Feb 21, 2017 | By Lourdes Linares
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Koen Tossijn, owner of Atelier Tossijn, is bringing a polished edge to Amsterdam’s growing denim community with his custom made-to-measure jeans.
There is no mistaking the growing importance of tailored clothing for the contemporary denim market. From runway to retail, designers have been looking to make their stake on the sartorial trend, embracing the rugged wardrobe essential in a more polished and modern approach. Timothy Everest and Scott Morrison‘s 3×1 led off this refined denim revolution with their bespoke concept offering the service of made-to-measure jeans. And most recently, mass market brands like G-Star and Levi’s have put their stamp on the style with in-store tailor shops, offering refits on customers’ favorite items by a team of specialised craftsmen.
Koen Tossijn of Atelier Tossijn is one of the youngest and most promising designers to tap into this premium end of the denim market. Five years into his endeavour, Tossijn has honed his skills and made a name for himself within the Amsterdam denim scene with his tailor service shop within shop in SPRMKT. Focused on pure craftsmanship, Koen handcrafts each and every pair of his jeans from start to finish. With his bespoke jeans priced at €420 Koen creates these bespoke pants with the denim purist in mind. He works with a 14oz. denim selvedge, dyed in natural indigo from Okayama as standard, but also offers customers the chance to pick specialist fabrics. Take a look inside the jean and you will see the level of craftsmanship that goes into each jean, with fully bound internal seams comparable to a tailor’s atelier. Koen’s growing reputation most recently took him to Utrecht for the “Blue Jeans” exhibition at the Centraal Museum where he presented workshops on handcrafted and bespoke techniques.
Here Stylesight’s denim team talked to Koen on his his love for denim, his budding brand and the growing trend for tailoring within the denim scene.
What attracted you to denim and how did you first start designing?
The ordinary aspect, the fact that almost every one has a pair is what fascinating me about denim. After art college I wanted to focus on just one product and really get to know this product by making it with my own hands. The goal was to respect the form of a classic 5-pocket jeans but bring it to another level by focussing on the perfection of the making/tailoring process.
What inspired the tailored concept behind Atelier Tossijn?
The personal approach is what inspired me to start with the tailored concept, drawing a pattern, cutting the fabrics and sewing the jeans with a client in the back of my head is giving me a lot of satisfaction.
Do you feel there is a growing demand for premium denim and tailored clothing?
I think there is a growing demand for a personal approach and sustainable/quality products.
Can you tell us the about the bespoke service your offer; the fits and denims available and how you engage your customer in the process?
The bespoke service exist of a private measuring session at my atelier where we discuss the fabric and the fit. There is a possibility where I specially source a fabric for someone but I usually work with my favorite denim which is a 14 oz selvage denim made from US cotton, dyed in natural indigo and woven by the Kuroki mill of Okayama, Japan. The fit is super personal and arises from a combination of the customer’s wishes, the measurements and my vision.
The whole process will take between six to eight weeks, with one or two fittings and then completion.
Are there any exclusive selvedge fabrics you source?
Only if a customer wish to have something different, the latest fabric I found was an organic selvage dyed with an organic indigo.
Earlier this year you took part in the “Blue Jeans” exhibition at the central museum. How successful was that for your brand?
The Blue jeans exhibition was a great success. It was a nice experience to meet a lot of people and showing in a room with pieces from Margiela, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent was like a dream.
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