Sunday 24 September 2017

Tonn infinity and beyond... with the Irish surf-inspired T-shirt brand

 

T-shirt, €39.95, Tonn. Combat trousers, €28, Fresh
T-shirt, €39.95, Tonn. Combat trousers, €28, Fresh

What do actor Kyle MacLachlan (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), photographer Danny Clinch, and male model John Pearson (from George Michael's Freedom 90 video, to face of Kenneth Cole) have in common?

They all wear Irish, surf-inspired, eco-luxe T-shirt brand, Tonn.

Incredibly, Tonn is barely a year old. But already its artistic, graphic designs, inspired by Irish seascape and history - on sustainably sourced cotton T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, with Magee and Baird McNutt linen details - have a rep that is growing at the speed of a hot post on Instagram. Style-discerning Japanese, as well as hip Americans, are crazy for it.

"Tonn, apart from being the Irish for wave, is an ethical brand that marries the American athletic flavour with a Celtic twist," says co-founder Mary Harding.

"Tonn might be for the guy who doesn't surf, but wishes he could. He has the money to buy luxury. He likes a certain fit. He can wear his T-shirt and indigo-dyed hoodie under his jacket and look good."

Check out the brand's 'journal' (tonnsurf.com) to see all the cool men who wear Tonn (if only to admire some good-looking men on your Sunday morning), such as model Parker Shinn.

No wonder women are getting in on the Tonn act - including Victoria's Secret model Elyse Taylor. Thus,Tonn has now created women's styles, too.

The brilliant success of Tonn is not just that they are sharp and sexy T-shirts that feel sumptuous to the touch. Mary is a hard-working genius. A fashion stylist with an impressive career in New York and LA before she returned home with her husband and family, Mary works social media. She moves fast when anyone shows interest. She is open to ideas.

For example, the brand created a one-off T-shirt for bike-loving Danny Clinch. That T-shirt became known as the 'Ride Free'. Danny then asked Tonn could they make 30 more, for him to give to his friends. Then Mary was inundated with requests from people who saw Clinch wearing it.

"Recently, when Danny was in Dublin, we went for a pint and asked him would he mind if we produced his T-shirt as part of our collection. He very nicely said yes," Mary tells me, smiling.

One imagines the guy hadn't a hope of saying no to Mary.

Photography by Peter Evers

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

Editors Choice

Also in this section