About the Brand: an androgynous, technical, luxury line centered around fabric juxtaposition & overt expression
Dark_Tones™ was founded in 2018 by Jonathan Vaughn in Los Angeles, CA. Our purpose is multi-faceted. The fashion industry has slowly drifted away from the roots in which it was created. Fast fashion, low-quality manufacturing, and fads have bombarded this space, watering down the true integrity of fashion. Our choice behind creating garments that are handcrafted and made to order is to reinstate that lost aspect of the industry.
The androgynous aspect is quite the opposite of the reinstatement of craftsmanship. While simultaneously going back to the roots of handmade textiles, we want to break into the future by eliminating gender barriers and preconceived roles. Clothing has been a large part of establishing these gender roles, and therefore needs to be a part of breaking them down. The ultimate journey of this purpose is where the name derives. This path of purpose, as with any path, has ups and downs and can be shrouded with darkness. Rather than avoiding the darkness, embrace it. It is the embracing of this darkness that results in the strength necessary to continue. The juxtaposition of these aspects – the conflicting journey of historical significance and future progression – defines Dark_Tones™.
Our mission is striving to deliver high quality, handcrafted garments for all genders. Our vision is to be a pioneer in the revival of true hand-craftsmanship while integrating the premise of fashion with no limits, no guidelines, and no separation.
About the Designer
Told in the words of the designer, Jonathan Vaughn:
“Originally the dream was to be an architect … then a lawyer … then in finance.
It wasn’t until reuniting with my grandfather after a 10-year spell did I fall in love with design. That’s when it started happening: an influx of creative expression. I started sketching suits, uniforms and outfits. I did all of my prom outfits and suits I wanted. I even helped with designing once he decided to create a brand.”
“This was throughout high school. Fast forward a few years to business school.”
“I felt a void. I loved business and figuring things out in a logical manner, but I felt as though my creativity was being suffocated. Business school, financially and creatively, was not working out. For a while I was distraught; the idea of being unsure of what the future held for me was crushing. Then, another push in the right direction from my grandfather. He asked, ‘What about RISD?’ I had never thought about going to an art school. But I went, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”
With a degree earned and graduation over, what was next?
“Half-way through July I became antsy. I didn’t want to be in Rhode Island anymore. After reading an article that mentioned how a lot of NY based designers are moving to California because production is cheaper, I ran the idea by grandpa. He’s all for it. So, I go. By mid-August I’m driving across the country, alone, to a place I’ve never been, not knowing what to expect. The first year involved a lot of self-searching, drugs, and alcohol. It wasn’t until halfway through the second year living in LA did I find what I initially came out here to do. I found a meaning behind my soon to be brand. Thus, Dark_Tones™ was born. A salute to surviving through everything life throws at you, not by burying it deep within yourself, but by embracing it in its fullest and embracing who it makes you become. The main thing I can wish for in the future is progression.”