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Artist Ian Berry and Tonello Create Secret Denim Garden in San Francisco

U.K. artist Ian Berry continues to showcase the natural beauty of denim—this time in the city that denim stalwarts and innovators like Levi Strauss, AB Fits and Unspun call home.

For his latest installation, Berry worked with Italian denim finishing company and longtime partner Tonello on a secret denim garden at San Francisco’s historic Flower Mart, whose origins date back to the late 1800s.

A culmination of global masterminds, the flower market installation features flowers created by London-based Berry made from denim fabric by U.S.-based Cone Denim and finished using Tonello’s technology, including ECOfree2, which uses ozone in water and air to produce a natural bleach effect. He also used the company’s laser technology to cut the “vines” that make up the cascading indigo trellis.

The secret garden, which was first developed with Tonello in 2017 for the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York City, will be a permanent sight in the Flower Mart.

Artist Ian Berry partnered with Italian finishing company Tonello on a secret denim garden displayed in San Francisco’s Flower Mart.
Secret Denim Garden Lawrence Anderson

“Having the opportunity to work with Ian Berry is always amazing,” said Alice Tonello, head of Tonello marketing and R&D. “We are using denim in a different and inspiring way, and it’s something that, in the industry, doesn’t usually happen.”

Berry has worked with denim for more than 15 years and was voted into Rivet’s 50 most influential figures in denim. Most recently, his work was featured in a special exhibit within the Levi Strauss Museum in Buttenheim, Germany.

According to Berry, it is denim’s rich history and global significance that makes it his medium of choice.

“Denim has been a medium for me for over 15 years and one thing I love the most about it is the history through time and its symbolism and origins,” he said. “Representing the Flower Mart in the material famed in the city dating back to the 1870s and the official fabric of California will show that the great new building respects and embraces the city’s heritage.”