Blue Blooded Q&A: Alice Tonello from Tonello

This Blue Blooded Q&A series is a collaboration with Long John. The series is sponsored by Bluezone, the independent show for denim and sportswear by Munich Fabric Start. Register for the next show here!

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Alice’s portrait in the Blue Blooded Portfolio

Alice Tonello


I live in Italy, in the Veneto region.


I’m the Marketing and R&D Director at Tonello, our family-owned business. We produce technologies for garment treatment.



Alice’s path into the denim business

Thomas: How did you get into (the world of) denim?

Alice: When my uncle, Osvaldo Tonello, built the first washing machine in 1975, he would never have imagined that it would be the beginning of a long story. These were the years of the denim revolution. Shortly thereafter, he passed the baton to my father who has continued this adventure.

Related: The History of Pre-Washed Jeans (Told by 3 Pioneers Who Made It)

I remember my visits to the factory when I still didn’t know the difference between a nail and a bolt, the impossible working hours, the pizzas eaten between the washing machines, and the smell of iron: that’s how I got involved in the world of denim.

Don’t know Tonello? They make laundry technologies. Just watch this video.
T: What was your first pair of jeans?

A: What I define my first pair of jeans was a wonderful pair of Roy Roger’s from the 70s, borrowed from my mother.

T: When did you know you were ‘hooked’ on denim?

A: That same pair of Roy Roger’s, which also made me curious about washing.

T: What is your favourite thing about denim?

A: Its unique ability to fade, changing look with time and adapting to the stories of each and every person. It’s an evergreen.

Alice and her father, Flavio Tonello

Alice’s views on the denim business

T: What‘s been the greatest challenge you’ve faced so far, and what did you learn from it?

A: Telling it like it is in the industry. I’ve learned that being yourself and being concrete pays for itself in the long run.

T: Which denim brands inspire you? And why?

A: 1) Kapital for the genius in inventing a new garments and the attention to detail.

2) Blue of a kind, Atelier & Repairs for their ability in re-designing and up-cycling clothing that already exists.

3) Story mfg. for the organic dyeing applications.

Alice defines her denim style

T: What do you never leave home without? And why?

A: An Hermes foulard. Iconic.

T: List 3 of your favourite garments or accessories and (try to) explain how they define your style

A: 3×1 jeans, comfortable and always perfect; a white t-shirt, that goes well with everything, even under a jacket and a pair of jeans; and … an Hermes foulard. That’s it!

Ready for More Q&As?

Want to learn more about Alice? This Blue Blooded Q&A is a collaboration with Long John. Read her answers to the 10 ‘what’s your favourite’ questions at

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