Posted on April 12 2014
I recently was able to sit down with Antonio, albeit over the phone to discuss the new collection at A.K.RIKK'S this Spring: Eidos. If you have not been in to see it yet, you need to make some time, the staff is loving it!
Ben: Why did you start Eidos? What was the hole in the industry that Eidos filled? I wanted to redefine what the entry point in the luxury market looks like from an ethical and aesthetic level. At the time, I knew a lot of young men who were becoming interested in quality Italian tailoring but didn't have many options that fit their needs. What they liked was outside of what most of them could spend and what they could afford was lacking either in taste, quality or, in most cases, both. It seemed to me that there was an opportunity for a company like Isaia, a veteran in the field who owned a large chunk of the supply chain, to create a brand that could offer these guys a really well-made version of the look that they wanted at a price that they could actually wrap their head around. Ben: What does Eidos mean? Eidos is the soul of something - its true form. It comes from Plato - he said that we can only see a reflection of a something or someone's Eidos. I love this idea as it applies to our brand: clothing with soul, crafted with integrity to be a contemporary reflection of timeless Italian style. Ben: What does the Eidos symbol stand for? (trojan horse?). The icon you find on our lapel pin is a direct reference to Plato's allegory of Phaedrus in which he talked about the soul depicted as a charioteer being pulled by two horses. It's a little reminder to the customer that the garment they chose to wear that day was produced the right way by people that want to create something bigger than clothing. Ben: We know you are inspired but Isaia, what is the tie between the two brands, or is there one? To me, the most inspiring thing about Isaia is their focus on innovative fabric. Leonardo Genova, the brand's lead designer is second to none when it comes to creating fabrics that are simultaneously colorful, bold and wearable. I try to apply that strong foundation in interesting and unexpected fabrics in my own way, making them a bit more rough, less precious and applicable for the younger guy that is wearing our clothes. Ben: What makes the construction different from other brands at your price point? We produce our entire collection in Italy using the same old-world construction techniques that you would find if flew to Naples to have a suit made by a bespoke tailor. The most notable is our jacket's full canvas construction: We loosely blindstich a lightweight layer of free floating horsehair canvas in between the layers of our jackets and suits' fabric which allows them to mold to your body over time, fitting you better after each wear all the while preserving the original dimensions of the cloth. Most other clothing companies that produce tailoring in our price range skip this step, simply gluing a layer of fusible to the inside front of the coat. Both methods can yield a beautiful garment on a hanger but a fully canvassed jacket will last at least twice as long. Ben: We love the shirting and pants, what has made you create a full collection instead of just suiting and sport coats? It was important for me to have Eidos be a complete idea. While thankfully younger guys have begun to again see the value of a beautifully cut suit or jacket in their wardrobe, the utility is different. In many cases, they are wearing it because they want to, not out of need and that means they are wearing it back to great sports shirt and jeans on the weekend, not just with a wool trouser to work during the week. It was important to me that we be a full, head to ankle (no shoes yet!) resource for our customers. Ben: What was your favorite part of creating a line / favorite part of the creative process? There is nothing more satisfying than seeing six months of hard work end up in the hands of someone who is just as excited about the product as me. I'm proud that we are able to offer such a wonderful product and maintain the level of value that it has.