With housing and other financial milestones seemingly out of reach for most Millennials and Gen Zers, Long Island can feel more like a burdensome cool-kids’ group than home at times. Marooned, a lifestyle brand featuring merch like T-shirts and hoodies, is home-grown and reflective of that feeling of stationary isolation.
Described by owners Cassidy Layton and Heather Brown as “Long Island’s antihero apparel brand blending island vibes and alternative culture representing the individuality of those who are well, stuck here,” Marooned provides a home to all the Long Islanders who perhaps struggle with finding a traditional role in Nassau and Suffolk.
“Sometimes the branding can get lost,” admitted Layton, “but we’re not trying to get every customer, we want the right customer.”
“And regardless of that branding, we just want to put out good clothes,” said Brown.
The nuanced take on island life is one that has resonated for what Layton and Brown call their “fellow misfits.”
Seen as a beach paradise, Long Island is more than just the sunsets and blue waters, but a place with an encompassing culture that can feel overwhelming to those who are different from the norm.
At a Pride event, where Layton and Brown were vendors, a 14-year-old connected with the marooned message, saying, “Yeah, that’s me! I’m stuck here.”
The irony that both Layton and Brown were raised Long Islanders who moved west and came back is not lost on them, but rather the essence of the brand.
“The idea of ‘stuck’ isn’t a negative one,” said Layton. “It also means that you are drawn to it and ‘stuck’ on wanting to be there. For us, that means staking claim to your own way of life and your own tribe.”
Layton and Brown live in the trendiest stretch of Patchogue and have seen the town’s arts community grow organically and non-invasively. Something they take honor in is being a part of and growing that “marooned” band of “misfits.”
“We got to see the New Village come up,” said Brown, “and even with all the development, if you go out of Main Street, you still have lifelong residents of Patchogue living here.”
A leading reason for developing their brand was to give back to the community, and Layton and Brown have followed through emphatically with that promise. In the past year, they were able to donate nearly $2,000 to support local hospital workers with over 10 other Patchogue
businesses through an initiative called Patchogue Restaurants Feeding Hospital Workers.
In the future, Layton and Brown hope to sponsor beach, train station, and other local cleanups to involve the community in positive upkeep of their beloved Pat- chogue.
Marooned has also worked with the full spectrum of local businesses in col- laborations. Most prominent is Blue Point Brewing Company, where they took the brewery’s Long Island Iced Tea (LIIT) and made a shirt, “Marooned forever, LIIT for now.”
Popular brewhouse, The Bean, hosted a successful pop-up show for Marooned with some exclusive coffee-themed designs. A partnership with Great South Bar was also in the works before the pandemic hit.
Proving Marooned is a pan-Long Island brand, Layton and Brown have worked with Snowshed in Port Jefferson, who reached out to them about stocking Marooned clothing in their store. Marooned’s “Red Sea” T-shirt is the result of a collaboration with Amity Irons in Copiague.
“We see many more collabs in the future, as our company is firm believers in the ‘birds of a feather’ mentality and like-minded young business owners,” said Layton.