ALIEN.ELEVEN is an Oakland fashion brand created by Ben Ellis, an Academy of Art University alumnus and also a current instructor at the school in menswear design, along with Photographer/Project Manager Danielle Rueda and Stylist/Designer Savannah Avant. ALIEN.ELEVEN is born from a breadth of experience and a desire for new outcomes from a fashion label.
"Movement is key and our silhouettes reflect that; Ben’s background as a competitive athlete and alignment-based yoga feeds unexpected cuts and layers to create clothes that support action; an upbringing in Alaska sparks Ben’s desire to create pieces with something to say and a desire to connect. Danielle and Savannah’s attitudes and work ethic reflect these same principles…"
According to Ben and his team, the brand is inspired by the Bay Area’s culture of social justice and the words of activist Vandana Shiva, ‘Nature has an economy,’ ALIEN.ELEVEN is the first-of-its-kind fiscally sponsored fashion label. This means they have adopted non-profit DNA to create a fashion brand that is part of a healthy business ecosystem. On December 6, 2019, the brand made its debut at SHOP657 store.
Ben Ellis - ALIEN.ELEVEN Founder/Designer
ALIEN.ELEVEN Event at SHOP657
The launch party was an immersive experience. Ben and his team really transformed SHOP657 venue into a space of how we would describe as an "urban jungle." From outside through the clear glass, guests could see a big poster of brand's editorial photograph, which was a work by Danielle Rueda; it was an eye-catching piece. Glance over to the right, people can see the a figure wearing one of Ben's pieces wearing a full-faced mask sitting on a chair. You may wonder, "is that a mannequin?" And the answer is no, it was actually a live model who you can interact with.
As guests walked in, they were "greeted" with a row of mannequins wearing Ben's designs, all styled by Savannah Avant. They could observe and feel the clothes from different angles as they walked through the mannequins. Ben called this "the mannequin jungle" which was really suitable with the visual of the event. And the immersive experience didn't just stop there as guests could even try on the clothes as well and being photographed by photographer Lawrence De Leon during the event.
Candle lights, potted plants, lounge area, artworks, upbeat music, snacks and drinks, they all came together nicely creating a very intimate and cozy environment on a rainy evening in December, much like ALIEN.ELEVEN's slogan, "Welcome home."