Since leaving Rag & Bone in 2006, Nathan Bogle’s journey has taken him to many different places.
After a short hiatus, he dabbled in culinary school, film school and consulting before finding his way back to the apparel business in 2012 with his line Jardine, a contemporary men’s wear collection named after his great-grandfather that shuttered in 2014. This collection, which was nothing like Rag & Bone, consisted of suit separates, dress shirts and polo shirts made of synthetic fabrics.
Now he’s taking another stab at fashion with Double Eleven, a sustainable men’s brand that embodies the Americana ethos he embraced at Rag & Bone.
“I was sitting on a factory floor on 38th Street where we made our leathers for Jardine and I was watching the guy cut the hide and basically utilize only 70 percent of it,” said Bogle. “And I just went through the calculation of the cow, feeding it and the food and water and it hit me like a ton of bricks and I thought, I’ve got to solve this.”
Bogle’s solution is layered. He’s producing Made in Los Angeles men’s wear basics — denim, T-shirts, sweaters and jackets — that are constructed with deadstock fabrics. Knits are made with organic stock yarn and dyes are plant- and vegetable-based. Garments only consist of one label and are packaged in cardboard tubes, which Bogle is hoping shoppers will reuse. Instead using mounds of tissue paper, items are wrapped in a single piece of paper that features a calendar and the brand’s tenets. In addition to that, all of the pieces in the line are cut, sewn and packed within a 15-mile radius. Denim retails at $125, knits and T-shirts range from $25 to $45, shirting is priced at $110, chinos retail for $124 and outerwear ranges from $160 to $200.
“I was really trying to give people cool, everyday, conscientious product that still has all of those elements that we are familiar with in contemporary clothing but has this back story,” said Bogle, who relays the brand’s sustainability message on a hang tag. “I think bite-sized pieces of information is the stronger way to communicate this to the consumer.
The name for the collection came from Civilian Clothing 41 or CC41, a rationing program in England that was put into place in 1941 and required manufacturers to place limits on how they used materials and produced clothes. Double Eleven was the name of the program that came after CC41 that produced better quality items that were still placed under manufacturing restrictions.
“I just thought it was a really interesting parallel and certainly fit into this idea of working within our means but not compromising on quality and style,” said Bogle.
The collection is currently being sold on the Double Eleven e-commerce site, but Bogle is hoping to sell it in specialty retailers around the U.S. and department stores. He also wants to expand the line to include outerwear, more denim options and women’s. For international production, his goal is to source the materials for the clothes and produce them in the region they are distributed. In the meantime he’s providing uniforms for coffee shops and restaurants including the New York-based Jack’s Wife Freda.
“You have farm to table, and clothing has been a bit slow to catch up, but I think the apparel industry is next in line,” said Bogle. “It’s just a matter of finding that balance between style, fit, price and quality where you don’t feel like you are being crunchy. But I think that idea is dying away because there are brands out there like Stella McCartney, Maiyet and Reformation that are doing cool stuff.”