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5 Questions with…Eleventy’s Marco Baldassari

Eleventy’s Marco Baldassari on How to Achieve A ‘Smart Luxury’ Look

By: Logan RossDate: 2023-09-18

In this Q&A-style interview Eleventy’s Founder & Men's Creative Director, Marco Baldassari, we learn more about Marco’s definition of smart luxury, his signature outfit, and one piece of style advice he would give every man.

Baldassari on Toronto’s Bloor Street

While Quiet Luxury may well be one of the most talked about trends across the fashion industry, for Marco Baldassari of Eleventy, his concept of Smart Luxury is the only way forward.

Since the establishment of the Italian label in 2007, Baldassari has consistently adhered to principles deeply ingrained in quality, simplicity, and versatility. While these foundational elements will always remain unchanged, Baldassari's current preoccupation revolves around traceability and a more sustainable future.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Baldassari to gain further insight into his long-term vision for Eleventy and his perspective on personal style.

How would you define Eleventy to someone new to the brand?

Smart luxury. To us, smart luxury means that we try to do our best to represent the best product possible at the best price point possible. We think that the value proposition of our clothes is they are for now and for the future, which is very important. People enjoy dressing in Eleventy but also feel very good about paying for something valued fairly.

These days, many brands use the term, "Made in Italy." What does that mean to you?

To me, "Made in Italy" means quality. I have the opportunity to travel a lot around the world, and when I say that I come from Italy and our brand is made in Italy, people are so excited because it means excellence, it means quality. And again, it means that when you make something in Italy at our price, the total value is great because we pay salary in Italy, we pay taxes in Italy, and our pricing structure supports our Italian economy, which is really incredible.

Did you have a favourite ‘style hero’ growing up?

I have always looked at Mr. Ralph Lauren. I think that we have the same vision in our way of life, but of course, we have different sized companies. I think Mr. Ralph Lauren starting from 60 years ago was always coherent with his DNA, instead of many other companies that change their vision following the trend of the moment. I always follow my interior style because it's something that you have inside, otherwise you are fake.

What role does sustainability play in a smart luxury brand?

I don't like to use too much the word 'sustainability' because I think many people use this word just to advertise themselves. I like to speak about progress. Progress is what we have to do to to make our best effort to save the planet. One new project we are working on is traceability; so, you can scan a QR code on a garment and have all the history of the single piece. Our customers want to know where clothing is produced, if it's really "Made in Italy", if it's sustainably made, if it's a real fabric, if quality control happens. We think it's something that is a must, it's not a choice.

If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If it's only one, I would start with jogger trousers because they give you great comfort, and in our case, you can replace the drawstring waist with a belt, so you have versatility. Then a soft jacket, because it's the kind of jacket that if you travel or if you go to the office or if you go out with friends, it's always the right one. And underneath some elevated knitwear, because I think that the modern way to wear a jacket or a suit is to wear it with knitwear. It could be a polo shirt or a sweater, but high-quality.