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This Denim Museum Has More Than 15,000 Garments

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Verona is not just the fictional home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The Northern Italian city now lays claim to a denim archive housing more than 15,000 pieces dating as far back as the mid-19th century.

Laundry and garment manufacturer, Elleti Group, celebrated last week the grand opening of its denim museum with a host of industry friends and partners.

The Museum of Denim Elleti Group (MODE) is dedicated to the historical pieces from the group’s private collection dating between the mid-nineteenth century to the 1970s. The 106-piece collection includes well-preserved and rare garments that reveal stories about their past owners’ history and lives.

Levi’ Strauss & Co., Lee and Wrangler are featured in the collection, as well as brands that have disappeared over time, including Stronghold, Big Mac, Boss of the Road and Gold Medal.

Stefano Aldighieri, president of Another design studio, curated the garments. The selection is catalogued in a publication that traces the evolution of denim finishing. The catalogue was created in collaboration with Candiani Denim, Nearchimica and Tonello.

Museum of Denim Elleti Group
Museum of Denim Elleti Group Courtesy

A second area, called Stadium, houses 15,000 garments made by Elleti Group dating from the 1980s to the present day. The collection serves as a visual timeline to the company’s investments and experimentation in finishing. The garments are displayed in a stadium-like environment across seven flights of concrete steps.

Elleti Group marked the opening of its vault with a party and panel discussion on product and production processes that focus on sustainability, traceability and protection for the environment and consumers. Speakers included Genius Group founder Adriano Goldschmied, Candiani Denim owner Alberto Candiani, Denham the Jeanmaker founder Jason Denham, Dondup president Matteo Marzotto, Fashion Box CEO Matteao Sinigaglia and Kings of Indigo founder Tony Tonnaer.

Both archives are intended to support designers in their research and development processes. Luigi Lovato, founder of Elleti Group, said his wish for the project is to become a source of inspiration for creative and sustainable design.

“This is the legacy that we, from Elleti Group, want to leave to the fashion industry next generations,” Lovato said. “Only by knowing where we came from, it is possible to know which direction to take for a better future.”