In bed with …
TOM ADAM VITOLINS
Tom is the founder of tom àdam, a responsible and conscious men’s underwear brand, that recently also launched the unisex pyjamas of (y)our dreams. After coming back from an inspiring family trip to Japan, and with a background in graphic design, he decided to start his own label in 2015: producing minimal but sophisticated clothing that not only reflects his aesthetics but, most of all, also correspond with his ethical values. Originally coming from Latvia (where he produces his garments in a small factory near his home town) and after enjoying la joie de vivre in Paris for a while, Tom settled in Berlin, where we–luckily–got the chance to meet him. Full of ideas, stories and witty anecdotes, Tom sure knows how to start a conversation. This is why we got really excited, when this charismatic free spirit agreed to contemplate about fashion, culture & life with us and invited us over to his artsy home in Berlin-Neukölln.
Berlin, 2020. Photo credits: Mona Osterkamp
What led you to Berlin?
As it is quite often in my life, it was something very spontaneous. I was in Paris for a bit before and planned to settle there for a while, but then came to Berlin, highly enjoyed the sub-tropical climate and had the feeling of home very quickly. So I didn’t want to go against my gut feeling and decided to stay, which has been a really beautiful and fulfilling experience full of life lessons.
What does fashion mean to you?
It’s such a diverse thing, with so many small parts. From trade shows, to people who produce the garments, to accountants who run the numbers. I think for me it has always been about what’s behind it, the stories of the people which unfortunately are not told so often. I am not that much into the flashiness of fashion. Which probably is reflected in tom àdam quite well.
How would you describe your (fashion) style?
I have never really defined it, but always have had a certain sense for it. When I was a kid, I loved to wander around topless with a water bucket on top of my head, I guess that summarizes it quite well. Right now I am usually combining tom àdam pieces with other brands that I love myself. I grew up wearing clothes which were always well-made and long lasting. I think that’s still a big thought, when I choose my clothes.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing and what’s your background?
I still have no idea how I ended up making men’s underwear, that wasn’t my dream from early childhood, but I guess it has allowed me to combine many of my experiences and it constantly pushes me to learn new things. I was doing graphic design before and expressing myself in a creative way has always been very important for me. I have had the privilege to grow-up and see how my dad has been running a business, and that definitely helped too when I was thinking about what I wanted to do.
Do you have any recent cultural discoveries that you would like to share?
I have been listening to Night Flight by Quintus Project, a lot. As Lexx perfectly put it into words – “It's an angelic slice of melodic brilliance”. The mastermind behind it is German composer Walter Quintus, who unfortunately released only couple of records and passed away a few years ago. But this record is absolutely wonderful.
I can’t live without …
MANGOS. I must say, that I usually buy too many of them and then forget about their existence, but there are not many things in life that gives me as much joy as consuming a perfectly ripe mango and knowing that there is a mango waiting for me at home, does make me excited.
What are your dreams for the future?
I have always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, so to be able to play the sax part “Smooth Operator” by Sade.
What inspires you?
Curiosity in people and the other way around.
What do you like about JUKSEREI? Tell us about your favorite piece.
I really love the genuineness and people who stand behind the brand. It’s very lovely to see all the strong women who work for JUKSEREI. And I have a weakness for Danish aesthetics, so that summarizes it quite well. My favorite piece has been the VERA Necklace. I love the subtleness and delicacy of it. I prefer low-key things, and it feels like the perfect match. This coming from a person, who rarely wears jewelry.
Thank you for the interview, Tom. Find out more about Tom's label tom àdam on his website or follow him on Instagram. You can also read a small interview by Tom with Mona, our Art Director.