Tess Giberson was born in 1971 in a small town in New Hampshire. Her parents, both artists, had moved to the country after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1960′s and raised their family with an emphasis on traditional craftsmanship and creativity.
After graduating from RISD in 1996, Giberson moved to New York and began her career working at Calvin Klein as a sweater designer for the Men’s Collection. After two years she left and free-lanced for several companies until she was ready to launch her own collection. The TESS GIBERSON collection began in 2001 and the following season she received one of the first Ecco Domani Fashion awards.
The collection, initiated from conceptual and thematic ideas, was known for the experimentation with traditional craft and detailed handwork, as well as continuous collaborations with artists and musicians. The fashion shows, incorporating music, writing, video, performance and installation, moved beyond a single collection blending outward into many fields of experience. Giberson has collaborated closely with her husband, artist Jon Widman, as well as other artists and musicians including a longtime collaboration with her sister, artist Petrova Giberson.
Putting the collection on hold in 2005, Giberson was Design Directer at TSE for 3 years. The TESS GIBERSON collection re-launched in Fall 2010. Preserving the conceptual approach and creativity of the original line, the emphasis of the new collection is to speak to a strong, empowered woman and expanding audience. The collection is recognized for its minimal tailoring balanced with an undoing of form and a refined reference to craft. There is extreme consideration of detail and experimentation with form yet an overall ease to each garment. Giberson continues to collaborate with artists and musicians in order to echo a commitment to the full experience of her work.
In addition to support from within the fashion industry, she has been recognized by the design and art communities. In 2003 she was included in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Triennial and nominated for the 2003 National Design Award for clothing. Her collections have also been exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Taka Ishii Gallery in Tokyo. In 2011 Giberson was nominated by the London Design Museum for the Brit Insurance Design Awards.