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Queen of Jeans (2)

By Gan Tian (China Daily)

08:03, July 24, 2012

"I want to deliver this idea to denim fans: Jeans are not always casual," Tong says.

She looks for many ways of "creating a unique and luxurious style" for jeans. For example, she adds some Tencel, a biodegradable fabric made of wood-pulp cellulose, into raw denim material. The new materials are much softer and make wearers feel more comfortable.

Tong once accidentally burned a hole in the knee of a pair of jeans, but it suddenly occurred to her, why not add some laces around the rim of this hole? And that was the main theme of her 2009 spring/summer collection.

Because the denim culture was not born in China, consumers here don't know so much, for example, about how to care for denim products. Many customers just throw jeans into washing machine to clean them.

That would be a fatal problem for Tong's creations, she says, because her pieces have too many detailed accessories, which might be easily destroyed in a machine wash.

To cope with that, Tong designed tags with special washing tips for wearers.

"But the safest way is not to wash it. It is eco-friendly, and helps to keep its best shape," Tong suggests.

In her label's boutique stores, Tong also holds some seminars for her clients on denim culture and care.

Every time Tong has some new creations, she will put them on herself, stand in front of mirror and stare for a long time.

"From my mirror's image, I've found passion for jeans, and I believe more Chinese people will," Tong says.

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