The Italian brand Eleventy believes in the concept of a world where people aspire to become the best version of themselves through daily gestures and interactions with other people and with the environment that surrounds them. Here, RLI speaks with company Co-Founder Marco Baldassari about how the company has come through a time of adversity and what its plans are for the future.
Customers of Eleventy are part of a modern tribe who believe in the importance of family relationships and in the powerful accelerator mechanism of positivity. Their main characteristics are being genuine, humble, positive and self-confident.
The idea behind Eleventy is to maximise the experience and taste of having style and the security of being confident in the world.
Founded in 2007 by Marco Baldassari and Paolo Zuntini, they were joined by Andrea Scuderi who entered the company as a partner and Operation Executive two years later. Five years later in 2014, Vei Capital, the private equity operator took over 51 per cent of the company and as the company continued to grow it launched its US arm in 2016 with the opening of new Eleventy headquarters in New York City.
With headquarters that have always been in Milan, the business has a retail network today that consists of numerous boutiques, shop-in-shops and corners present in the most important and famous shop windows in the world, from Europe to Australia, as well as a dense network of high-level multi-brand stores distributed all over the world.
“We currently operate seven across Italy and the US, we have made several important partnerships with the most important department stores in UK, Ireland, France, Turkey, Middle East, Korea, Japan and North America,” explains Marco Baldassari, Co-Founder of Eleventy.
Despite the difficulties of the last few months, the company’s strategic guidelines have remained, and further development of strategic partnerships with primary wholesale operators has continued along with a strong push on the online channel and the digitalisation of the selling process.
“Given the current crisis, we reduced our investment plan and every decision we made was characterised by a spirit of great prudence,” comments Baldassari. “We focused on the areas that could have made a difference to the market; luckily for us we are a very flexible and fast company, therefore we were able to start many initiatives in a fairly short time.”
Most recently, the business opened a new Eleventy store in Connecticut, US as it continues its clear and focused store expansion. They also launched a new pop-up in collaboration with Braun Hamburg.
Each new store that is opened in the portfolio is only done after thorough research that takes into account the location, the local market and the brand experience that they want to transfer to the consumer. Within each location is a clear governing principle that unites all of the products in their range.
It may appear that the company is growing at a cautious rate; however this is not the case. Baldassari comments that he likes to be involved with everything that the company does, and there are only 24 hours in a day to stay on top of everything. Baldassari and the team at Eleventy are determined to grow the company in the right way and to not just open stores for the sake of opening stores and running the risk of potentially diluting their offer and possibly lowering its quality.
Due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19, the future of retail may look very different and brand experience will play a key role in engaging and maintaining customer support in difficult times. How will the company ensure guests are loyal and continue to come back?
“Through tailor-made services aimed at the customer and with a continuous and constant information channel through newsletters and social channels,” says Baldassari.
In the modern retail world, there is now huge importance placed on social media, and the importance of having influencers and a strong position on social media platforms has never been more relevant.
Baldassari considers the philosophy behind Eleventy of wanting people to be all they can be, and helping them to achieve this through the power of their wardrobe to be the key driver behind the brand’s success to date.
“Intelligent luxury is a modern interpretation of the style, versatility and vision of human interactions in the world,” he concludes.