Phyn And Aero shutting down at the end of March 2019

Robert Tonner communicated a letter that describes his decision to shut down his latest company, Phyn And Aero at the end of this month, citing production problems like rising costs and increasingly long lead times. Here it is in its entirety.

My Dear Friends,

As I stated back in January, the only thing you can count on is change, and I'm afraid I must change course yet again. As much as I've always loved manufacturing, on-going production issues have continued to wear me down, and as a result, Phyn & Aero will cease operating as of March 31st. Please know, when I refer to production issues, I'm referring to continuing rising costs and ever-growing lead times. I've always been proud of the fine work done by the factories—they care about the product every bit as much as I have—and the wonderful people we work with are as disappointed as I. Please know that this was not an easy decision for me or for us, nor a decision made lightly.

This decision, however, does create an opportunity for you to secure the last of any Phyn & Aero product. This includes Lila, Annora, Kadira and Nancy Ann—some of which have just arrived. Look for discounts on the product, but please note there will be no returns nor refunds. Also, should you order a Kadira item look for a little "freebee" in your box!

Please note, the Phyn & Aero website will be accessible through April but mainly to print off any images or descriptions you may want to retain.

As strange as this may seem under the circumstances, I am introducing a new doll—Rayne. I've attached our sell sheet from Toy Fair to explain what she is all about. The Shapeways store will be open, with at least a couple of pieces to order, by the end of the month (please refer to the sell sheet—this will make more sense). The dolls will be available thru a select group of retailers that are listed on our website, (be sure and click the link at the bottom of our site).

My new portfolio web-site, showcasing my current and past doll/figure designs and sculpting, will be up in a few days. Please check it out. (www.roberttonnerdesign.com).

Some great news—just because I'm closing P&A that doesn't mean that Kadira will be going away. Andrew Yang will be continuing to promote and develop Kadira and would be thrilled to hear from you. He can be reached at aycollective@gmail.com.

So, you may ask, what the heck am I going to do now that I'll be out of the doll business? Well, I may be out of manufacturing, but I'm certainly not leaving the doll world. I'm working with various companies on freelance projects—and I've even signed a deal to do human (not doll) handbags and jewelry. So, I'll be around. Be sure to check out my new web-site and friend me on Instagram.

I can't tell you all what a wonderful ride this has been. The events, the parties, Toy Fair, the Magazines, and mostly you—the collectors—have made this entire doll world experience more than I could have imagined it to be. I sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the fun, friendship and the mutual love of this hobby—doll collecting.

Love,

Robert

The doll he mentions in the letter, Rayne, is not available anywhere for the moment, as his new website is not yet up and running. Nor is any photograph of her included in the document linked in the email, just her description and possibilities. Here is that document complete:

Just who is Rayne?

Rayne is your creative muse, your personal fashion model, your fashion canvas. She’s the realistic 16” fashion figure of your dreams.

She’s a beautiful doll but what makes her so special?

Sculpted by renowned and award-winning doll designer Robert Tonner, Rayne is a 16” realistic fashion figure with 15 points of articulation. She’s made of the finest hard plastic and vinyl with rooted saran hair (or unrooted for wigs).

So, she’s a normal fashion doll.

Not so fast. It’s not what we, the manufacturers have created but what you will do with Rayne that will really set her apart.

I’ll explain: Rayne arrives in a basic set of sport underwear and shoes just like a normal basic doll. However, that’s where the similarities with other commercial fashion dolls ends. How you dress and style her is up to you.

Again, like any other fashion doll so what makes her so different?

Simply, 3D printing technology.

You’ll be able to go to the Shapeways website at www.shapeways.com and shop in the R. Tonner Design store where you’ll find many accessories such as shoes, breastplates, cuffs, hats, sculpted wigs, jewelry, historical foundations and much more—all designed and sculpted just for Rayne. New styles will be added all the time. Pick the accessory you’d like for Rayne and order it in the material that suits Rayne’s style. How about a pair of purple pumps? Or a transparent, form fitting breastplate? Jewelry in real gold? Sure, why not? You can even order a plastic accessory that you can paint, decorate or even bedazzle! It’s easy and fun to do. You just go on the Shapeways site, pick the style you like, pick a material and color and order. It’s just that easy and your accessory is made exclusively for you and shipped directly to your home.

How about clothing?

I’m glad you asked! Patterns for easy to make outfits for Rayne will be available in March/April on the R. Tonner Design (RobertTonnerdesign.com) site to download.

Become a part of 3D printing technology revolution and enjoy an enhanced doll collecting experience--welcome to the creative world of Rayne!

Rayne™

RobertTonnerdesign.com

rtonnerdesign@gmail.com

I had no interest in any of the Phyn And Aero products, but the Tonner Outlander and Wonder Woman dolls are some of the best he released and would have loved to see more of them. Unfortunately it does not seem to be possible anymore.

The end of an era: Tonner Doll company shuts down

I was expecting to begin the new year with happier news, but unfortunately that is not the case. Robert Tonner announced in an email that Tonner Doll shut down with the end of 2018. Of course it was to be expected, after the restructuring of his business and his focus on Phyn & Aero, which left Tonner Doll only with licensed product, which was obviously not as commercial as it should. Licensing has the fees sucking out most of the profits, and if a company deals only with such a sector, it needs to have mass production and a wide array of product to be sust, something Tonner Doll had not. I’ll always cherish the Tonner dolls I own, and hopefully will acquire some more in the future. From now own, doll collectors will follow his endeavours with his other company, Phyn & Aero. Below is his letter. 

 

 My Dear Friends,


I was lucky enough to start Tonner Doll at a point when it seemed that everyone was collecting, making, buying or selling dolls.  At the same time, the Far East was willing and eager to produce whatever we wanted at a price that couldn’t be beat.    High demand and inexpensive, quality production led to the golden age of collectible dolls and great success for Tonner Doll.

It’s often said that the only thing you can count on is change; I whole heartedly agree with that statement.  I could go on and on about the changes in the collectible doll industry, but in short, the business model that I used to build Tonner Doll is no longer viable or sustainable.  Therefore, Tonner Doll Company (including the Tonner Doll web site, doll hospital, phones and emails) was closed as of December 31, 2018.

However……

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.”
― Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato

I’m very excited that Phyn & Areo will continue with a brand-new business model, one that addresses some of the changes mentioned above and we will be exploring new ways of doing business.  Through Phyn and Aero, I’ll be working directly with our favorite retailers to create unique and exclusive dolls (look for the first Ellowyne out this Spring).  I will continue to design for and attend events throughout the year (Dollology, Shaker Doll Club, Doll Circle and UFDC to name a few).  At Phyn and Aero I will also continue to develop new product; we’ll be doing small batch, design driven products.  Rayne, a new character with unique (and I mean unique) accessories will debut around Toy Fair.  In addition, I am working on design projects with other companies (I just did a huge amount of work for FAO; that was both a challenge and a delight).  I think it’s going to be a very busy, very exciting 2019!

Over these past 28 years I have had to honor to meet, work with and befriend some of the most wonderful people there are—doll collectors, doll lovers and doll retailers.  I want you to know how deeply I’ve appreciated our journey together—and here’s to a bright, exciting, shiny, new future!
Warmest,

Robert

P.S.  Starting today, please visit our website at  www.phynandaero.com or call us at 845-802-5552.  You can also reach us through info@phynandaero.com

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All photos courtesy of Tonner Doll.  

Tonner Doll Toyfair 2018 reveals

It was good to see that among the other toy companies participating at The New York International Toyfair this year was Tonner Doll, with many new releases, either already announced (but not seen) dolls, final versions of dolls that had already been previewed sometime ago or first time appearances. amazing and it was so great to see and hear about everything that’s happening in the doll world. The dolls and accessories shown below include everything showed at Toyfair with a couple of new additions. When you click through to the site there are buy buttons on many of the items in this release, if still available. Some are shipping now and some have projected availability dates in the future. Please be aware that if you add one of those items to your cart and complete the transaction, you will be charged for all the items now and they’ll ship as they become available. Tonner Doll allocated limited quantities on some items to their direct sale inventory and once they are sold the only way to obtain them will be through one of the Tonner Doll retailers, should they have availability left. Let’s check the dolls out!


T18DCDD01 Wonder Woman-Training Armor - $210.00

Featuring a portrait sculpt of Gal Gadot with hand painted details, this ¼ scale figure on the new 16" RTB 101 hard plastic/vinyl body, is heavily articulated and outfitted in a replica of the Themyscira training armor as worn in the Wonder Woman movie. The removable molded armor is movie accurate and hand painted. “Bracelets of Submission” and three sets of hands (relaxed, fists and gripping) are included with this figure. Diana’s sword, shield and fully adjustable base are available separately. Features mink colored saran hair in a long braid and dark brown eyes. June/July estimated shipping (subject to change).

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Another great Wonder Woman doll, again very accurate and detailed. I wonder how many of the people who got the first one would get this one too.She comes without the stand, which is always a problem. Would I buy just the outfit? Maybe. But, there’s a second version of this one...

 

T18DCGS01 - WW Training Armor Deluxe Set - $310.00

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Featuring a portrait sculpt of Gal Gadot with hand painted details, this ¼ scale figure on the new 16" RTB 101 hard plastic/vinyl body, is heavily articulated and outfitted in an exacting replica of the Themyscira training armor as worn in the Wonder Woman movie. The removable molded armor is movie accurate and hand painted. “Bracelets of Submission”,  three sets of hands (relaxed, fists and gripping) , her mythical sword, shield and fully adjustable base are included with this ultra-limited set in a custom, collapsible box. Features mink colored saran hair in a long braid and dark brown eyes. June/July estimated shipping (subject to change).

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Same doll as before but with all her weapons added, apart from the lasso. We get to see the lovely braided hair at the back here, great job. 

 

T18DCDD03 - Wonder Woman Variant # 1 - $275.00

The new 16" RTB 101 hard plastic/vinyl body has 15 points of articulation and Gal Gadot’s likeness is captured in detail. Saran is used to create lifelike hair set off with an accurate, highly detailed tiara. Accurately sculpted depicting her movie costume, the WW armor consists of a molded breast plate with a genuine leather battle skirt; her armband and “Bracelets of Submission” are made of real metal. Wonder Woman carries her golden lasso in a genuine leather harness. Boots are made of detailed vinyl and resin.  Figure comes with changeable open hands, fists and gripping hands. Fully adjustable Wonder Woman themed stand, sword and shield are available separately. Wonder Woman has mink saran hair and dark brown eyes. June/July estimated shipping (subject to change).

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Third WW doll. She’s like the first release, with the cape added. I don’t like the cape, always thought it looks out of sync with the rest of the outfit. The cape is sold separately as well, for those who have the first doll and want to add it. Still no stand. I really don’t like this policy with dolls. They all should come with a stand, so the buyer can display them properly. Making people buy them separately does not look nice, to me at least. 

 

T17DCOF01  Wonder Woman Gala Gown Set (outfit only) - $109.00

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Featuring an asymmetrical plunging neckline, and draped accurately to reflect the 1918 period, the gown is completed with a train and, in true Amazonian warrior fashion, Diana conceals her “God Killer” sword, which is included. Matching blue pumps (authorized by Warner Bros.) are included should you choose to dress another Tonner doll in this outfit. As Shown on WW#1 with an updo. Shipping Mid-March.

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This is one of her outfits I really wanted to have. The sword does look plastic in the back photo but I’ll wait to see it in real life. Could not preorder it fast enough. 

 

T18DCOF01 Wonder Woman 2018 Black Cape (outfit element) - $50.00

Replicating the one from the 2017 movie, this version is complete with a hood and arm holes and the chevroned elements are top-stitched to accentuate the accurate detail. As shown on WW#1. June/July estimated shipping (subject to change).

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And here’s the cape, as sold separately. Meh.

 

T18GWDD01 Scarlett O’Hara BBQ dress (dressed doll) - $235.00

Scarlett’s chiffon gown, emblazoned with green floral sprays and highlighted with a deep green satin sash, is further accentuated by a wide-brimmed straw hat with a generously proportioned matching green satin tie. The outfit is complete with a petticoat, pantyhose and green “velvet” pumps. Featuring the 16" RTB 101 hard plastic/vinyl body and new Vivien Leigh portrait sculpt with green eyes and mink saran hair. Acrylic base stand included.  Limited Edition 300 Shipping Mid-March.

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I wonder why did Robert Tonner feel the need to make a new sculpt for his Scarlett dolls. It does not look like Vivien Leigh at all and it’s harsh and square looking, compared with the previous sculpt. She looks more like Heddy Lamar would have looked had she gotten the part. And that’s no 17” waist, fiddle dee dee.

 

T18OTDD03  (previously T17OTDD03) Jamie Fraser  (dressed doll) - $235.00 (PROTOTYPE)

A portrait sculpt of Sam Heughan, the actor portraying Jamie Fraser in the TV series Outlander, by Robert Tonner, authorised by the licensor. Jamie is wearing a monochromatic but elegant black suit and striking white dickie and cuffs, brocade vest, stockings and black knee high faux leather boots, from the episode where he makes his formal entrée to French society, attendind the levee at Versailles hosted by King Louis XV. Offered on the 17" “Matt” body with Jamie’s deep rich auburn hair and blue eyes. Acrylic base stand also included.  Limited Edition 500. June/July estimated shipping (subject to change).

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We had already seen a peek of this sculpt months ago, when a photo partially showing the doll was posted on social media and now we have the full monty. He looks a lot like the actor, the outfit is gorgeous and I’m so glad I preordered him way way back. Only thing I don’t like: the boots that look plastic (the description says faux leather) and cheapen the whole look. He’s has a larger edition than Versailles Claire had, so that’s good, I hope that his body is tall enough to stand next to Claire, who, lest we forget, has Wonder Woman’s body. I will be able to tell sooner, rather than later, since the first WW Doll is almost here and I have a few Matt Tonner dolls to measure them against her.

 

T17OTDD04 Claire’s New Look (dressed doll) - $235.00

Claire and Christian Dior converge as she re-interprets 18th-century fashion with a version of Dior’s 1940’s “bar suit”. The bespoke off-white satin jacket and floor-length black satin skirt are accented by sparkling faux diamond earrings, white gloves, stockings, family crested bag and bow-front black pumps. The outfit also features a black straw hat which completes the ensemble. Claire’s New Look is on the  16" RTB 101 hard plastic/vinyl body and has a Robert Tonner portrait sculpt of Caitriona Balfe with mink saran hair color and ice blue eyes. Acrylic base stand also included. Limited Edition 300. June/July estimated shipping (subject to change).

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La pièce de résistance! That’s the outfit I most wanted to have Claire in, even more than the red Versailles dress! The genius of Terry Dresbach, Outlander’s costume designer shines through in all of her work for the series, but so much more in this particular outfit. A 40s woman, getting her clothes made in 18th century France, presaging the New Look that would debut a few years after her first time travel. Brilliant. Preordered already!

Tonner Doll presents its first Outlander doll for Metrdolls “A Novel Romance” luncheon

Fans of the Outlander series have been anxiously awaiting for the Tonner Doll recreations of the protagonists  Claire and Jamie dressed in their gorgeous Terry Dresbach costumes. The first doll in the series was presented as the souvenir doll in this year’s Metrodolls luncheon, appropriately named “A Novel Romance”.  

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This is the Garden Encounter Claire doll. It’s from a scene in the fifth episode of the second season of the series, when Claire and Jamie attend a horse auction in Versailles with king Louis XIV of France. I am a huge fan of the series and it’s costume designer, Terry Dresbach, who keeps on producing one after another of gorgeous costumes for the series protagonists and especially Claire, portrayed by actress Caitriona Balfe. 

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Terry Dresbach wrote in her blog the story of discovering the fabric:

 “What the hell was this?? What could I do with it. It was amazing, outrageous and so over the top, I wasn’t sure it could be a dress. It was an extraordinary woven fabric. But I was pretty sure I was going to buy it and figure out later what to do with it. But there was 12 yards, and we need 15.  I could pick up one of the colors and make a petticoat, but that still wasn’t quite enough. While it was spread across the table and I kept saying to Ron, “it’s incredible, right, is it too much??”, and the poor man has no way to answer, so he just agrees. A customer walks by and stops, “that is amazing fabric, have you ever seen a show called Outlander? That looks like a fabric they would use!” I said, “yes as a matter of fact, I’m the Costume Designer on Outlander.” She was somewhat flabbergasted, and then said, “Do you know the guys who runs it? He did my other favourite show, Battlestar Gallactica.” “You mean this guy?” I asked, pointing to Ron. It was too much, I thought she might faint (kidding).

I bought the fabric, obviously. I sat with it for a few weeks and finally decided that Claire would wear it. It felt like a 1940s chintz and fit into my overall scheme. Or it would be a riff on these fabrics from the mid 18th century”.

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From Access Hollywood:

 "It's a great dress. I adore it. That's Caitriona's favorite gown," Dresbach said of the gorgeous costume.

"It's really spectacular. That fabric is actually woven. Those flowers are woven and that was a fabric I found at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco, my favorite store, so I always plug them. And I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I saw it because it's an outrageous, outrageous fabric. … I had that fabric before I had that idea of making Claire's costumes have a 1940s feel to them, so that then when I circled back to make this costume I knew that this fabric was perfect because it is almost -- for lack of a better description -- it almost looks like curtain fabric from the late '40s with those big flowers on it, so it was a very out-of-the-box choice, but really spectacular. I mean, she just looks amazing in this costume," Dresbach said.

Claire's outfit is given an additional pop of color with elegant gloves, which Dresbach said can be described as "a real butter yellow."

"Real butter is actually this sort of marigold color that you see a lot of in the 18th century French paintings. Every costume that I do for Claire is trying to weave in elements of both the 18th century and the 20th century so that you have a sense that she could have had that fabric, or she was standing in a dressmakers at some point going, 'I want that, and I want that, but put it together this way,' so that we end up with a kind of look that she has that's so distinctive."

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First let’s talk about the doll. She does remind me of Caitriona Balfe as Claire but her jaw s a bit too pronounced, a thing that often happens with Tonner dolls. She is beautiful and has a hint of that otherworldly beauty that Balfe has. Can’t wait to see the Red Dress version.

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And what about the dress? Hmmmm. Let’s start from the top. The hat colour is so wrong. The original hat is not dark brown but has a more natural sisal colouring to it. It also curves downwards and not upwards. It is also doubled with draped fabric underneath as one can see in a photograph of the outfit displayed at Saks 5th Avenue.

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As much as I can see on the badly lit promo shots, the colouring and design of the dress do try to recreate the human sized costume...BUT! The pattern of the woven flowers is difficult to emulate but it’s close enough, albeit with fewer flowers than the original one, obviously for cost cutting. The pleats and draping of the skirt at the back of the doll dress leave a lot to be desired.  Not to mention the unsightly back fastening, which is also inappropriate for the period and is nowhere to be seen on the original - adult dresses of the period always fastened at the front.

Sketch by Terry Dresbach for Outlander  

Sketch by Terry Dresbach for Outlander  

The seams of the sleeves cut the flower pattern, something not happening on the original outfit, where they fall precisely between the pattern. The overall shape of the dress will probably need a lot of attention and fuss to come close to its inspiration. This does not bode well for the red dress, which has an even more expansive and draped/pleated skirt. And these are not cheap dolls mind you. It’s unfortunate that they only got the yellow “dishwashing” gloves right. 

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UPDATE: Tonner Doll published proper photos of the doll on their Instagram. The skirt looks a bit better regarding the pattern density but all my other observations still stand. In one of the two photo collages, you can see the shoes peeking from beneath the skirt.

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That back closure is so wrong...but they seem to have fixed the curve of the hat...

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...even though it looks again wrong in the close up.  

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Phyn And Aero dolls first release

One of the new ways that Robert Tonner will release dolls from now on is the Phyn And Aero brand, in collaboration with Andrew Yang. They just made their first official release available to order, so let's see what are these dolls all about. One of the characters, Annora Monet, is designed by Robert, while another, Kadira, who will be released later in the year, is by Andrew Yang. The dolls are resin and ball-jointed. Their styling falls somewhere between character dolls and fashion dolls. They all come with their own storyline, which you can read in the company website. The whole thing is like a revamp of their Deja Vu line, with much better sculpts and in resin. There are three dolls, three outfits and you can buy separately sets of eyes. The brand also makes an effort to give doll artists the opportunity to collaborate with Robert Tonner, releasing their doll through it.

P17AMBD01 – Annora Monet # 1

Annora comes in a cotton cami with shirred detail and matching bloomer pants.  She wears a pair of floral boots and lace tights. 
Resin ball-jointed doll with 19 points of articulation (double jointed at elbow and knee)
Deep rose saran removable wig
GR-03 Dark brown eyes
White cotton, front shirred cami with a silk floral trim
White cotton bloomers
White lace tights
Floral front lace boots
Item shown is a prototype. Final production item may vary in appearance.
$350.00/LE 100

P17AMBL01 – Resin Blank
$295.00/Open Edition

There is also an Annora resin blank doll, ready for customising.  Paired with a set of Annora’s eyes (purchased separately) Annora can be turned into the doll of your creative dream.  Annora Resin Blank has 19 points of articulation.

P17AMBD02 – Deluxe Basic

Resin ball-jointed doll with 19 points of articulation (double jointed at elbow and knee)
Long black saran removable wig with bangs
B-09 Topaz eyes
Second head with face up has removable wig - red with black undertones, cropped with bangs
CC-10 Chestnut brown eyes
Third set GR-01 Dark blue eyes
Soft yellow satin slip with pleated demi-skirt and silk floral trim
Matching knit striped over-the-knee stockings
Gold silk slides with silk floral trim
Item shown is a prototype. Final production item may vary in appearance.
$550.00/LE 75

P17AMDD01 – Strength of Character

Annora steps out in a romantic/gothic inspired rouched dress of black taffeta with soft suede boots.  A spray of ebony silk roses and a lace bow are around her neck.  
Resin ball-jointed doll with 19 points of articulation (double jointed at elbow and knee)
Bleached white crop removable wig
CB-01 Ice blue eyes
Black rouched dress with knit lace sleeves, ruffle trim and rhinestone pin at belt
Black suede boots (not as shown)
Black lace choker
Fabric rose head band in black
Item shown is a prototype. Final production item may vary in appearance.
$475.00/LE 100

P17AMOF05 - She Persisted/Outfit Only

Modelled on Deluxe Basic
Dotted peach net dress with black lace trim and embroidered, sequined emblem decoration
Black knit lace tights
Black ankle boots
Item shown is a prototype. Final production item may vary in appearance.
$75.00/LE 75

P17AMOF02 – Fantasmagoria/Outfit Only

Modelled on Deluxe Basic
Three Separate Pieces Only, modelled on a dress sold separately (see below)
Printed “tweed” coat with velvet trim and contrast lining
Inverted bag velvet hat with vintage look brooch accent
Black vintage look fur stole
Item shown is a prototype. Final production item may vary in appearance.
$75.00/LE 75

P17AMOF01 – Kaleidoscope/Outfit Only

Modelled on Deluxe Basic
Black fishnet t-shirt
Multi-colored sequined tank
Tiered multi-color metallic print skirt
Black lace knit tights
Black lace up ankle boots
Item shown is a prototype. Final production item may vary in appearance.
$89.00/LE 75

All Annora Monet items are expected to begin shipping in late July, 2017.  You can pay in full at the time of ordering or you can request a layaway plan with a series of three payments.  You can contact Phyn And Aero at 844-361-8429 (domestic), 845-802-5552 (international) or via email at info@phynandaero.com. All photos courtesy of Phyn And Aero.