18 East
by Stephen Garner

Antonio Ciongoli has dropped the third collection of his 18 East collection just in time for spring. The brand’s founder and creative director, Ciongoli focused on Vietnam and drew on its diverse traditions in printing, weaving, and embroidery. The 23-piece capsule is the first drop of 2019 for the brand.

New this season is the introduction of 100 percent hemp knitwear. A more sustainable alternative to transitional knitwear options like cotton and linen, every sweater offered in this delivery was knit from 100 percent Toscano hemp. Though it has long been prized for its durability and longevity, hemp cultivation remains illegal in many of the Eastern countries where its use was popularized. 

With Italy on the forefront of the industrialized hemp movement, 18 East chose to create two models that celebrate the textile’s workwear roots. The Dihn crewneck is offered in 3 distinct mélange colors and features hand-knotted frog closures at the shoulder. The Van crewneck replicates the distinct embroidered batik hemp fabrics traditionally woven by the Black Hmong people.

18 East

Ciongoli also utilized Hmong cotton and hemp batiks for the chest pockets and undercollars of the Charlotte travel vest. He then took the production remnants and patched them together to create a limited, four-piece edition of the Mandu Jungle Jacket. The brand also incorporated the linear, intricate geometric patterns of Cham handloom brocades into the trim of the Kelsang camp shirt and Karma easy pant.

The brand has also released its second collaboration with L.A.-based knitwear company Standard Issue. 18 East sent 50 of Standard Issue’s American-made white tees to their block printers’ workshop in Jaipur after Ciongoli fell in love with the vivid, pigment-splashed cotton their printers used to clean their hands after mixing each color.  The tees were swapped in for this fabric, creating one-of-a-kind works of art on each.  Of the 50, 25 were then hand-dyed in natural indigo and all were hand-numbered. 

Further, 18 East sent California-based denim upcycling brand Atelier & Repairs it’s collection of Vietnamese vintage fabrics (handwoven hemps, batiks, Cham weaving, embroidered indigos) to be used on a run of 50 pairs of unaltered fit 501s.

18 East