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    18 East: Crunchy Clothes That Sell Out Faster Than a Streetwear Drop


    From GQ’s November 2020 issue, The Big Pivot explores how nimble businesspeople in companies large and small—from an Austin, TX drive-in to an abstract painter to an Atlanta bookseller dedicated to Black literature—created communities and gave us hope in the middle of the pandemic. See all the stories here.


    “I still have PTSD from running a business that was based on what people wear to work,” Antonio Ciongoli says. He used to make fancy Italian suits for Eidos, the brand he started in 2013, though over time his designs grew progressively more elastic-waisted and crunchier-feeling and generally unsuitlike. Eventually he stopped, and started a new line. This one, 18 East, launched in New York in 2018, would be dedicated to the kinds of clothes he truly loved: baggy cargo pants and camp shirts and hoodies built for skateboarding and hiking in the Vermont woods where he grew up. People were into doing these things in the pre-pandemic days, of course, and 18 East’s sales were up about 30% this year before COVID hit. But when life screeched to a halt in March, it became clear that Ciongoli’s clothes were even better suited for a summer where office work no longer required pants and leisure time meant simply going outside: As of September, he was up more than 200% year over year.



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