Robert Tonner’s early interest in creating immaculately
detailed drawings led to a career in fashion.
After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Tonner was hired by Bill
Blass to design his Sportswear line, Blassport.
Throughout his 7th Avenue career, Tonner’s spin on modern
American dressing continually caught the eye of the fashion world’s
trend-spotters—his designs were frequently featured in Women’s Wear Daily, Town
& Country, New York Magazine, the New York Times and Vogue.
Tonner’s long-time fascination with sculpting and doll art
inspired him to try his hand at sculpting original figures. In 1988, Tonner was asked to join the elite
National Institute of American Doll Artists (NIADA). During the years that followed, Tonner turned
more of his attention to developing and perfecting his doll designs, eventually
leaving 7th Avenue to start the Robert Tonner Doll Company, Inc. in
Tonner’s initial recognition came from many proprietary
characters with their rich back stories and highly detailed clothing and
accessories. This recognition resulted
in product being sold in some of the most exclusive retail stores in the world,
such as FAO Schwarz, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods in London, just to name a
However, it wasn’t just his own character designs that
gained notoriety. His interest in modern
pop-culture resulted in numerous licensing agreements with some of the world’s
top companies such as Disney, Warner Brothers, DC, Sony and many more. Harry Potter, Big Bang Theory, Twilight,
Avatar, Superman, Spider-Man and Snoopy are just a few of the many characters
that Tonner has brought to life in doll form.
That same fascination drove Tonner to also delve into the toy market. Working with strategic partners he introduced
lines such as Magic Attic, Little MissMatched, City Girls and Tween Scene.
The Tonner Doll Company has, over the years, been a generous
supporter of various charitable causes with time, product and financial support
for charities such as AmFAR, A Friends House, the SPCA, Health Alliance Hospital
and Action on Addiction, among many others.
Tonner Doll Company currently offers a selection of licensed
products with extensive distribution. Robert
Tonner’s newest venture, Phyn & Aero, offers creative venues for Tonner
to work with some of today’s most innovative new designers (both in fashion and
doll design) including Andrew Yang.