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INFocus:
Pier Eleven

Before we begin this story, we are going to start with our first ever journalistic disclaimer:  this is a story about a concept that is so complex, perplexing & intriguing that we aren’t really sure how to write about it in a way that is instantly understandable or in a manner that does it proper justice.  There’s something here for sure… but precisely what… maybe you can help us ascertain.  So “bear” with us (pun intended & explained below) & let’s learn together…

piereleven imageWhat happens when you put several Wharton educated Investment Bankers together in a room & tell them to sell some t-shirts?  Well, PierEleven, of course.  PierEleven (www.piereleven.com) isn’t just a site where one goes to buy a trendy t-shirt however.  In fact, it’s not until several minutes on the site that you can even find a t-shirt to buy.  To get there, you have to pass (click) through a series if beautifully shot black & white imagery that is an alluring experience in & of itself.  But then, voila!  A t-shirt with a price tag of $90.0 (the way the site lists its prices... no pennies here) to boot.   Yes, it’s a $90.0 t-shirt.  A very nice t-shirt indeed, but not one that comes too cheaply.  There’s more to this story however…

The brains behind the project is Nav Chatterji, who came up with the idea when Wall Street was booming & wanted to work on a new concept that would glorify his creative side.  As his project came to fruition the garment novice realized that “Wall Street was so yesterday” & how could he exploit this candid & honest realization about his vocation.  Chatterji goes on to state “Bullish is sexy, but bearish is in” (just another insider term straight from the Stock Exchange).

Not just another T-shirt- PierEleven t-shirts take an intelligent look at our culture & its many happenings while poking fun at the financial world’s many clichés. “The Walled Street 101” collection in the experimental project provides an alternative perspective to the current conflict of the financial times through the eyes of an eclectic group of international artists.  Each artist’s idea is then translated into a photograph which illustrates the given theme.  Such theme’s include: hedged?, rainmaker,  pointman, models & bullish.rainmaker t-shirt

Consisting of only five designs, each created by one of five artists, that’s it… five designs & only 24 available per theme- PierEleven is structuring its sales in the manner that art galleries are run.  In other words, the artists will agree to only “authorize” an extremely limited edition run of copies, much the same as the serigraph business runs. Once the next collection is created, the remaining inventory is placed in the “archives” of the site & is available for sale in a pricing model dictated by a complex logarithm where supply & demand dictate the price & elevate the individual unit prices to a point where the last unit available is sold at such a premium that no more would have sold anyway due to the elevated pricing structure.  Confused… so were we, but here’s an example:  Let’s say that the first 20 t-shirts sell for the original price of $90.0 each, there are only 4 left.  The 21st may be for sale for $120.0 , the 22nd may sell for $250.0, the 23rd for $400.0 & the final one will be offered for $900.0 (these prices are all speculative… lest I have to figure out the pricing logarithm… not going to happen).

As if that weren’t enough, get this… sales will only be available to those located in New York City proper as each piece sold is hand delivered by a PierEleven “Angello” who mimics an ancient art transaction with an official seal signed by the artist & upon delivery signed by the “Angello” themselves. 

“This is an experiment- hopefully it goes somewhere,” says Chatterji.  Don’t be fooled by his laid back approach- his business mind has a number of off the beaten path ideas in the works. 

Pier Eleven launched its sales efforts September 1st @ www.piereleven.com .

-Meredith Garcia & Scott French
(also note… this is a rare TheFashionList dual by-line… it took two of us to figure it out… sort of figure it out that is)


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