Italian specialized laundry and garment manufacturer Elleti Group recently inaugurated two important projects–M.O.D.E., Museum of Denim Elleti Group, and Stadium, an archive of garments produced by the company from the 1980s until today–hosting a total of more than 15,100 pieces inside an area of its main offices in San Bonifacio, near Verona, in Northern Italy.
Elleti Group is a point of reference for Europe and the Mediterranean area with its 11 production plants located between Italy, Tunisia and Romania. The group acquired the prestigious laundry and finisher Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili in 2016 and produces between 14 and 15 million items per year. It forecasts to register over €80 million sales by end 2019, stable when compared with 2018.
Along with the opening party, Elleti also organized a roundtable involving important insiders of the denim sector.
S.I. asked Luigi Lovato, founder, Elleti Group, what are the group’s aims and expectations tied to the initiative.
Why did you create M.O.D.E. and Stadium? What benefits do you expect from them?
“Accessibility” was the keyword that inspired the opening of M.O.D.E. and Stadium. On the one side we wanted that the heritage of our archive pieces mostly collected inside the museum–also including the collection that belonged to Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili–could be available to everyone. On the other side, there was the desire to also make available the last 35 years of R&D that we had poured in our company’s sample collections physically gathering them inside one single space. This way we would have been able to support our clients’ work and creativity and set a reference point for our industry by leaving some truly unique resources at their disposal.
Along with this, my wish is that these two archives could also help raising the technological innovation bar even further by paying more and more attention to the preservation of the planet. This is the legacy that we want to leave to the fashion industry’s next generations. Only by knowing where we came from it is possible to know which direction to take for a better future.
Who will be able to visit these two archives?
Both spaces will be at our industry’s disposal and available for being consulted by our clients. More specifically, insiders will be able to visit M.O.D.E. upon invitation only.
According to which criteria did you organize each of them?
The 106 items collected inside M.O.D.E. are divided by brand, according to ten groups. Among all brands, Levi’s is the predominant one. For this we gave it four sections: Levi’s mod. 701, 201, 33; Levi’s Amoskeag and WWII; Levi’s XX 1920s-1950s mod. 501; and Levi’s 1950s-1970s mod. 501. We are also hosting Wrangler, Lee, Stronghold, Big Mac, Boss Of The Road, Gold Medal and, among others, a selection made with non-denim fabrics and one of denim workwear.
Stadium hosts about 15,000 pieces through seven orders of steps subdivided into five sectors according to five categories–vintage, color, everything apart from trousers, fashion pieces and secondhand items. We are presenting the collections we have produced through the 35 years of our activity together with secondhand clothes we bought and collected during our research trips.
Every item carries a specific QR Code and a seal that identifies which sector it belongs to. Though the archive is an in-progress project we want to update periodically in seasons to come.
Would you eventually present part of these two collections in any trade show?
It is a possibility we are not against. Trade shows are extremely important appointments for our sector and the items we host at M.O.D.E are a heritage that testifies to this sector’s most ancient history as they are dated between the 1850s and the 1970s. Stadium, instead, as part of our company’s archive, is studied to remain inside our company, in San Bonifacio, near Verona.
An exclusive panel took place during the inauguration party. Can you describe what emerged?
The talk involved important players of this market such as Adriano Goldschmied, founder, Genius Group and House of Gold; Alberto Candiani, owner, Candiani Denim; Jason Denham, founder, Denham the Jeanmaker; Matteo Marzotto, president, Dondup; Matteo Sinigaglia, CEO, Fashion Box and Tony Tonnaer, founder, Kings of Indigo. Moderating our panel was Stefano Aldighieri, president, Another Design Studio Inc.
The past, present and future of denim were key topics of the talk. All speakers agreed that vintage continues to be important for this industry and that historical pieces as the ones collected by M.O.D.E. and Stadium are precious inspiration sources able to feed brands’ and designers’ creativity.
We also discussed about how price is no longer the main driver when choosing a pair of jeans as quality of the product, transparency and sustainability of productive process are becoming increasingly important for consumers who have grown much more educated, informed and interested in knowing more about such aspects.
Sustainability is a hard to define –and therefore to prove–aspect. Responsibility, instead, was recognized as the right path to tread upon to create products that care about society, value chain partners, final consumers and the environment best. Moreover, sustainability should be considered as an equation that combines innovation, responsibility and efficiency together.
What evolution do you see for the whole jeanswear and denim market?
At the closing of our roundtable we also spoke about this topic seen from the perspective of new technologies and all of the challenges they are bringing along. Also emerging was the opinion that it is necessary finding alternatives to cotton and simplifying a market saturated with communication and product. A positive message was also clearly pointed out as denim has always owned an intrinsic energy that made it remain fresh and young through the centuries. This energy will also be the propellant for facing future challenges.