Designer / Tonia Kim
An artist’s eye for detail, an innate sense of style and an instinct for business are just a few of the elements that drive Tonia Kim of Toki Collection. Kim began her career working in the men’s department of Los Angeles’ Ron Herman on Melrose, where one of her designs was quickly snatched up by the store’s impressed buyers. From there, she shifted gears and moved to Chicago to obtain her law degree while she continued to sate her diverse creative sensibilities by editing an architectural interior design book published by teNeues, and writing lifestyle, fashion, and design stories for magazines. She also devoted time to producing and directing documentaries for charities like ROMP (the Range of Motion Project), and About Face Film, as well as organizing design competitions. But throughout her projects, she never stopped feeding her passion for design, and eventually culminated her energies into her premier jewelry line, Toki Collection. Toki, which means “rabbit” in Korean, was the designer’s childhood nickname and a playful take on her full name. Within a year, Kim was dubbed a “Designer on the Rise” by the Chicago Tribune, a “Rising Star” by Daily Candy and was featured in high-profile publications like InStyle, Lucky, CS and Audrey magazine. Not resting on her laurels, Kim began studying metalsmithing, casting and stone setting, further mastering her manipulation of metal and stone. In three years, Toki has expanded on a global scale as Kim consistently accepts orders from luxury jewelry stores and high-end independent boutiques around the world. Now comfortably settled in her own spacious work studio with a view of the city skyline, Kim’s collections continue to be inspired by her worldly travels, organic objects found in nature, the hidden curiosities of fairy tales, and all things whimsical.