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First Twelve, when football is cool

Interview with the creative director of the brand that perfectly matches streetstyle and football

First Twelve, when football is cool  Interview with the creative director of the brand that perfectly matches streetstyle and football

First Twelve is one of the most interesting projects to be found online. We've contacted Dillon, his creative director in order to know more about a brand that is becoming bigger and bigger. 

ello guys, thank you for your time. I’d like to ask you to briefly summarize your history. How did you started to run First Twelve?

 Thank you nss! First Twelve started long before I came up with the name first twelve, the concepts and principles developed in high school before I even knew what to do with them, I was always someone who meshed with various groups, I was the art student, who played sports. I found it interesting how they were viewed separately as if they were two distinct groups of people, but I always saw them as one in the same with many overlaps. i couldn’t categorize myself with one thing, one group or one area. the idea transcended to fashion When I would attempt to dress like my friends whom I would hang out with every weekend they happened to go to the private school in town. I didn’t completely feel myself, but the minute I swapped out a polo with a soccer jersey combined with brooks brothers shorts and boat shoes, or even Lacoste with indoor futsal shoes the fit instantly came together in my eyes. I had an unwavering need to pull from all sources. When I got to college It was the platform that changed my life, not even the education but rather the experience and encounters.  you know, you get to college and there is an unspoken expectation to pick what you want to do for the rest of your life.  it seemed impossible to know, yet it propelled me to figure it out. It was in suite number 112 (First Floor room 12) First Twelve was created. Our room was dynamic we had a mix of unique people but we worked harmoniously together. First Twelve became the epicenter of the building. Everyone wanted to come to our room haha the walls would be draped with country flags, soccer jerseys, we had 3 tvs, it was completely unmatched. One roommate in particular I became very close was Dave Ambrose he shared a similar affinity as me, we understood each other’s train of thought, and style. even though I was an art student and he was in finance. we would always have deep conversations, of life, people, things and how our fellow roommates were completely different but were collectively unstoppable. I told him my interest in starting a brand because of my love for clothing and design but I just didn’t have a solid direction. It was then we realized the idea was right before our eyes we were living it. and just like that brand first twelve was formed.

What are the main inspirations behind First Twelve?

Sports and life. Football is core because it’s my favorite sport and its global. The cliché; it is more than just a game, it bridges the divide between other countries and people.  The game does not end inside the stadium walls, the surrounding culture is infused within and everyone can feel it. That energy is similar to what I felt in high school and college the same themes that sparked First Twelve in the first place so I always want to translate these things into my designs. I say life because in life you have your core, who we truly are.  As we explore we have new experiences, new encounters, we assimilate things along the way. First Twelve is First Twelve, but it grows. The journey of life and what happens and who we become along the way inspires me.

You surely look with a particular attention to what happens in football. What’s your idea of this new trend that more and more is bringing football in fashion?

It’s very important. now people are largely understanding the values around football and how the game contains elements of many things relatable to life. Diversity, culture, style, passion, team and much more. I love this trend because its perpetuating the reason I started First Twelve.

You made a massive usage of logo of the sponsor. That was a massive innovation in the aesthetic of football, which are you favorite ones?

The Pirelli sponsor is my favorite, pure class. my first jersey with inter 06-07. I spotted the jersey hanging in the window at an Ecuadorian convenience store in my home town, I always walked by it on my way to work until I eventually went in and bought it. the logo blended so well, it was forever ingrained in my head. You also can’t beat the Lete on Napoli kits.

What’s your relationship with Italy and Italian football?

I am Italian-American, I grew up in the city of Middletown in Connecticut notable for it being the sister city of Melilli, Sicily at one time something like 40% of the population had roots that can be traced back, we had a church in our town modeled after the St. Sebastian church in Melilli. Every football team I played on we were all Italian, when I worked for my summer job for the city same story, even the mayor was. everybody knew everyone and there was a good chance you were cousins with someone. Growing up in a community like that made me who I am and with that comes the love for football and Italian football, I remember when Italy won the world cup back in 2006 the celebrations were everywhere people driving down the street waving Italian flags honking horns yelling screaming, the energy was enlivening I had never seen anything like it not from any other sport.

If you should bet on the next big comeback in fashion/football for the next year, which would you pick?

In fashion/football it’s safe to say a lot has been touched on at this point so it’s difficult to gauge. Recycling old ideas with new concepts seems to play a heavy part in the forthcoming seasons, but then again, it’s fashion it’s becoming more sporadic, anything can happen, at any time. Because of this we like to turn a blind eye and do what we want and take from the moment First Twelve is in.

Which are the plans for the next years, or months?

Right now in the pipeline we’re finishing up our spring / summer collection. We’ve considered every detail, we’re very pleased with it and it’s our favorite collection to date, so be on the lookout in march. We also want to expand the brands reach. We’ve sold to over 20 countries at this point but we want to further develop our presence in each one. we’re eager and excited to show what First Twelve is capable of over these next few months.