Now, more than any other period in recent history, is a time to reconsider what is essential. Buy less, buy better…you know the spiel. It’s a gospel Stòffa has been preaching for years. Since it launched in 2014, the New York-based brand has championed a keenly focused view of menswear: timeless wardrobe staples, made-to-measure in a serene palette of solid neutrals. Think of it as the love child of Marie Kondo and a Neapolitan tailor—minimalist essentials rendered with a reverence for old-school craftsmanship.
It’s a sartorial cultivar that’s especially appealing in turbulent times like these—the fashion equivalent of comfort food. But, great as a perfectly prepared spaghetti Bolognese is, it’s nice to spice things up every once in a while. This is precisely why the brand recently introduced Editions, a series of limited-run, made-to-order garments that maintain the thoughtful ethos but color outside Stòffa’s meticulously drawn lines.
Its latest, Edition 002, launches this week and is a collaboration with Indian brand 11.11. While 11.11’s boho threads (billowy shirts, drop-crotch pants, etc.) may seem disparate from Stòffa’s breed of clean-lined restraint, the brands felt a natural alignment after being introduced by a mutual friend.
“Both of our projects are reimagining the business model for a clothing brand through a holistic approach,” says Nick Ragosta, who co-founded Stòffa with Agyesh Madan. “We are both striving for deeper connections, whether it be with our farmers, makers or clients.”
11.11 designers Mia Morikawa and Shani Himanshu are exceptionally committed to craftsmanship. Their “seed to stitch” philosophy includes such practices as using indigenous cotton (think of it as opting for heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market rather than buying genetically modified bulk from Costco—which most every luxury label does) and employing local Indian artisans to handloom, weave, dye and quilt each piece they produce. Given that both brands, in their own ways, distill fashion back to basics, materials were a natural starting point for the collaboration.
Another one of 11.11’s sustainable practices is that it saves every offcut, remnant and scrap of fabric that might otherwise be tossed. That stockpile of snippets came in handy when Stòffa came calling, providing the base for Edition 002. All hand-dyed in various shades of natural indigo, the fragments were patchworked into textiles using two traditional Indian embroidery techniques before being cut and sewn into Stòffa’s designs. In that sense, every piece in the collection is a product of recycling.
The collection marries the streamlined silhouettes for which Stòffa is known with the wabi-sabi idiosyncrasies that are 11.11’s signature. There are relaxed shirt jackets in kantha quilting, as well as traditional pleated trousers with side tabs and—a Stòffa first—easygoing drawstring pants. Two of the standouts feature chindi, a patchwork of smaller fabric fragments that reads as a painterly riff on camouflage, in a pleasingly weighty raglan coat and chore jacket. By nature of the materials, each piece features subtle, unique variances. That coupled with the classically elegant proportions, hits a sweet spot between eccentric and timeless that feels particularly well-suited to the current moment: essential, but far from basic.
“Now felt like a good time to use what we already have and highlight the value of fabric down to the last bit,” says Ragosta, adding, “Also, patchwork has a transformational quality—mending fractured pieces into a beautiful, unified whole—that felt particularly relevant right now.”
That spirit of unity colored every step of the process. The production, divided between 11.11’s Indian textile artisans and Stòffa’s Italian tailors, was an exercise in cultural cross-pollination. The team in India developed the fabrics first, shipping bolts of it off to Italy to be turned into garments. When it arrived, the tailors gave Ragosta and Madan a concerned phone call. Surely these textiles, unlike anything they’d ever worked with, were sent by mistake?
Confusion cleared up, the Stòffa co-founders say their workshops relished the opportunity to work in a new medium. Madan says one tailor even sent a selfie he’d taken, beaming with pride beside the final pieces before they made their way to New York. Now, the inherently limited-edition wares are ready to make the final leg of their world tour: the journey to your closet. Only available until October 3, these singular duds are the best kind of statement pieces—the kind with a story.