UNPLUGGED: Tell us about Eleven XXI. What is it?
Preston: It is a fashion company. We mix greek mythology and fashion. We take the concept of a blazer and transform it. You can wear it Monday through Friday, your day settings and your night club setting. We took that blazer and the essence of it, and compared it to greek mythology and gods. Say for instance we have our “zeus” and “Hera” collection. They represent a king and queen. An executive or CEO. Then you have your “Athen”, your “Poseidon”, your transitionals. It's going to be a more open, casual jacket with lighter material. We then have your “Hades” and “Aphrodite.” We have a lot of different concepts with Eleven XXI. Like our “Smart Tech” blazers. They are going to be one of those evolutionary things. We put smart technology inside the blazers. You can tap your blazer, and it will deploy an application on your phone. It will give you Eleven XXI access, where you can access our web page, our blog and information on greek gods and goddesses.
UNPLUGGED: Why Blazers?
Preston: let me tell you how you Eleven XXI came to be. I was bartending one night. My brother, Dereck Shy
the other founder of Eleven XXI texted me. He said “Hey man, let's do business together.” I said “Sure, why not! What are we going to do?” He said let's do dress clothes. I said “What are we gonna do with dress clothes?” There are so many things you can do. Pick one item and do it well. I was in my closet one day. Just looking through my attire and I had an array of blazers. I told Derek, “If we were going to make something, let's make something we already own. So we can cut that cost out of our expenses. Let's do Blazers. So initially it just started off as mens blazers. I was taking a mythology class at the time. My teacher said “ What if we thought about the greek gods not as gods, but as a feeling.” What if we thought about Zeus being an executive. Being powerful. Or Hades being malicious and devilish. That's where the concept flowered. Eleven XXI started to bloom.
UNPLUGGED: So you do men and Women's blazers?
Preston: That is correct.
UNPLUGGED: How difficult is it creating a woman's attire as a male?
Preston: For me, I have always had the eye of fashion. To see what looks good together. What I think looks good. A lot of other men and women don't always see things as I do. So I took the approach of one of my biggest inspirations, Balmain. I had a few other inspirations as well. I really like their style. Their double breasted blazers. I like their different approach to how they create fashion. I took what I would like to see on a male or female, and merged it with different inspirations from greek mythology. I have always had an
artistic eye, but I never thought I would be designing fashion.
UNPLUGGED: Who is the Eleven XXI male and female blazer targeted to?
Preston: Our target market is to entrepreneurs between 21 to 45. Were targeting the executives, the CEO’s, the young entrepreneurs. Even the more relaxed crowds. The ones who still want to be relaxed and also professional. We want to target the younger crowds who want to be more luxurious. Like the people who go out at night to the club scene. Those are our 3 different categories. Our looks are also perfect for weddings!
UNPLUGGED: So Eleven XXI is both ready wear and tailor fit?
Preston: Yes. Correct.
UNPLUGGED: How affordable is it?
Preston: It is very affordable. So our “Absolute Custom Olympian Bespoke blazers.” are to make your vision a reality. We come and take your measurements and you tell us what you want to have on it. Then we design it for you. With base price measurements we can split the cost into payments. We know not everyone can afford it all at once. We want to make getting your blazer as easy as possible. We want to perfect our hospitality and give our consumers something that no one else can give them. Even without
other blazers, they are about the same price as what an express blazer would be. We also have promotions and discounts. I come from a military background. I am also in the military right now. I want to accommodate veterans and also to educational career fields. We want to accommodate teachers and students for that matter because it is not easy. As a student, you are expected to stay professional and sustain life while taking classes. We most definitely want to give you that option.
UNPLUGGED: What is the feeling you want people to take away when they are wearing an Eleven XXI blazer?
Preston: We want them to feel the true essence of power. We want you to wake up and be like “I have an interview today, I want to look sharp and clean.” We want to cut out the decision of what to wear. So you can feel like “”Zues” and feel strong for this interview. Or if you're going out to the club today, you can grab your “Hades” blazer. The same thing for women. If you are going to go out with your friends for happy hour, you can grab your “Athena” blazer. We have those looks for you.
UNPLUGGED: Tell us about the blazer you are wearing right now.
Preston: The blazer I am wearing right now is one I designed. One thing about our “Olympian Bespoke”
blazers is that we can get any fabric you can think of. We offer custom linings with high resolution images. What I am wearing today is a crushed red wine velvet blazer. It has a 4 stripped pattern on my left arm. I am wearing Eleven XXI accessories to compliment the blazer as well. A pocket square and a “Power Lapel” pin. Inside I have a custom rose imaging lining. This fabric is outsourced as well. I wanted to give the readers a visual of exactly what we are capable of. We have image lining, we have accessories to go on the blazer like the stripes. Even more so with the embroidery. Like our signature tag we have inside. We embroider your name inside with our logo!
UNPLUGGED: How can people get in touch with you?
Preston: We have our website. There you can create and order your custom blazer. Our website is Iameleven21.com You can get our other contact information there. Book a champagne consultation. With our custom “Olympian bespoke” blazers, we start our consultation with champagne for you! We celebrate your purchase and trust within our company!
UNPLUGGED: Is that per purchase?
Preston: That is per consultation. The consultations are usually about an hour long.
UNPLUGGED: Any shout outs you want to give?
Preston: Samantha, my marketing chief. She is working hard and doing everything with me. Dereck Shy who was unable to be here today. He is the founder and co owner of the company. Our different directors, Isaic, Our “Olympian Bespoke” manager. Jasmine Smith our event coordinator, and Candice our training manager. With Eleven XXI we are building an empire. If you think we are a small business, you should be thinking about a large corporation. That is where we are going.
UNPLUGGED: What was it like shooting with unplugged magazine?
Preston: I loved it man. We had a good time. The music was great. We had a really good time. Everything was easy and fluent. I would definitely do it again.
Article written by: Caitlin Johnson
Interview by: Phillip Bufford, Owner of UNPLUGGED Magazine