A lifelong love for the luxury of leather. Even as a teenager, Tonya Hawkes seemed to have a calling. As a keen horsewoman, she found herself fascinated by the workmanship of the leather goods and tack she used every time she rode her Arabian horse, Major Shaamraq. After finishing school she attended Seattle Central’s famous fashion program, before beginning her career in New York City with luxury fashion house Donna Karan and DKNY.
While she excelled in training involving haute couture draping and pattern-making, Tonya found herself equally drawn to the labels’ accessories, and began making her mark as an expert in the field. During her nine years with the famous brand, she directed the DKNY accessory design team through a time when it became one of most profitable divisions of the company, eventually becoming an executive at Donna Karan and VP of shoes and accessories. Then Italy beckoned. Giovanna Furlanetto, president of global luxury accessory brand Furla, personally chose Tonya to become the company’s creative director in Bologna. In her role directing and managing all aspects of the accessories line, from handbags to homewares, she brought the brand to a younger audience with an appreciation for luxury.
For the past fifteen years, Tonya has continued to work in Italy, collaborating with an impressive role call of fashion houses, Sergio Rossi, Pollini , Desa and Gianfranco Ferre among them. The result is that she has built an outstanding reputation for creating original designs that capture the essence of a brand.