Meet The Person #18: Koen Tossijn

Today the 18th episode of the topic Meet the Person with Koen Tossijn. This topic Meet the Person is about passionate people, people in the denim industry. In Meet the Person I will give you an insight into their life; who are they, what are they doing, what makes them so special, where are they working on, etc. etc.

This new episode of Meet the Person is with Koen Tossijn, creator and designer of his Tossijn label. Thanks for sharing your great story Koen!

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Koen Tossijn

Koen Tossijn

  • Name: Koen Tossijn.
  • Living in village & country: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Age: 37 years.
  • Instagram ID: @tossijn.
  • Number of Instagram followers: 1.750 followers.
  • Website: www.tossijn.com
  • Daily work: Building my dream.

Can you introduce yourself (who are you and what are you doing):

I’m a (young) father from Amsterdam with a beautiful girlfriend living in a tiny house with a sunny garden and I’m a designer of my own label Tossijn.

How did you entered the denim industry:

Around the age of 21 I started working for a private label company that produced for companies like WE and Coolcat. I helped with production controlling and was working together with a lot of different factories in Turkey. While also working on our own brand I understood more and more of the production possibilities and soon wanted to make better and better jeans unlike my boss who wanted the opposite, cheaper and cheaper jeans. I left the company and started to study fashion and textile at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

However I quickly grew disillusioned with a reluctance to question the fashion industry’s system. I learned a lot there but I quit after 18 months because I don’t believe in pumping out a new collection every season. We don’t have to constantly be on the hunt for the ‘new’ or try to stand out with gimmicks. Common products like a t-shirt or jeans might not be special, but that’s exactly what makes them so special. There is beauty in the ordinary. With this in mind I started creating made-to-measure jeans in 2009. Every seam, every stitch was sweated over, researched, altered, updated and improved, time after time, customer by customer. I learned how to understand and control the manufacturing process. It was the birth of the new standard and the first ordinary piece of the foundation made in an outstanding way.

What are you doing at the moment:

At the moment I’m working on the last pieces of Wardrobe Light.

koen tossijn

Sneak of the Wardrobe Light collection.

Where are you the most proud of so far as it comes to your work:

Completing my Wardrobe Dark project and building the Tossijn Shop on the Zeedijk in Amsterdam.

koen tossijn

The Wardrobe Dark collection by Koen Tossijn.

What’s the biggest denim trend(s) right now in your opnion:

I don’t know if this is a trend but I would love to see more quality denim which last longer so you have to buy less. True sustainability, less but better.

What’s your favorite denim brand(s):

Levi’s Jeans.

Where is your inspiration coming from:

Everyday life and I have a drive to improve, to make things better. I have this thing with cooking, I make the same dish everyday for some weeks and try to make it better every time.

What’s your favorite denim item in your closet en why:

A pair I made for myself in 2009. Can’t wear it anymore, but can’t throw it away either.

koen tossijn

Heavy worn jeans, made and worn by Koen Tossijn.

What’s your favorite denim fit:

Classic 501 jeans by Levi’s.

What’s your favorite denim city:

I don’t have a particular favorite denim city to be honest, but I do like Paris though.

Who’s your favorite denim designer:

Helmut Lang.

What do you think it’s the best invention in the denim industry:

Denim off course 🙂

Who’s your denim hero & why:

Anyone who’s wearing old chucks, old 501’s and a new white tee.

What’s your favorite denim store:

The Tenue de Nîmes store in Amsterdam.

tenuedenimes

Tenue de Nîmes store in Amsterdam. Read more about the store in Meet the Store here.

What are your ultimate denim accessories:

It’s not denim but it comes close. My bag made out of double black, yarn dyed Japanese selvage twill is a true companion for me.

koen tossijn

tossijn longjohn

See more of this black bag by Koen Tossijn here.

What’s your favorite inspiration quote:

Less but Better.

Who do you love to see in the next Meet the Person:

Designer Camiel Fortgens.

Read also the previous episodes of Meet the Person;

Meet the Person #1: Amy Leverton (Denim Dudes): here.

Meet the Person #2: Jacques Grosz (Kiliwatch store Paris): here.

Meet the Person #3: Guido Biondi (Roy Roger’s): here.

Meet the Person #4: Gerold Brenner (Designer, Trendforecaster): here.

Meet the Person #5: Leon Blok (Designer, tailor maker): here.

Meet the Person #6: Guido Kerssens (AMFI Amsterdam): here.

Meet the Person #7: James Veenhoff (Denim City, Jean School, Fronteer): here

Meet the Person #8: Moritz Fuchs (New Heritage Festival): here

Meet the Person #9: Christine Rucci (Godmother NYC): here

Meet the Person #10: Sean Gormley (Creative Director Wrangler E.M.E.A.): here.

Meet the Person #11: Piero Turk (Denim Designer): here.

Meet the Person #12: Peter Kats (Vice President Lee Jeans E.M.E.A.): here.

Meet the Person #13: Han Ates (founder of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers): here.

Meet the Person #14: Ben Viapiana (Bespoke Denim Tailor): here.

Meet the Person #15: Tony Tonnaer (founder Kings of Indigo): here.

Meet the Person #16: Maggy Tuijp (Denim Development at DENHAM the Jeanmaker): here.

Meet the Person #17: Nick Williams (Graphic Designer): here.

Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim.