AMFI DenimMinor X KingsOfIndigo
In the Denim Minor at Amsterdam Fashion Institute it is about making a subbrand or clothing label for an already existing denim brand. In a group of six containing all disciplines design, management and branding, you’ll get the experience of developing a small capsule collection and branding them.
The subbrand will not be putten on the market but will be presented to the mother brand you worked these twenty weeks for. To show them a opportunity they could focus on or broaden their insight to the market.
Starting with research to the parentbrand Kings Of Indigo to find its strength and opportunities we went into market- plus street research. All eventually to discover which gap the subbrand could help the KOI focus on. Eventually we took the sustainability part and the whimsical way of telling the importance of this into our subbrand. As this is really a strength of the KOI.
With our subbrand we would actually target more on a youth culture as we recognised that Kings Of Indigo got more of attention of people in the age between 35 and 50 years. Instead of the younger target group their aiming on in their communication.
Therefor we chose Generation Z as our main target group. A genaration that grows up with all new kind of issues which is mainly communicated in a digital environment. Out of the contemporary issues we took the non-binary aspect as only one percent of the collection of KOI is focussed on this and which is a great opportunity.
To put all of this in a story format we took 60 sci fi as starting point and took a muze out of this era: Ziggy Stardust. This non binary persona was created by David Bowie after seeing the movie A Space Oddity of Stanley Kubrick. The mission of Ziggy was to tell the people they only had five years left to live, which is kind of a same story people are telling now if we would continue this way.
But all of this story telling didn’t bring a real garment to refer to in our design process. As we wanted it to be a functional garment for a new generation we eventually ended up to take the space suit as element to make it a wrap. Luckily we have a Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers who’s space suit was shown at a exposition, so we could actually research it from close by.
After having all these elements we still needed a name to that would differ us from the parentbrand but still had a connotation to it. This we found in the non-binary element as it is not focussing on a he, she or it. But on a non boxed person which is called a Ze. As it also a small reference to the generation it is focussed on it became KOI-Ze.
Getting a presentation about Kings Of Indigo at their HQ
Visiting the Vintage Showroom in London, an archive full of garments which tell a story...
Visiting Rivet&Hide in London to get some more information about Japanese denim tradition.
Getting our hands dirty with natural indigo dye at BluePrint
Visual Research and Concept Development
Research on André Kuipers Spacesuit
At design we were responsible for researching fit/construction, putting on details and develop a washing. This is done by trial and error of making the patterns ourselves and stitch prototypes. Discuss the fabric, fit and think about all elements that are on the jeans.
Eventually when we had the big picture standing we made a tech pack and it was sourced out to Eroglu, Turkey. Where they made one sample where we could make comments on when visiting them. And after we would get a final salesmen sample with.
While they in Turkey would work on those jeans, we got to think about the big picture to make it a full outfit. By having the spacesuit as influential element we made it ourselves pretty tough to choose which elements to take.
Eventually I was responsible for a fully reversible denim jacket that had the typical 3D seaming of the spacesuit in the sleeves. Therefor we used the Lectra CadCam program in combination with the CLO3D engine. As we were the "guinea-pigs" for developing it in this way, it was all trial and error, but learned a lot from it.
Experimenting at Blue Lab Amsterdam, here you see a pattern layered into denim...
Eventually 'dry-wash' it by hand to give it more depth.
Technical Drawing of the first jeans in the style of KOI
For the need to be sustainable and minimise the impact on the environment, laserfiles were developed. For this jeans we were inspired by 80's acid wash.
On the second jeans we tried to push the boundaries of getting a contrast out of the black denim. Therefor a 2-phase laserfile was developed so the highlights would be placed right.
Getting our first samples back at the office of Eroglu, Turkey
Files which helped us to discuss the outcome with the washing designer.
Technical drawing of the jacket which I will develop myself...
Where we used Lectra for the jeans pattern, I got more into CLO3D for the development of the jacket.
Using CLO3D to develop the patterns and eventually Lectra to make the patterns more precise and ready to plot.
Jeans are mostly a five pocket garment made of a denim. But for a denim designer there just the fun part starts. By putting in certain small details, mostly referring to the inventor of the jeans: Levi's, they distinguish themselves from others, the so called trims.
We had to rethink our use of trims twice because of the sustainablility factor. Now 1/3rd of the jeans gets thrown away because it contains the metal parts of buttons and rivets. So all trims needed to be easy detachable.
For the hook-adjuster we got inspired by the spacesuit and developed our own KOI-Ze hook-adjuster. To prototype it we 3D printed it with a 3D printer for use at home. And the eventual pieces are made with an industrial nylon printer. To give it the professional outlook it needs.
By developing it in such a way company's can shorten lead- and development time by tackling faults in a early stage. And it also will cost less as there don't have to be molds made in the development stage.
We also got in contact with YKK for their screw buttons. A button that can simply be taken by screwing it off. These we personalised as well by putting 3D printed button caps on it, to give it more a 3 dimensional feel and desire to take them into next garments.
As we have modular pieces that can be taken on and off we needed to think about how to de- and re-attach them. And how to prevent our customer to mix up the right and left leg. We found the answer on this at the space shuttle. Where color coding is used to communicate which liquid is going through the tube and if they are hot or freezing. This inspired us to make a colorcoding system so the wearer only needs to attach color.
All badges refer to the KOI-Ze brand and/or are an abbreviation on classic badges of major space programs
A trim for me starts with a technical drawing how you would outsource it...
...and eventually using these technical drawings to make a 3D model.
A preview of how the model would look like.
Some first sampling to test the strength.
Eventually 3D print the model. The hook is fully functional, and we used it as closure for the backpocket of a jeans...
and pocket closure on the jacket.
The YKK screw on buttons personalised in the KOI-Ze theme.
Snapbuttons with the colorcode system.
We weren't able to develop all trims due the high sampling cos of embroidery. But did manage to get a big range of trims.
The alien federation who are on a mission to help planets closed a deal with Kings Of Indigo who now serves as the vehicle to show the planet how waste is the ultimate ingredient for creative solutions. The reduction of unnecessary human concepts such as gender could reincarnate our once supreme earth. This is when the great planet KOI-Ze was born.
Intelligent alien civilisations have been preventing interaction with earth because of the needless overproduction of mankind that menaced the fate of the existence of our planet.
Aliens who communicate cooperatively through intergalactic messages have been observing earth for years. Kings Of Indigo is taking the first step to action in heading towards a more responsible commonalty and resist the ghastly sequel for the planet that humankind is currently facing.
Full credits for this video go to Zoë Akihary:
Model Toon is wearing a Denim Jacket and a modular jeans, from which the legs can be swapped for a tapered or flared jeans.
Model is wearing the jacket and a matching pair of pants.
Model Rosa wearing the inside out reversible jacket with AOP
Model Rosa is interacting with the Alien civiliasation towards a better planet.
Models Toon and Rosa made the agreement with the alien...
...that we will all look towards a more sustainable future, or else it will be...
...Game Over for Planet Earth
After a hell of a ride of 20 weeks we eventually presented KOI-Ze to the brand again.
Founder of Kings Of Indigo Tony Tonnaer complimented us on the own identity of the subbrand and full thought out product range.
After the presentation we told some anecdotes and had a laugh with the Kings Of Indigo team. We probably will meet again in upoming events so always good to socialise.
Photoshoot,& Brand Presentation
The Denim Minor is a reality-school project which means we still need to document all our steps along the way. As I have a very product development focussed mindset with communication on boards on the wall , as learned in the industry, I don’t like the documentation part that much. But as we get graded on it for it, it still needs to get done...
Where I normally just put process just in folder with some tabs between it, I chose this time for a more cleaner way of presenting. By arranging everything digitally in a format, that connects with my portfolio, I was better able to see what the workload every week was. And see it eventually as added value to put some process in my portfolio, which before mostly consisted end products.