Alice Tonello

Ian Berry x Tonello x Juan Manuel Gomez by Ian Berry

Secret Garden Ian Berry

A week before Ian Berry opened his solo exhibition in London, he was in Barcelona installing a version of the Secret Garden installation in the Catalan Capital.

The Secret Garden was first shown at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York in 2017 and then in Tarn in France. A giant one was installed permanently in San Fransisco - soon to be revealed. All of these were made with the help and technical assistance of Tonello in Italy.

So of course when they wanted a night to mark ITMA, the most important textile & garment technology exhibition which takes place every 4 years, Ian happily obliged to create something with his Italian friends to celebrate their successful collaborations. And friendship was key, and it was also with his long term friend Juan Manuel Gomez that they collaborated.

Ian and Juan or ‘Juanma’, have talked about doing something together for a number of years. Colombian Juan is very talented in both the denim industry, having worked in laundries and now working with Officina +39 in Italy and as an artist in his own right.

‘I’ve respected Juanma’s work for a long time, as well as his style. His knowledge in denim is just brilliant, yet he’s humble and is a universally liked character. We’ve both worked with Tonello and it was a perfect time to work together, so we brought Juan’s magic into the garden trellis adding even more texture, depth and life.’ Ian said.

No Bleach, No Paint, No Dye

Ian himself visited Officina +39 last year in Biela, Italy and learned about their sustainable garment finishing on a tour with Andrea Venier and Juan.

‘Learning more about Recycrom was brilliant and while I say I don’t use no paint, dyes or bleach this became an acceptable exception as it is the tools of the denim industry now to make it more sustainable. Recycrom a revolutionary and sustainable way to transform textile waste into colored powder dyestuffs. Here of course with denim and indigo.’ Ian said.

Tonello’s sustainable technologies were used - the most obvious being the the Laser Blaze - the laser cutter that cut the fabric.But others included the Core, ECOfree 2, and No Stone that are part of the latest Tonello innovation: the All-In-One System. Tonello is always pushing to make their laundry machines and technologies to support the denim industries drive for sustainability. The piece represented may of their qauities, and how better than portraying nature, hanging from a circular trellis.

We have been researching, experimenting and innovating since 1981. And we do much more than just build ‘machines’.

Tonello

Video editing: Carlos Londoño Sound editing: Nicola Cioffi


The Italian region where Tonello and Officina +39 are from has many decades of authentic denim history, designers as well as world famed brands and of course the supporting suppliers. Many were there on the night in Barcelona along with many of Tonello’s friends and partners from around the world.

Ian Berry and Juan Manuel Gomez in Barcelona for Tonello Inspiring.

Ian Berry and Juan Manuel Gomez in Barcelona for Tonello Inspiring.

The trio of Alice Tonello, Juan Manuel Gomez and Ian Berry presented the piece to the gathered crowd that fell silent. The video of the process playing in the back ground and sound editing by Nicola Cioffi set the ambient tone of the evening. They described their process but also their admiration of one another.

Ian added that it was the English that invented denim, pointing out that the word was born from not wanting it to be called ‘Serge de nimes’ ‘we didn’t want French sounding cloth!

Alice Tonello, Juan Manuel Gomez and Ian Berry presenting their collaboration.

Alice Tonello, Juan Manuel Gomez and Ian Berry presenting their collaboration.

Alice Tonello said of the event.

The combination and the interconnection of different arts give always life to extraordinary results, and I realized it since the first collaboration with Ian Berry. That’s why combining the art of Ian and Juanma with Tonello’s technologies has not only given birth to a multisensory experience, but it celebrated this wonderful connection that leaves you out of breath, for real. A contamination of arts ranging from music, images to denim which allows industrial technology to get a new kind of fascination. A project made even more pleasant from the close friendship that unites us for years, and that makes all our collaboration even more meaningful.

Andrea Venier Offcina+39 manager CEO added:

"Inspiring Night by Tonello, allowed all the participants to enter into an idyllic wonderland for a moment of tranquillity, away from the busy time of ITMA. The Secret Garden of Ian with Juan was like the oasis of inspiration in the centre of the Inspiring Night.

The immersive artwork of Ian and Juanma that uses both art and textile technologies bring all of us into the heart of the denim, simultaneously connecting and challenging our perceptions of the natural world.

The Video Art realized thrill in watching the Artists backstage, giving an unique digital shape of our denim and textile universe. It was the breath-taking end of an incredible Inspiring Night. 

For all Officina+39 team was really inspiring support Alice, Ian and Juanma in this amazing project. Thanks Tonello, Ian and Juama!"

You can see more images of the piece here - and more of the event here

Vote for Ian! by Ian Berry

Ian Berry Rivet 50

Ian Berry has been nominated as one of the 100 nominees for the Rivet 50 - the Fifty influential people in denim for 2019. You’ll find him within the final section, the influencer section along with the likes of the Hadid sisters and Hailey Bieber along with many well known names within denim - many of them Ian’s friends like Christine Rucci - who helped with the Secret Garden, Kelly Harrington, Mohsin Sajid, Ruedi Karrer and Denim Dudes Amy Leverton And Samual Trotman among others.

VOTE NOW www.rivet50.com

Ian says ‘I was surprised to be nominated as I never consider myself to be ‘in’ denim. However giving my email is full of ‘Ian.. I think you influenced this’ It is slightly ironic. But its always an honour to be given a accolade and I was touched when I got many messages from many in the denim industry of support. Over the many years of working in denim I realised I made many friends.

Ironically, some of them I am up against, but I don’t see it like that at all. They are all worthy of the place.

What is nice to see is a big British contingent, from Stella McCartney to Son of a Stag and Rivet and Hide, who are retailers here in London which represents with many others a really growing authentic denim community in the UK. ‘

What is Rivet 50?

Rivet’s Influential 50 is an index of the most creative and forward-thinking leaders driving the global jeanswear industry. The Influential 50 represent the upward direction the denim community strives for with each new collection, innovation and technology.

Watch out for?

Although it says to only vote for catorgories you know about and we’re sure many won’t be familiar, everyone loved the Secret Garden so look out for Alice Tonello of Tonello in the Executive nominees along with Tricia Carey of Lenzing who are both at the forefront of pushing sustainability in the industry.

Ian says ‘it would be unfair for me to say who to vote for, and we have had too many votes here in the UK lately and it becomes way too controversial, however if you see a brand name you like on the list the chances are the person named with it is one of the big driving forces behind it.’

VOTE NOW www.rivet50.com

Voting ends June 28th 2019

Ian Berry X Tonello 2018 by Ian Berry

2018 has been a busy year for Ian Berry and Tonello. And by working together it has shown that Tonello is a lot more than ‘just making machines’.

Always focusing on the customers needs, both post and after sales with ideas and practical solutions, Ian has been impressed with the what he has seen at Tonello each time he has been there with clients from around the world flying in to see what they can learn. Tonello has the ‘Creative Area’ where they can really demonstate what their machines can do, and for Ian it is much more than the Laser Blade as its that combined with the washing that has really brought his work to life.

Working closely with Alice Tonello and her skilled staff, from the R&D and marketing teams Ian has forged a strong bond with this family run Italian company and has enjoyed several trips to the northern Italian HQ this past couple of years. It has been great for him to use the tools that the industry are now using and with the company that has sustainability at its forefront.

‘Without Tonello, a lot of the installations this year would never have been able to be realised’ Ian Berry

‘Without Tonello, a lot of the installations this year would never have been able to be realised’ Ian Berry

Ian is often spoken of a sustainable, upcycling and eco artist and Tonello has technologies that respect the environment, that consume less energy, few additives, and indeed little of everything. Everything they do has the environment in mind. And its not only the environment outside, but that of the workers using the machines and also the end user, the people buying a pair of jeans.

Today, putting on a pair of jeans treated using Tonello technology means respecting oneself and one’s own health.

Ian Berry at Tonello

Ian Berry at Tonello


And it is thanks to their peoples commitment that they are known around the world as the top partner of great fashion brands, as the link between designers and companies involved in washing, dyeing and garment finishing and that has been seen on many of the trips to Italy Ian has been on where he has met many of the big names in denim, under the Tonello roof in Sarcedo, in the Province of Vicenza.

The word ‘sustainability’ for us is an ethical imperative that allows for no compromise. If it did not, we would just be machine manufacturers.

Ian Berry’s Installation in Kentucky that was made with some use of the Tonello Lazer Blade and Creative Room in Italy

Ian Berry’s Installation in Kentucky that was made with some use of the Tonello Lazer Blade and Creative Room in Italy

Tonello has evolved over the years since 1981 having sold 7000 machines, becoming a modern, technologically advanced company that has offered the market reliable, truly ground-breaking products in garment finishing machines are known over the world for the quality of their all-Italian manufacture and top-level performance.

All this knowledge and expertise they were able to share with Ian but also to challenge the staff and their machines to push boundaries to make not garments, and not just art, but large installations. Already their collaborative efforts have been shown in New York, the South of France, Kentucky, Miami and now in London at the Soho Records installation and soon to see in San Fran, the largest install yet that will combine the flowers and this historic denim city in a public piece of art in a soon to be revealed central San Francisco location.

From lasered plants and vines, both cut and ‘etched’ to bricks and tees, to signs and washed textures, and this is only the beginning.

While most of the albums were totally hand made, some of the ones for the background were lasered in Italy with Tonello using the Laser Blade then using special washing techniques.

While most of the albums were totally hand made, some of the ones for the background were lasered in Italy with Tonello using the Laser Blade then using special washing techniques.

In Tarn, in the South of France - An installation breaks through an old factory like nature reclaiming the space.

In Tarn, in the South of France - An installation breaks through an old factory like nature reclaiming the space.

It’s a year since the installation ‘Secret Garden’ went up in New York at the Children’s Museum of New York, which was the first time Ian Berry and Tonello had worked together on an installation - what a year it has been since.

Today Tonello is the international benchmark for the garment-processing industry and by working with an artist that shows around the world in galleries, museums, and art fairs together they are creating something really special. Ian looks forward to see tonello carry on progressing on making sustainable ways for the denim and garment industry and to further combine to make groundbreaking art installations that can inspire many people around the world.

Ian Berry X Tonello by Ian Berry

Ian_at_Tonello

Ian Berry's Secret Garden at the Children's Museum of the Arts in New York would not have been possible without the kind and expert help of Tonello in Italy.

For 35 years they have been a reference point for the most important laundry and dyeing companies and for fashion brands all over the world. And now for artist Ian Berry. And we would like to place our thanks for their support.

We have been researching, experimenting and innovating since 1981. And we do much more than just build ‘machines’.

Forever evolving their Technology, together with the market, they are making always reliable, safe and sustainable technology that respects the environment and that consumes less energy, few additives, and indeed little of everything. They are behind ever improving production processes all without compromising on quality

Their garment finishing machines have become established over the world for the quality of their all-Italian manufacture, and for their flexibility and top-level performance. Everything that runs through the company has the thoughts of sustainability and the environment in mind and this combined with their creativity is what drew Ian and Tonello together.

photo by  Lucinda Grange

Ian had known about the Laser Technology for some time, but considered it cheating, away from his all hand made art. But as larger and larger installations came about as well as noticing the advanced tech he had a change of heart.

'I've always been proud to say, it's made by just denim, glue and hands with scissors in, no bleach, no dye, no paint. It's been a very time consuming process making the work I do. I also saw the laser machine at first with its burnt marks and often looking flat. However, with the washing techniques of someone like Tonello it can really come alive. For me its an art form in itself. After meeting Alice Tonello and Alberto Lucchin a few times we thought it was a perfect time to look into how this could help in my art. Now I see it as a no brainer for things like this, and beside, its the tools that the denim industry is increasingly using so I can too.'

Ian is all too aware of the negative impacts of the denim industry on our planet and is pleased to have worked with a company such as Tonello who is working towards a brighter blue future with methods aimed to help the environmental impact. At their base in Italy Ian had the special Cone Denim washed and lasered with effects to create texture and then lasered much of what you see in the Trellis that hung from the Secret Garden. It would have taken Ian months to hand cut it all, 'beside, it wouldn't have stayed together.' Ian adds

'it is nice that it all went into creating something that environmentally is symbolic and pure, like plants and flowers. Matching the sustainable message, but also in a kids museum, that is the future and that is the future we want, a cleaner one for the future generations. But with the Creative Room, Tonello is all about sharing knowledge and education so I think they have been a perfect partner in this project.'

nicola_Tonello.jpg

Tonello's Nicola Cioffi working on Ian's designs. Don't worry, these flames went down.

Tonello.jpg

Ian with Alice Tonello, marketing and R&D head at Tonello and Flavio Tonello CEO Tonello at the Creative Room in Italy.

Tonello's Nicola Cioffi finding another purpose for Ian's designs.

Tonello's Nicola Cioffi finding another purpose for Ian's designs.

The Creative Room at Tonello

The Creative Room in Sarcedo, Italy is a special place and a great idea, where technology and creatives can meet from all over the world. Ian visiting a couple of times in the Fall and was welcomed and amazed.

"Inspiring" is both the place – Tonello's new Creative Area – and a way of "being Tonello" today. It is the meeting point between technology and creativity, production and research. Tonello's creations and their experiments will find more and more space: to help clients discover the effects and treatments the machines and technology and to allow customers to undertand how to get the best out of their advanced equipment and to conceive fabrics, denim in particular, as 'canvases on which to paint dreams'.

Alice.jpg

Ian went to Tonello in Italy, in a region famed for denim and both times Ian was amazed to see the denim names walking through, here with Giovanni Petrin (and Alice Tonello), expert denim insider and former general manager of the Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili Italian specialized laundry and finishing company, who is now working for Crescent Bahuman Ltd (CBL), one of the major denim and garment manufacturers in Pakistan. It is great there is a place that is a melting pot for all these people.