Interviewing Tamara Salman: From acting as Creative Director at Liberty to launching her own handbag collection

posted on: Tuesday, 3 September 2013


A few weeks ago I had an email from a PR who was giving me the low down on an accessories designer named Tamara Salman. I get two dozen emails like this a day from people sharing new projects and more often than not I believe it isn't a right fit for the blog. However, after opening the first image from Salman's collection, I pretty much knew this was one op I wasn't going to pass up. 

There's something incredibly special and unique about the designs of Tamara Salman. I immediately thought the handbag shapes looked classic and well composed, yet there was something that had that "stand out from the crowd" element. These were elegant shapes that were familiar to those who regularly buy luxury, yet, upon closer inspection one discoveries the "sweet spots" in Tamara's creative vision. 

So I'm pleased today to introduce you to a brand that I'll definitely be watching. Tamara Salmon has a history in this industry, but she's carving out a whole new future. Here are five questions for the leading lady about her past, present and future. Enjoy!


1. Tell us a bit of the history behind the brand, your history in the world of fashion and what's led you to strike out on your own?

I have had the privilege of working in the luxury fashion industry for the last eighteen years, designing for some great International luxury brands I was then hired to be Creative Director at Liberty to create and launch the Liberty of London collections. Everything I have learnt and experienced has been leading me, slowly but surely to designing my own collection. I learnt a lot working for other labels but now the time feels right to do my own collections. I’m fortunate to have acquired wonderful connections with master craftsmen during my career enabling me to produce bags at the level of luxury and quality enjoyed by more established labels.

2. Where did you derive inspiration for the current collection?

I am fascinated by ancient civilisations, Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman. I love the British Museum and am tirelessly inspired from artefacts there. I guess my mixed heritage also influences me always. Both collections' patterns are inspired by ancient wall paintings, both Egyptian and Etruscan. In contrast I love modern materials and printing techniques. I then wanted to apply these patterns and colours on to elegant modern shapes and create bags that are practical and functional.

3. Do you have a certain woman in mind for carrying the bags? When you were designing did you say I'd really love to see X,Y and Z carrying the bags?

I have spent some time thinking about what women want and need in a handbag. Style, modernity and superb quality are a must. Shape and ease of use, practicality and durability are also really important. They are designed to carry laptops, or tablets along with all our essentials, holding their shape, whilst looking elegant and modern. 

I have no individual in mind when designing but rather a sense of a woman who knows herself, understands her style and who enjoys fashion rather than being led by it. 

4. What's your bag? Or are you carrying any and all from the collection… of course we are extremely jealous you can do that!

Day to day running around or shopping I use the Isis shopper ( The digitally printed bag) as its so functional and sturdy and seems to hold everything…. Work meetings I then swap it for the Isis Tote as it carries my laptop safely zipped up. For an evening out I tend to use the Minerva Top Handle laser cutbag- if I have time to swap them over that is! Always in Black! 

5. What can we expect for the future? 

My intention is to build the company slowly and solidly. The first collection will remain the core and I will introduce new colours, prints and materials each season, adding key pieces to the ranges such as evening bags.

Next year the collection will appear in carefully chosen stores in London and New York and eventually in other key cities around the world. In the spring I will also be introducing a small range of leather stationery, which is another passion of mine.

Longer term I would love to expand the range to include other accessories.