Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Welcome to the latest update of our designer profile series, where we get to know our lovely designers a little bit better. This week we’re chatting to Imogen Tunnicliffe about her inspiration, creative process and a few of her favourite things!

With a Masters in Fine Arts majoring in print and a background working in print making and illustration, Imogen joined the Citta Design team in 2003 as the first in-house designer for the brand...

Where/how did you begin your career in design?
I actually majored in printmaking at art school, but have always been interested in illustration and design. My first job in the textile-design realm was with Pumpkin Patch years ago, when I designed a space-man print for boys' pyjamas, and a pumpkin plant height chart. In those days I did everything by hand – computers were not on my radar! In between doing a few exhibitions, illustrating some children's books and living overseas, a job opportunity came up designing two days a week at Citta Design. I used to sit out the back in a big room with paper, pencils and paints and come up with ideas. It was wonderful! Over the years the marvels of The Adobe Creative Suite have won me over and although my first love is still drawing and illustrating, the use of the computer has enabled me to really push my designs.

Who or what inspires you?
Similarly to most artists and designers, I am inspired by anything interesting I see around me. 
Colours and colour combinations really inspire me. The other day I was at the petrol station and I looked back to Mt Eden and was inspired by the pale minty green of a plaster building, offset by the dry green grass of Mt Eden, and the deep green and khaki of a cabbage tree – a lovely tonal group of greens that were the inspiration I needed for the colour palate I am putting together at the moment for our next winter collection.

Great children's book illustrations, and stories
Mid century architecture and design
Alexander Girard
Frida Kahlo
Andy Warhol's early illustration and window displays 

What does a typical day at work involve for you?
It really varies depending on what time of year it is, but it is always started with a morning coffee…

Currently, I am researching the ideas behind our next winter collection. This involves coming up with the colour palette, deciding on our design approach for the season and the angle we are taking, creating the mood board and researching the background to the city or the country we have chosen to inspire us. In fact there is quite a lot of thinking involved in my job, which I really like. 

A lot of my time is spent discussing ideas and designs with the other designers… and hopefully giving helpful direction! We have a lot of impromptu meetings too; it is a very open process, and everyone's opinions matter. 

Most days I am also working on my designs for the season as well. This is a combination of being really creative, and also having to do a lot of administration, like liaising with suppliers and solving problems etc. 

What’s your favourite piece or design from the winter 2015 'Deco Deco' collection?
It is too hard to pick just one! I love the Ash and Rain linen duvet covers, the Jolie print in gold on the leather coin purse, the Diagonale gold and black striped cushion (especially when sitting with the lilac velvet cushion!), the Blocs duvet cover, the Radial shelving… and the brown poodle toy!  

The colour combinations this season give me a real buzz too – they are very alluring. 

What does 'chic' mean for you?

Being 'chic' is as much about how a woman holds herself and conducts herself, as what she wears. It is an understated, classic elegance, that is seemingly effortless.  

If you'd like to look back at our other designer profiles, check herehereherehere and here.

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