Eleventy - Elevate yourself
Sometimes life surprises you with special encounters and you get to know out-of-the-ordinary people that have amazing stories to share: did this ever happen to you?
Well, this’s a bit the case for me with Eleventy and its founder+menswear designer, Marco Baldassari; I discovered the brand thanks to a colleague and met Marco some years ago (almost at the beginning of my buyer's career): I remember both the brand and Marco having so much character, so many good arguments that we immediately connected.
While working on the creation of the website, I knew that I would write about Eleventy sooner rather than later: last month I had the chance to spend some time in the company’s showroom and it made the perfect occasion to collect enough material and finalize this article.
As usual, a bit of context before plunging into Eleventy’s universe:
WHAT: Contemporary chic total look, man and woman.
WHEN: Since 2007
WHERE: The company is based in Milan, with many distributors worldwide and a tiny but rapidly growing retail network.
WHY: Using the words of the founder & menswear designer “We dress every person in the world who aspires to self-improvement with tailored and responsible Italian elegance”.
So, the brand proposes a very cool total look and their focus is on contemporary elegance and Italian craftsmanship: in order to stay true to the Italian manufacturing heritage, the company works with a network of more than ninety Italian micro-enterprises and ateliers in order to realize their collections, each specialized in a particular sector of production.
Everything stems from the passion that the two founders and designers (Marco Baldassari & Paolo Zuntini) put in creating products of the highest quality and contemporary appeal.
Style-wise they like (actually, they love) to play with fashion codes, often mixing them in a concept defined as “opposites attract”: therefore the Eleventy gentleman will often wear a suit with a t-shirt and a casual crewneck underneath the jacket; maybe then a leather garment over the afore-mentioned jacket and a pair of hiking boots in winter or a sneakers during summer to complete the look, because simply putting on a suit&shirt is so boring.
If you want a shirt, Eleventy will make sure that you wear it with a waistcoat (thing that I absolutely sponsor), ideally in a double-breasted cotton style: check the article’s opening picture for your reference. And if that might be too much of an Italian style for you to sport it comfortably, no worries, they always have available some denim single-breasted waistcoats that fit all styles and tastes.
The concept of shirt can also be exploited in a more relaxed way, for example using cashmere and transforming a cowboy shirt in a super-luxurious knitwear garment, then pairing it with a melange tee-shirt and moleskin jacket:
Their spare trousers often share the same fabrics of the suiting offer and have a contemporary twist in the design: being that an elastic waist-band and jogging strings on a pair of fresco lana trousers or some double pleats on a pair of thick corduroy chinos or even cargo pockets on the sides of grey pin-striped flannel “formal” trousers.
Eleventy’s denim is for true denim lovers, as most of their styles are raw, selvedge denims: the amazing fits (just a couple if I remember correctly) only add to the beauty of the fabrics. Or make up for the stiffness of it, depending on your stance in the “selvedge denim debate”.
The color palette proposed by the brand is also very interesting: always starting from a foundation of grey, beige, whites and blues, every collection has a few seasonal colors blending in perfectly, to complete and spice up the offer. In SS19 the main touches of seasonal coloring are red, orange, bright yellow and mint green, while for FW19 burgundy, camel and sauge will be the protagonists.
Be aware that there’s also a lot of white and off-white going on, not only for summer but all year long, in suiting as well as in knitwear.
I previously stated that their total looks are very cool, and I mean it: I bought Eleventy’s collections for a multi brand retail company during many seasons and seen its results growing constantly, visited their beautiful showroom I don’t know how many times and it’s one of those rare cases where every product category has a good reason to exist on its own and looks even better when mixed with the other categories in a total look.
Many customers are actually quite inclined to buy a complete look once they put it on and see the final effect, rather than just getting the jacket or the trousers they wanted to buy in the first place.
In my humble opinion the brand achieves the goal of creating a contemporary vestiaire, with garments that help a man feel elegant and modern at the same time, even though a bit on the casual side. Look at the pictures in this post, I think they make a stronger point than my words. And, oh, many of them are actually a preview of the upcoming Fall-Winter 2019 collection ;)
What I really like about the brand is the attention to quality and details: if we look at the jackets for example, many of them (especially those belonging to the more exclusive Platinum Collection) are manufactured near Naples, they feature 8 different hand-made production steps and they use cloths coming from some of the best mills in the world, such as Zegna and Loro Piana.
One of my favorite looks in the FW19 collection is a two pieces suit made in a stone washed cotton-cashmere corduroy by Zegna, beautifully paired in the image below with a white t-shirt and burgundy crew-neck sweater. The sweater is an incredible 36gg finesse of merinos wool, a quality called Avalon and softer than cashmere to the touch.
I also appreciate the effort that the company is doing in order to respect a policy of “affordable luxury”, meaning that Eleventy prefers to cut something from its margins, in order to guarantee a better quality/price ratio for the final customers. Many garments look and feel as precious as more famed top-luxury brands, but price-wise they’re way more affordable.
I discussed this matter with Marco several times and we both agree that it’s one of the reasons behind the success of the brand as well as the constant increase in their popularity: many refined customers understand what they’re paying for and are usually positively surprised when it comes to the retail prices of Eleventy’s collections.
If this article has caught your attention you can check out the company website here or look for a retailer near your.
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Even more important notice: don’t forget to let us know what you think of this brand and their products!
Enjoy your weekend, beautiful people.