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Global Designer Spotlight: Toights from Toronto, Canada



STUN by Toights



Toights, a new hosiery line by a Korean-Canadian designer, may just have a stylish leg up on the competition. 


By: Marina Radovanovic

Toronto, Canada


An exciting new company called Toights emerged on the fashion landscape by a designer who decided to focus on a female body part as the theme of his creations – the legs! Founder/Creative Director, Alexander Joo took the bull by the horns and ventured into the fashion world fully concentrating on making creative and artistic patterns of hosiery for women!

I had the chance to have a very spirited and funny chat with Alexander who shares with us the logic behind Toights, and how he managed to to apply his unique artistic talents and apply them towards this venture.



PAIS by toights

PAIS by Toights



What gave you the inspiration to focus on Toights in the fashion world? 

Legs are my favourite part of a woman! They’re also one of the most ignored, for being a part that makes up nearly 50% of the body. Women will adorn, emphasize and enhance virtually every space of their skin like a blank canvas, and I wanted to help them inject some personality into their legs. Toights are designed to accentuate the curve of a woman’s leg, and to give some attention to that blank space between the bottom of the skirt to the top of the shoe. Next up might be elbows; there’s nothing going on in the elbow industry!



I really liked the designs (black on black), what motivated you to create that particular style and colour? And will you be exploring other palettes as well?

I chose this combination purely on personal taste in aesthetics: I like sheer black fabric, and I like stark black print. Oddly enough, there aren’t many black-on-black printed hosiery out there, if at all. I had to work very closely with the manufacturer and we went through months of trial and error, so obviously none of their other customers are doing it.

Coloured tights are beautifully done, although they appeal to a certain type of person and tastemaker and are limited to be worn in only certain settings. I wanted Toights to be a very broad product for a variety of people who can wear them in any environment (office, school, work, clubs, on the street) so the designs have to remain subtle, simple and sophisticated. Many people are afraid to stick out too abruptly, so Toights is a stepping stone into the world of killer legwear. I do plan on introducing more colours, although the priority is to create unique products, rather than to rapidly expand the product line just to do it.



PAIS by toights

PAIS by Toights


The name “Toights” is really catchy! How did you come up with the name for your company?

Belonging to this certain generation that invented a plethora of slang, “Toight” was part of our vernacular for a decade or so now. Also, I think it’s fun for people to speak in English accents. Since 14 months ago when Toights was conceptualized, the name took the first 3 seconds. Within 10 minutes I had a domain name and a Trademark application filed.



I read on your website that it took you a year to launch the product — when did the launch occur? This year?

Toights was conceptualized in February 2011 and the first shipment of product arrived in February 2012. It was a long, arduous process, but it needed to be to fulfill my control freak tendencies on quality control. The Trademark application process alone took a year for the government to do whatever they do with paperwork – and I still haven’t received my paper copy to frame!



STUN by toights

STUN by Toights



You currently plan to have your product sold only online, do you plan to have your product available at certain retailers at some point?

I’m currently looking at retailers at the moment so people can actually feel the quality of the material and take a closer look. The problem with this — from a business perspective — is that it’s a whole other ballgame that you really need to be ready for, or you’ll get screwed. Toights so far has been manageable because it’s just myself, and I can vouch for myself (most of the time). Once I enter the realm of becoming a wholesaler I’ll need to start using words like “contracts” and “liabilities.”



Have you participated at any fashion shows or venues that had your products on display?

Not on purpose. A friend’s boyfriend’s daughter wore them to her charity fashion show at York University (in Toronto) but I only knew about it afterwards.



PAIS by toights

PAIS by Toights



What inspired you to concentrate on this line of fashion?

I’m an illustrator and graphic designer and so I have a background in many different industries. As an illustrator for Godiva Chocolatier, I learned which aesthetics a high-quality audience enjoys, thanks to their in-depth market research, and so the designs on Toights reflect that. As a graphic designer for a range of companies — from mass-produced soccer balls to the slick art direction of Zoomer Magazine — I understand what works in a more broad market, as well as more structural design elements such as the packaging and website. It feels like after a decade of working haphazardly for hundreds of different clients, everything came together for me to do my own product while utilizing everything I’ve learned and all the wonderful contacts I’ve made. There’s the sense of, “Oh, that client six years ago who I designed an underwear logo for makes sense now!” Even though I’ve never designed a fashion accessory before, by pure fate I had the most perfect skill-set to do so, and it’s been a very smooth process. It wasn’t without its hiccups, but when you’re having this much fun, even hiccups feel smooth.




Do you plan to remain focused on tights or expand to other areas in the fashion industry?

I’m very much into leg accessories. I don’t think enough of them are out there. Toights is great because it’s a product that needs no introduction — they’re printed tights, that’s it! Other ideas I have are a tad more complex and involves educating the consumer. So maybe once Toights becomes a name and people start saying, “Hey, that Alex guy has great fashion ideas — I’ll buy whatever comes out of his brilliant, genius head,” I’ll start putting things into production.



WISP by toights

WISP by Toights



What are your future goals and aspirations for Toights?

I don’t have a plan for world domination! I’m quite satisfied in having a good, solid company that offers good, solid hosiery. There are literally thousands of variations that can be made, and I aim to see at least a few hundred of them through! If H&M or Urban Outfitters steals the idea and offers their own, I can only see that as a compliment.



The exciting and creative line of the “must-have” legwear for all occasions and all the designs are available to be seen at Toights website: www.toights.com


 Photography courtesy of toights.com



*Marina is a successful author, a history buff and adores classic literature. This Torontonian relishes in the  exploration of  unchartered fashion routes to discover talent that should be noted by everyone. 


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