This month our guest is Marco Baldassari who is co-founder and creative director of men’s collection of Eleventy which has entered into Turkey market with Dogus Retail and was opened the first store at İstinyePark Mall.
How did you end up in fashion, after having worked in the finance industry?
I started to work in the Fashion Industry when I was 17 years old during the summer time, since my father has been an informatics manager in Cerruti before and Mila Schoen later and I immediately fell in love with the world of Italian craftsmanship. I started as an agent so I worked with the sales team and I had the opportunity to know all the best clients… my “secret” is to listen the market and understand what the market wants from all the clients. This was the beginning and my passion for the high quality product growth day by day together with my dream to create a new brand who can represent my style, my philosophy and my lifestyle.
What is the meaning of Eleventy?
From the concept of rising up. For us there is never a point of arrival, only starting points. We try to innovate continuously, also because when one thinks he has arrived, it is the beginning of his end. Always looking ahead is essential. Never get the enthusiasm off of the difficulties, especially in the fashion world where the rhythms are very fast.
When did Eleventy be found? What was its aim and mission?
Eleventy was founded in 2007 by me and Paolo Zuntini, and is particularly known for its upscale casual fashion design with a soft sartorial style. We use the term “Responsible fashion” as we’re keep to stay clear of fast-fashion and the unfortunate ‘throw-away’ culture. Authenticity is key, which is why we work with the best mills in Italy to guarantee exceptional quality as well as the perfect comfortable & flattering fit. Eleventy is very proud of the manufacturing heritage in Italy, which is the reason our menswear, womenswear, accessories, shoes, homewares and fragrance is and always will be made in Italy. Made in Italy is appreciated throughout the world, and more than we think. We have an invaluable heritage in our hands, we simply need to know how to exploit it to the best. Also, we mustn’t overlook the fact that in Italy there are numerous micro-enterprises that are experiencing hard times. Many of these are family businesses, each representing excellence in the reference-manufacturing sector. That’s why we were convinced that it made no sense to build a vertical company when within the country there already existed so many enterprises that needed to work. And that’s without considering the fact that, in this way, we can really draw on excellence in every single production sector. Our network includes the firm that’s expert at making pants, the one that excels in knitwear and so on.”
You inspired by soft formal casual style for your new collection. Can you tell us your starting point for this collection? And what are the codes of soft formal style?
The inspiration of the SS19 collection is inspired by my everyday life and the study of the various moments of the day, which, for many of us starts at the gym. Hence it is launching the SOFT FORMAL style, that creates a dialogue between the business world and the leisure world. A new, formal, younger, more comfortable and modern concept.
What do you think about Turkish men’s style and about your first store in Turkey?
The Turkish consumer is a very interesting customer for Eleventy. Turkey is a country that has always had a great focus on Made in Italy and will certainly appreciate our style that combines quality, attention to detail, Made in Italy. I am honored and proud of our store in Istanbul which is having great success thanks to the great professionalism of the Dogus Group team – our partner for a project of opening monobrand stores in Turkey – able to communicate and transfer Eleventy values and culture to customers every day.