With a European-inspired focus on craftsmanship and a design philosophy that prioritizes integrity of form, timelessness and creative collaborations, the New York-based Tina Lutz has made artful modernity her signature for over 20 years.
Born in Germany and trained at Paris’s storied ESMOD (l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode), Lutz joined Issey Miyake’s Paris atelier shortly after graduating. There she worked alongside the designer on a wide range of projects including knitwear development, runway show production and coordination of museum exhibitions. After a stint at San Francisco’s ESPRIT to launch a capsule collection, Lutz returned to Miyake—this time joining the house’s Tokyo headquarter and focusing on inventive tailoring, production and design.
Lutz relocated to New York in 1992 to join Calvin Klein as a senior designer, where she helped conceptualize and launch the CK Calvin Klein women’s line, a lifestyle brand that critics considered groundbreaking both for its timely, multifaceted approach as well as its headline-making ad campaigns. After Calvin Klein, Lutz was tapped for senior roles at a series of notable brands including Barneys and The Limited, before becoming the executive designer of the Puma-produced Nuala, Christy Turlington’s forward-thinking yoga and sportswear line.
Lutz embarked on her most recognized venture in 2000, when she co-founded Lutz & Patmos, a women’s ready-to-wear line that focused on luxury knitwear. She served as the brand’s creative and branding director for ten years, during which she was instrumental in the house’s creative direction and design. Lutz also focused on innovative, multi-platform collaborations; she developed the notable “Guest Designer” series, charitable partnerships with creative luminaries including Julianne Moore, Christy Turlington, Sofia Coppola, Carine Roitfeld, Jane Birkin, Ines van Lamsweerde, Fabien Baron, Richard Meier and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Joint ventures with Coach, Volkswagen, West Elm, and Uniqlo dovetailed into this theme of thoughtful design collaborations.
In addition to helming these creative projects, Lutz promoted the implementation of socially and environmentally conscious business practices: the brand launched organic knitwear collections and worked with female artisan collectives in Bolivia, Uruguay, and Peru in an effort to create sustainable production methods. Lutz’s collaborative approach to design—one that is as sensitive to sustainability and creativity as it is to maintaining a distinctive aesthetic—has helped redefine the role of a modern fashion designer: Lutz & Patmos designs have been featured in Cooper–Hewitt National Design Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Royal Museum of Scotland and the house was a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2005. Lutz has been a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 2006.