Kingpins | Letter from THE US: We Are All One Community
After Kingpins in Amsterdam, I received the following note from Rich Tobin and Anatt Finkler. I found it quite moving and significant and want to share it with all of you. Perhaps you might feel the same way I do. Kingpins appreciates this sentiment and frankly, we really appreciate all the kind words people share with us about our event. Thank you to Anatt and Rich and thank you to everyone who comes to our show. — Andrew Olah
By Rich Tobin and Anatt Finkler
Let us not be blind to our differences — but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.
Those are the words of President John F. Kennedy, from his commencement address at American University in 1963.
Even though he was speaking in a different context, his words still apply to creating change in any community — or any industry. The denim business is a small part of the entire textile supply chain, but it is loud and powerful in the changes, education and statements it makes. This industry has pioneered innovation, technology and changes that echo across the entire apparel sector and beyond.
The heart of our industry’s power are the people, the passion of each one of the players and their ability to put aside their differences and work towards the twin goals of making this earth a better place and being successful without sacrificing each other. Our community understands that the end doesn’t justify the means and it is exactly the road driven and the little blocks and steps you take that truly make an impact.
This is only possible because we are not just an industry, but we are indeed a community. This was not built through emails, zoom calls, phone calls or a few handshakes, but it was forged at a place that we all call a common home: Kingpins.
We love our community, we are not defined by color, race, ethnicity, or gender. We define ourselves through our common love and appreciation of denim. We aren’t white, black, tan, brown or yellow, we’re all of that and more.
There is no difference between religion, we are believers and non-believers, we are Muslim, Christian, Jews, Hindus and more. We meet and gather and come from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, Egypt, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey and beyond.
We are drawn through passion and defined by a singular love of all things indigo. We are inclusive and transparent but most of all we are friends and enjoyably migrate within each seasonal launch and congregate in Amsterdam and New York.
It’s been said that home is where the heart is, but also it should be where the passion is, and that is Kingpins.
We want to thank Andrew, Vivian and the Kingpins team for making this happen and inspiring friendship, networking, business and change making in the most honest and warm environment.
A picture represents a thousand words and the one at the top of the page is one of them.
When we get together at Kingpins, people from different companies and different sectors of the business always end up hanging together. These meetings are always filled with laughter, friendship and a recognition that we are all driven by the same goals.
We propose to everyone in our community a new initiative to share these images of our gatherings in a dedicated newsletter. We want to celebrate our friendship and camaraderie. Our community makes us unique and it makes us strong.
Gessica Rummo (fabric & wash)
David Vlaservich (fabric, wash, color)
Lara Knight (womens design)
Siena Venuto (international merchant)
Panther Denim / Tat Fung:
Shadow Chan (leads development team)
Tim Huesemann (EU/America sales)
Kelvin Cheung (development assistant)
Charmaine Chow (leads Newtimes team)
Jam Wong (VP of creative at Newtimes + his wife)
Omer Ahmed (owner)
Katie Tague (VP sales & marketing)
Ahmed Mehsood (fabric R&D)
Darwin Brucker (design)
Anwar Roberts (design)
Kristin Wolchok (fabric)
Lucky Textile Grp
Cyndi Gaddy-(R&D, merchandising, product development)
Steve Leslie (SVP marketing & sales)
Steve Naturale (denim specialist and director of sales & marketing)
D von G LLC
Richard M Tobin (denim specialist, founder)
Eric Goldstein (SVP apparel)
Mike Stanisci (Sr Director marketing & sales, denim & PD)