Born in Munich, Germany, in 1965, Tissa Fontaneda spent the majority of her life abroad. After graduating from the University of Turin, Italy, with a P.H.D in Literature and Philosophy, she then moved to Paris to pursue her teenage dream of working in fashion. It was at Daniel Swarovski that Tissa began her career as a design assistant to Rosemarie Le Gallais and Hervé Leger. Tissa relocated to Madrid five years later and then joined the Spanish luxury brand Loewe to develop the Thierry Mugler handbag collections.
At Loewe, Tissa learned about leathers and handbag manufacturing from some of the world’s greatest European artisans. When Loewe was acquired by the LVMH group, Tissa was invited by the president Yves Carcelle to be the Head of Production for Loewe accessories under Narciso Rodriguez. In addition to Loewe, she also worked with several other brands including Cartier, Dunhill, Connolly and Louis Vuitton.
Driven by a strong desire to merge her creative vision with her expertise in the world of luxury accessories, Tissa launched her eponymous label – “classic luxury with a modern twist” – in 2010.
Today, Tissa Fontaneda is one of the most distinctive and intriguing luxury handbag brands in today’s marketplace. Tissa’s inspired designs have achieved widespread recognition in high-end boutiques throughout the world. From Spanish royalty to socialites to politicians, Tissa Fontaneda continues to captivate ”fashionistas” and luxury connoisseurs worldwide.
The brand recently presented the new FW23 collection in Munich and we caught up with the designer herself.
Q: Where did the inspiration come from for the TISSA FONTANEDA AW23 collection?
The FW23 is inspired by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons and, again this season it’s all about colors. Vivaldi created a special melody for each season of the year and I divided new and classic Tissa Fontaneda colors into a color symphony. I am looking forward to seeing this collection hitting the store,
I think it will look awesome!
Q: Who is the TISSA FONTANEDA woman?
The TISSA FONTANEDA woman is independent, elegant…..a woman who cherished tradition but has a very “free spirit”.
Q: How has your time working for Loewe and Thierry Mugler shaped your career?
When I used to work for Loewe, I remember the direction being very classic and traditional, whilst at Mugler, it was all about a “super fashionable” vision. Both were able to turn quality and traditional craftsmanship into the essence of their handbag designs.
I fondly remember when Thierry Mugler wanted his perfume flacon STAR shape transformed into a leather evening handbag. It seemed impossible in the beginning but experienced modelists made it happen. We are talking about Haute Couture accessories. I also have fond memories of my apprenticeship, at Daniel Swarovski in Paris.
Q: Why and When did you decide to launch your own brand?
I launched my brand in 2010 because I wanted to have the freedom to express my own sense of beauty. More and more women worldwide share my vision.
And with each year that goes by, this makes me proud and happy.
Q: Do you have a particular muse?
Actually not. I observe a lot of what women are wearing when I walk on the street and during my travels.
Q: How have your travels influenced your career?
Traveling has always been paramount for me and I lived in 4 different countries. I cannot really explain in what way all my travels influenced me. I am what I am thanks to my life, my experiences and my travels, thanks to all the interesting people I have met and all the books I have read. My brand and my designs are the result of who I am.
Q: What’s next for TISSA FONTANEDA?
My new shop in London which will open this summer, a Tissa Fontaneda men’s accessories collection and my first “Bubbles” sunglasses. All very exciting!