Designers to Watch: Tonya Hawkes

With so many accessories abound in the marketplace, standing out can be hard to do, however, for designer Tonya Hawkes this is an obstacle she’ll never have to tackle. The world traveling accessories designer combines exotic high-end materials bringing geometry and symmetry together seamlessly providing consumers with incredible details and eye-popping results one design after another.

Now living in Italy, becoming a designer was a dream of Tonya’s since she was 16 years old. She studied at The Fashion Institute of Technology from there she absorbed as much as she could under the industry’s best ending up as the creative director of Furla and then the VP of bags, shoes and accessories of DKNY before launching her own line in 2012. Each bag contains exaggerated shapes of gussets and studs in faux ivory, ebony and turquoise complimenting the proportion of each clutch which tend to sport deeply dyed calfskin, viper snake or calfhair. Sometimes the body reflects the hardware that encloses it with an equal amount of hypnotizing squares producing 360 degrees of editorial gold.

With her main influence stemming from her nights going out in NYC, we can only assume these nights must have been unforgettable. Significant influence also comes from her experiences through travel, nightlife and nature, and they’re swiftly synchronized with her love of playing with three-dimensional shapes, contorting a rubics cube of hardware into incredible pieces of art.

About the Author

Jillian Magenheim is the Editorial Director and Director of Partnerships for She is also a digital media consultant for various fashion and beauty brands. You can follow her thoughts on Twitter @Magenhaz and on Instagram @jillianrose_m