Kings of Indigo have really started hitting their stride over the last few seasons. Founded in 2010 by Denim Dude Tony Tonnaer, the brand started with a commendable mission: to be as ethical and sustainable as possible. The entire range either used recycled cotton or organic fibres when recycled was not possible. Their outlook is built around the values of the three R's: Recycle, Repair, Re-use.
From the outset the aesthetic and the branding (designed by Kyle Stewart of London's Goodhood store, who is a genius at that kind of thing) was super cool, but the styles were basic and the range was tighter back in those early days. For those who know me, I love a bit of style and a bit of trend! So I was pretty blown away to see their SS16 range and lookbook today, its so awesome!
Here's a breakdown of why it kicks denim ass:
Reason 1: They've totally refreshed the artisan trend.
So I feel like I've talked about the Eastern Artisan look for about 5 years now: boro, sashiko stitch, shibori dye processes, patch and repair.... this look is still going and I still love it but you've got to move it forward if you're going to get my attention these days. K.O.I have taken the look into a new direction for SS16 with the simplified and digitally printed patched technique and some modernised silhouettes. I also love the quirky take on Japanese prairie style for girls: giving the look a more global traveller, peasant attitude. Top marks!
Reason 2: They've taken retro Americana to the next level
Great styling here. A simple chambray coach jacket with elevated hem, awesome graphic collegiate tees and of course a ton of Americana related patches. Nothing crazy-new but beautifully on point and well styled. The coach jacket is a key fave of mine for menswear and the two piece circle skirt and sleeveless shirt looks great for girls.
Reason 3: They've modernised workwear
One of my favourite looks at the moment is the fresh take on utility and workwear. This trend has been super strong in Tokyo, especially those awesome Carhartt Japan collaborations with brands like Bedwin and the Heartbreakers or the WIP x Slam Jam collection. Think deadstock worker looks, modified detailing, solid, crisp shades of ecru, indigo and tan: bloody gorgeous! K.O.I have spiced it up with some upsized indigo and ecru stripes used horizontally to create a really fresh update to railroad too.
Reason 4: They're tapping the Army Gym trend coming out of Tokyo
I'm pretty excited about this look. For those who've been to Tokyo lately and checked out the Champion store in Cat St or the amazing Beams PX army style store in Harajuku, you'll know that this look is totally having a moment and set to build. Nigel Cabourn's Fred Perry collaboration taps this look too and of course Todd Snyder's been touching on it for a while with his Champion collaboration. K.O.I get it perfectly on point with the clean khaki jackets, pristine whites, pulled up sports socks and letterman hoodies. I particularly LOVE the Kojima army style tee above: how bang-on is that?!
We'll have to wait until SS16 for all this lovely lot but it will be worth the wait I'm certain :-)