Name: Tony Tonnaer
Instagram ID: tonytonnaer
Daily work: CEO and Kings Of Ideas
Who are you and what are you doing within the (denim) industry?
I am the founder of Kings Of Indigo and a pioneer in sustainable denim since 19 years. I built Kuyichi and started Kings Of Indigo since 2011 to be one of the most holistic and key sustainable innovation denim brands. We create and build this from Amsterdam with a team of 20 Kings and Queens.
What are you currently working on?
You know in fashion you always work on many things at the same time. Multiple seasons at the same time. So delivering SS22 with all supply chain issues, placing orders for AW22, finalizeing collection sales samples SS23 and making the concepts for AW23… besides that we are very busy rebuilding the business which suffered during covid.
What is the biggest achievement so far in your career?
Developing a 100% recycled and recyclable selvedge denim program for our 10 year anniversary this year.
Tony on one of his travels
What is/are your favorite denim brand(s), and why?
My absolute favorite in Blue Blue Japan, because they make everything under the sun in indigo, love their store in Daikanyama. Besides that Kapital for creativeness and Vintage Levis voor the history the made in denim and workwear. Next to that love what Atelier and Repairs is doing on upcycling old jeans and army gear.
What is your favorite denim store, and why?
VMC in Zurich. They have the best selection of high quality Japanese, American and Eurpean selvedge jeans. As well a great selection of tops to wear with the jeans and
Amazing service and advice, Roger and his team know everything about denim, how it is made and the history.
VMC in Zürich
What do you think we can expect in the (near) future of denim developments as it comes to sustainability?
I believe very strongly in a come back of non stretch dry denim in selvedge and non selvedge, but then in organic or recycled cotton. So products with the least impact from raw materials and made to last for a long time. Besides that I believe in an increase of second hand denim.
What is the most valuable lesson your have learned during your work?
Focus…. It is very hard form me as I always want to create and develop new styles, fabrics, innovations, details, stories…. But in denim it is important to keep the core stable and top it off with the icing on the cake, which is fun to make. So data management for the core and focus creativity on the cherries on the core.
Tony and company at Denim Days in Amsterdam & Nashville
If you could be someone else for one day, who would you be, and why?
Dirk van der Kooij, he is a furniture designer with only recycled materials. I would love to create circular things with high quality level and great designs in a different world than the blue world.
Can you describe your ultimate pair of jeans?
My ultimate pair of jeans is a super worn out selvedge jeans. I have 8 pairs of our regular fit Louis in Collect Japanese selvedge with recycled cotton weft. 2 unworn and 6 in different stages of life from 1 year slightly touched to 8 years completely ripped and repaired.…They wear in so amazing, the colour and structure of the fabric just strikes you every morning you put them on!
Do you have a life slogan, or one that inspires you?
Create quality wear for the next era!