the pricey side, Mazu is a fantastic alternative. A pair can be yours for just $265.

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