ELEVEN SIX: Luxury Knits Handcrafted in Bolivia and Peru
Catherine Carnevale, founder of ELEVEN SIX, a luxury knitwear line, grew up in a house of knitters. Her mother was one. Her grandmother was one. As a child, Catharine found herself knitting and sewing anything she could get her hands on. This love of the craft led her to an Art & Design Foundation course at Central Saint Martins and then a specialist Knitwear BA honors degree at the University of Brighton.
The degree required a year in industry, so Catherine sought an internship in New York and then went on to build an extensive career, holding senior design posts in knitwear at both Club Monaco and Calvin Klein. Then, she visited Peru. A turning point in her path that led to the creation of ELEVEN SIX, designed in NYC and made in Peru and Bolivia. Catherine recalls,
A few years ago I took a trip to Peru, Sacred Valley with my husband hiking in the Andes- which I found to be an incredibly powerful and spiritual place. I was three months pregnant at the time and gazing out onto an incredible mountain scape I had a moment of realization that I was ready for a change of lifestyle and ready to leave the corporate world to try something for myself. Being inspired by the artisan work from South America and the beautiful native andean fibre Alpaca I wanted to create a luxury Knitwear line that utilized these beautiful things.
First, she found a Bolivian cooperative to work with and then later, some small family factories in Peru that work with Peruvian artisan groups. A vast difference from her experience working in Asia, Catherine loved sourcing smaller, more local production and where she could directly empower and give work to talented artisan women. Each ELEVEN SIX hand knit item has a hang tag signed by the artisan maker and an edition number.
ELEVEN SIX is known for their use of alpaca (particularly baby alpaca). Alpaca is a luxurious fiber indigenous to South America that is natural, sustainable, eco-friendly and ethical. Through the process of evolution, the Alpaca has developed fleece that allows the hypoallergenic fiber to withstand the cold as well as the equatorial warmth. This means that ELEVEN SIX pieces can be worn in all seasons, adding warmth in the winter and remaining cool in the summer. Catherine shares,
As a mother, wife, and entrepreneur, I design for the modern woman in need of a versatile wardrobe to suit a lifestyle of work, travel and play. Much of our collection appeals to a wide age range as we offer an effortless yet elevated approach to knit dressing with styles that can easily be worn as separates or head to toe! The ELEVEN SIX woman is a conscious consumer and interested in investing in something she finds unique and that supports the artisan women.