BEHIND THE SEAMS: 1177 Socks
The wardrobe essential that completes the outfit yet is the most overlooked is the sock. All of our labels, from the preppiest #CaptainKennedy to our #EdgarAllenFaux hipster and everything in between, need a good sock. Often disregarded, it’s crazy to us that we go for cheap quality socks that we sweat through and have holes appear in every few months. Enter international accessory company 1177 (Eleven Seventy-Seven) where "Technology Meets Glamour.” Coming in a variety of lengths, colors, and fits, they live up to their own slogan to a T.
We first fell for the brand when we attended their New York Fashion Week event, where we absolutely marveled at how comfortable the socks were. They go where no brand has gone before, adding an actual left and right - your foot is shaped differently after all. What amazes us even more is the unique threads each socks are made from, hypoallergenic while not attracting dust and dirt. We chatted with their US Ambassadors, who told us more about the exclusive "Sock Machine,” the future plans of the brand, and how they plan to make socks interesting to the general public.
Labeling Men: How did the brand begin?
1177: In Italy, our private label manufacturer had been pursuing a brand to build that’s all their own. When they looked at the market place they came up with the idea of functional socks.
Labeling Men: What makes the socks special?
1177: They’re unique socks that are comfortable, antimicrobial, and they last. The right and the left foot are stitched differently to give room in the toes, the heel, and fit each arch. There's also a flat seam on the toes. Everything had a purpose to it. The socks you can wear as dress socks, sport socks, and they move from day to night because they wick away sweat while keeping you warm!
Labeling Men: Yeah, we were running around in them during Fashion Week thinking, “Wow, these don’t make my feet sweat!?”
1177: Another thing you don’t notice is they have graduated compression. So you’ve got compression on your leg, but it’s not too tight so you’re still comfortable. At any length, they’ll stay up without you having to pull them up. They’re truly a piece of functional art for your foot with a packaging that’s completely different from anything else in the marketplace. The vending machine concept and the energy-can that the socks are coming in is completely new.
Labeling Men: Who came up with the vending machine idea? At the launch event we noticed that that was what everyone was drawn to.
1177: We wanted to put it in new, non-traditional places like airports, hotels, and streets where you wouldn’t expect to buy a sock, but you’re drawn to it. The machine itself is interactive. It tells you about the socks, you can chose different versions, and you can see exactly what it’s going to look like. There’s a statistic that 90 percent of men’s socks are not bought by men. The vast majority of men’s socks are bought by women. So the vending machine might be a way to get men to interact with this market. It’s a quick, on-the-go purchase they don’t need to spend time in a store for. We’d like to see that men can get jazzed up about decorating their feet and ankles as much as women do.
Labeling Men: The socks were first available in other countries, so why America? Why now?
1177: In this particular case, they first wanted the exposure in Europe. They had distribution in Paris and Italy. They were working on it for well over a year because they wanted to make sure they had it as right as they could before starting to distribute in the US. This is the biggest market in the world that they can sell to. It’s untapped because in this country, there isn’t enough attention given to socks yet.
Labeling Men: Right, because the only place for men’s dress socks are Brooks Brothers or Ralph Lauren and then you have Puma for a casual vibe. You can’t really find a sock that’s truly in-between casual and dressy.
1177: Exactly. So this is that in-between sock. You can wear it during the day with your loafers, go cycling or running with sneakers, and then slip on dress shoes all without having to change your socks. People are starting to look for more than just socks, they’re looking for that function.
Labeling Men: Who would be your ideal brand ambassador for 1177 socks?
1177: Anyone who wears socks! It’s not a one-target audience; it’s a necessity.
Labeling Men: Any plans in expanding to other categories?
1177: A year and a half ago, we had this experimental, tight running top that was made from the same dry yarn that the socks are made of. It had a ridiculously cool pattern on it and was skintight. I ran in the sample during winter and unbelievably didn’t need anything on top of it. So we’d expand slowly into athletic apparel with those yarn fibers that keep you warm with flexible compression.
By Nisim Frank
Photography by Andrew Werner
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