CURRENTLY, the number eleven is no
longer just a number: recently, it has come to represent a new accessory
line called Eleven Objects. Lately, the designers presented their
fallwinter 2011 collection, specializing in a range of collars.
Christine Rhee and Linh Thi Do have collaborated to form modern
and chic accessories for women to wear, adding a spark of originality
to their outfits.
Having once worked for a few fashion houses in the past
such as Alexander Wang and Tse, Linh Thi majored in biology as well
as fine arts and eventually received a degree in fashion design
at Parsons School of Design in New York. She joined Christine Rhee
who previously had her own line, CHREE,
which was featured in various publications such as Teen Vogue
and Marie Claire US. They collaborated and brought both of
their fashion expertise to design original and attractive accessories.
The collars simple designs, created from various
materials including raw silk, silk faille, Italian jacquard silks
or even calf hair, are spiced up with a flare, adding Swarovski
crystals, brass studs and other detailed pieces. The small ornaments
and decorations are placed either all around the collar, or simply
on the corners. No matter where the creations are featured when
a woman wears the collar, an 11 logo is discreetly situated
on the back of the necka small element that represents the
Their designs are currently sold online. While they
plan to collaborate eventually with designers in the near future,
they also plan to add to their collar collection, creating other
accessories that will enable wearers to mix and match certain pieces
together. The designs include simple or overly complex constructions
that can define a womans personality as well as their outfits.
Christine and Linh Thi talked to us about the idea behind
Eleven Objects, their decision to dive into the world of fashion
in creating wonderfully original pieces, and, finally, their future
prospects in their new name brand. Both young women, very energetic
and excited about their line, also shared their love for fashion;
Christine wore a collar of her own to accompany her ensemble.
Lucire: Why did you both decide to choose the
number 11 to represent your line?
Christine Rhee: I know that when Linh Thi and I started
talking about doing an accessories line, we wanted to go with
a number. Neither one of us wanted to use our name: we wanted to
be something where the brand could stand on its own. So we came
up with the number 11 because Linh This birthday is, I think,
two days before mine and we are both born in November, the eleventh
We were going to start working for fall 2011, we knew
it was going to be another 11 and so we sort of thought of it
For me I loved how graphic it was, I immediately thought that we
could do a beautiful logo
What allowed you to become involved in the fashion industry?
Linh Thi Do: I actually sewed ever since I was smaller because
my grandmother decided it was a good skill to have. I was a biology
and a fine arts major in college and I think I just decided
[fashion] is a really great way for people to express
enjoy their lives and really enjoy themselves,
so I decided to move to New York and get into fashion, and that
is how I ended up going to Parsons.
Part of the reason why I did get into fashion
is because you can actually create things that you see people enjoy,
wear and incorporate in their lives
Christine: I guess, for me, I have always been interested
in clothing as a language
I think I am very much interested
in the psychology behind it and the emotion that gets involved in
Why did you decide to be based in New York?
Linh Thi: I actually didnt like New York when I first
moved here, I was like, Ah that city, I am never going to
live there! [Laughs.] But then I ended up moving because
Parsons is a really good design school
Christine: I am from a small farm town in Ohio, so this
is before the internet, before Amazon and all of those things
When I was growing up we didnt have access to anything. We
didnt constantly read about these things. I have never been
able to see them or have a look at them
I knew from very
early on that I wanted to be in New York: I wanted to be able to
have access to all of these things that I could start reading about.
Would either of you have had an alternative career if you had
not ended up in the fashion industry?
Linh Thi: In terms of an alternative reality, I think my
parents would have hoped that I would have become a doctor
I don't regret, I think what is interesting is that even starting
Eleven Objects we both didnt plan for it ever
been interesting: I ended up doing things because it has really
been a discovery about my own life as well as the world and what
I enjoy and what I am interested in
so there is no grand
plan but it is really responding to my environment in New York
I think as part of the exploration, realizing that
when an opportunity comes up you seize that moment and really live
in the present, in the sense you prepare for your life, without
We both have really great experiences, I think that
its worth realizing that we had an idea and we actually had
the skills and the ability to execute it.
Christine: I probably would have stuck with architecture
if fashion hadnt come in at the time that it had. Right before
we started Eleven Objects I was thinking about getting into marketing
and social media because I had been doing that for a bit on the
side before we started doing Eleven Objects
I probably would
have continued in that direction
Linh Thi, how was it working at other fashion houses such as
Alexander Wang and Tse compared to currently having your own line?
Linh Thi: I also worked at Doo Ri, Yeohlee, and the list
goes on, there is a few people on this list that I havent
gotten to. [Laughs.] I would say that we decided to go with
[our own line] because we wanted to have fun. It was sort of, What
would we want to create if we had no limitations?
we found out that we had the ability to create [something] like
we thought, Why not? So we tried to
be very smart about it and start small, and be really concise so
that we could achieve what we set up to.
This collection is your première collection which is said
to be accessories inspired by classic glamour and iconic fashion
elements. Could you elaborate on the idea of how your accessories
line inspires these two components of classic glamour
as well as iconic fashion elements?
Christine: I think for our first season we wanted something
that kind of touched on something familiar, so that it wouldnt
be so odd that the person looking at it would not know how to relate
to it, so that is where classic glamour [comes in].
I think both Linh Thi and I both definitely like putting that twist
and a little bit of strangeness and oddness to it as well. In terms
of iconic fashion elements, we come form a garment background
rather than an accessory background, so our approach to it is very
much about creating these iconic fashion elements that will be transformative
to someones preexisting wardrobe.
Linh Thi: We wanted it to be something that could go along
with everything, play with everything, really change something up.
Just because you put the collar on or take the collar off, it is
a totally different outfit. You get so much more mileage on your
existing clothing, you can have a different attitude or a different
mood from what your dress might have been before.
What type of women do you intend to reach out to?
Linh Thi: We both are secretly minimalists at heart but
the colours are obviously very maximalists
We are really
creating objects that appeal to different people and we want somebody
to see it and have an immediate personal reaction
Christine: We had said that it is for someone who loves
fashion, luxury but that definitely has a sense of whimsy, a little
bit of a sense of humour with their style
In general, how long does it take you to create a piece? How
long does it take you to put a collection together?
Linh Thi: We put together the collection really quickly;
I think we got it together in maybe a month and a half from when
we first came up with the idea
In terms of making each piece, it really depends on
how intricate or ornate it is
We have calf hair, leopard
prints and also there is a lot of embroidery on some
the part that takes more time and thought. [It] is looking and thinking
of ideas and we have been spending some time just trying to come
up with really appealing ides for spring
We are also not
just doing collars for spring, we are really excited that we are
going to add other accessories
Could you give us a hint on what you plan to add to Eleven Objects?
Christine: We never intended to just design collars. We
started out with collars and we will definitely continue to do collars,
the next step is a natural progression ... We are going to start
In a sentence or in a word, how would you each define Eleven
Christine: Luxury, fashion and whimsy
Linh Thi: We are looking for things that transform peoples
wardrobes and still deeply personalize what theyre wearing
and expresses who they are. •