For Tina Lutz, designing is, and always has been, so much more than a career… It’s a vocation. A member of the CFDA, having garnered a wealth of experience across the fashion industry – clocking up senior titles in Issey Miyake, Calvin Klein and the Puma-produced Nuala – Lutz co-launched Lutz & Patmos (known for its luxury knitwear) in 2000.

The company’s uniquely philanthropic ethos was trailblazing for the time; setting an example of mindfulness in the industry, Tina worked with female artisan collectives throughout Bolivia, Uruguay and Peru, collaborating to create fashion that was ethical on both human and environmental levels.



It’s a philosophy that she has maintained with her most recent design venture, Lutz Morris – a premium handbag collection, based and produced in her native, Germany – the focus of which is to create accessories that afford sustainability as much importance as they do, style. More than that, for every bag sold, Lutz donates $10 to Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for women everywhere. 

To find out more about what drives this altruistic designer, we put our 8Qs to Tina Lutz...

What's the mantra you tell yourself first thing in the morning? I don’t have a daily mantra, but I do have a favourite quote by Joseph Campbell that has helped me in my life on numerous occasions. It goes something like this: "You must give up the life you’d planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you." It has encouraged and helped me to let go of negative influences in my life, be they jobs, projects, places or relationships.

There is so much hope in this quote, knowing that there is always something waiting around the corner – something that you can’t anticipate, something new and exciting, and full of opportunity.



How do you take your coffee? No coffee! Green tea, straight up.

If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing instead? My goal in life is to be in the moment and to do what I love. My husband and I changed our lives three years ago, when we packed up the family to leave New York to move to Berlin. I left my professional background of tailoring and knitwear to start a new accessory label.

I am so happy to continue to support my three pillars that I always try to fulfil in everything I do creatively. That is, to produce responsibly, support artisans and be altruisticThere is absolutely nothing else that I would like to do instead.



If you could only keep one outfit in your wardrobe, which would it be? My first thought was going to be one of my jumpsuits from my jumpsuit collection – however, to be more versatile, I’d  decide on my favourite 16-ply cashmere sweater from my previous collection Lutz & Patmos, my R13 cross-over jeans (R13, please make them again!), white Converse high-tops, my #OldCéline heather grey Crombie coat, my Barton Perreira aviator sunglasses, and my good-luck (and super soft) EMC T-shirt… And, of course, my Lutz Morris Maya bag, with the black Judd intarsia.

Who's one person you'd love to have dinner with? I am halfway through Michelle Obama’s biography, so definitely her! I just saw her appearance at the Grammys and it is so exciting to see how much positivity and hope she brings into a room… She’d be more than welcome to bring her husband as well.

What's the main thing you would like to achieve this year? It’s important to me to continue to keep a balance between family, work and health. As the fashion business is changing at such a rapid speed, I always want to be sure to do only what I feel comfortable with and to maintain my integrity. I also want to constantly improve our sustainable practices, sourcing even closer to our factories, supporting our artisans as well as our charity of choice: Every Mother Counts.


Who would you want to record your audio autobiography, voice-wise? Cate Blanchett. Not only do I have a voice crush on her, but I also admire her as a woman. Have you seen her in Julian Rosefeldt’s film installation ‘Manifesto’? Amazing!

Why did you end up doing what you do? Because... When I was 12 years-old, to make extra pocket money, I cleaned the house of an old neighbour. To be fair, I barely cleaned… Most of the time, we’d sit together and chat about her exciting life as a radio host during World War II, and all of the celebrities that she interviewed after the war (Marlene Dietrich! Romy Schneider!). One day, I showed her a jacket in a magazine that I had fallen in love with. It was a quite complex style, inspired by a fishing jacket with multiple pockets – and it had an outrageous price tag. She encouraged me to make it myself with her help. For the next three months, she taught me how to make a pattern, how to set in zippers, pipe pockets, and make French seams etc., all while I was pretending to go round “cleaning”… And all that on her foot-pedal sewing machine!

I kept it a secret from my Mum who, when she saw me wearing it for the first time, was in shock. She thought that I had somehow bought the jacket from the magazine. For my next birthday, I got a sewing machine from my parents and started sewing for the entire family. I knew from that moment that I wanted to go into fashion. 


Feeling inspired? Shop Lutz Morris here:






Also on Because Magazine:

+ Roland Mouret and Caroline Issa talk style, power and modern dressing.

+ 
What's hot at Machine-A this week?

+ Walk a day in the shoes of designer, Katie Roberts-Wood.