Folks, I have great news. I get to design the next gi release from Toro BJJ!
This is something I’m very excited about. I’ve done a lot of writing in my life, but I’ve only focused on the visual arts over the past few years. New ground is always exciting. I’ve been having a blast thinking up concepts for this kimono.
Besides, I’m a huge fan of my Toro gis. I have both the “Blue Steel” and the “White Gold,” and they’re durable, comfortable and stylish. Toro is a relatively new brand, but one that already has some quality products. It’s gratifying to have the opportunity to explore what the next step for the Toro line looks like.
Here’s the upshot: I’m going to need your help!
I’m going to be posting concepts and drawings here and on my Facebook page. I’d love your feedback on what you like, what you don’t, what you think generally makes a great gi, and what specifically you’d like to see out of this one.
To get the party started, I’ll spill the tentative plan. The gi is going to be inspired by my favorite place in the world, a place I used to live: Okinawa. It’s a place with a rich martial arts history, of course, but also one with an incredibly rich culture, environment and history. You can’t capture all of that in a gi, so you have to make visual choices — which is where y’all come in.
I’ll keep you posted with the specific elements that may go into the gi. In the meantime, think about what makes a great gi! If you need some visuals of your own to guide your hand, Meerkatsu had a design-a-gi contest that has templates. But you could also just look at your own gis and figure out why you like the ones you like and hate the ones you hate.
I’m grateful to the Toro folks for giving me the chance to do this, and couldn’t be more enthusiastic about getting started. I’ve already started drawing: watch for some design ideas here soon.