Wednesday, March 11, 2015


This post marks the start of a mini series we are doing, profiling each of our lovely designers. So without further ado, let's start with Amy Tonkin! 

Coming from a background in fashion and graphic design, Amy joined the Citta Design team in 2011 and works on both textile and product design for our seasonal collections. We had a chance to catch up with her and to talk about her favourite things, what she’s inspired by and how she started out in the creative field.

Where/how did you begin your career in design?
My mother had a fashion label when I was finishing high school and then later going to University. After school and then later between lectures, the small space out the back of her Vulcan Lane shop where she cut patterns and packaged orders was my second home. Many a nap and cheese toastie was enjoyed back there, nestled amongst the rolls of fabric and boxes of trims! I inherited my mother's love of design and fashion, so I naturally got drawn into things there as my classes came to an end. That's how I sort of accidentally began a career as a fashion designer, learning to make my own patterns and sew my own samples, and very quickly got to watch my garments and looks walking down the catwalk at Australian and New Zealand Fashion Weeks. It was an exciting time, full of lots of hard work, very little pay, and a lot of creative satisfaction!

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired all the time by anything around me really. I used to get inspiration a lot from the music I was into. Now it's more likely to be things I come across when I travel, such as raw materials, textiles, and artisanal traditions from around the world. People make such incredibly beautiful things. I am always inspired by people doing what they are really good at, simply because they have that drive to express their creativity.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?
I start the day with admin catch-up. This usually means some communication with suppliers who are developing the designs I am working on. Right now we are in the phase of creating specification sheets for our new designs, so that involves a lot of concentrated, meticulous work, trying to make sure I have covered all details and not forgotten anything. The more you leave up to chance, the more time it takes to get things right! I'm also creating the final artwork to send to my suppliers with the spec sheets, so I'll sometimes be found at the meeting table painting with India ink, or studying fabric swatches in an effort to find the perfect colour match to our seasonal Pantone palette. Somewhere in there I'll drink my home made superfood smoothie!

What’s your favourite piece or design from the winter 2015 collection?
Hmm, that's a really hard one to answer! I was just this morning thinking I'm going to find it really hard this season to narrow down my choices. I love the Porte rug, the Arrow duvet, cushion and throw, the Flapper cushion and scarf, the Afrique cushion and wallet. Our new Washed Egyptian Cotton bed linen is gorgeous. The Radial shelving that Dave designed is beautiful. I could really do with a raincoat of my own… See my problem?!

What does 'chic' mean for you?
To me chic-ness is exemplified by an elegant sense of style and a self-confident manner.

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