Tibi

Amy Smilovic, founder of Tibi, in her office

Her composure, the pleasant lilt in her voice and her ambitious yet grounded perspective could lead one to assume that Amy Smilovic, the founder and designer of Tibi, has it all figured out. She might.

Tibi is a contemporary line of beautifully wearable clothes founded by a quintessentially modern woman. With 2017 marking the company’s 20th anniversary, we spoke with Smilovic about self-invention, reinvention and entrepreneurism.

Can you tell me a bit about the genesis of Tibi and your transformation to a fashion designer?

The company is just one and a half years away from its 20th anniversary—it began in Hong Kong in 1997. I had been in business before that, working for both Ogilvy and American Express. When I moved to Hong Kong I wanted to do my own thing. It was a really exciting time in Hong Kong, right at the handover from the British to the Chinese. There was this really entrepreneurial spirit.

In Hong Kong I found two Chinese men, Ben and Ivan, who were very young and entrepreneurial. They were game to do this with me. At the time I didn’t realize how special it was. I was the only contemporary brand producing in Asia. Theory, Rebecca Taylor and others were producing in the U.S. But to have all the resources in China, in Asia, the print designers and production houses there, was exciting.

Amy Smilovic's office at Tibi in Soho

I’d always loved, loved, loved clothing. And I always wanted my own business. My father and grandfather were artists. I was always creative and wanted to be artistic. That’s why I went into marketing; I wanted to be creative but fell into accounts. It was a great place to learn business, how companies run, how to crunch numbers, how to execute.

In college, I minored in art. Everyone always asks, “How do you do this without a design degree?” But I always wonder—how do people run a fashion label without a business background?

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Tiwi Spring 2016 New York Fashion WeekMakeup at Fashion Week Spring 2016 Tibi

Runway look at Tibi and Bobbi Brown (left)

Less is more—at least it was today when industry veteran Bobbi Brown created an au naturale look for Tibi’s earthy spring palette.

SEE HOW TO CREATE THIS LOOK ON OUR BEAUTY BLOG >

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Street Style: Elle at Carven

Elle’s feminine look has both modern edge and classic femininity. That pleated skirt with sequin panel is to die for and pairs perfectly with a sleek, cropped turtleneck. The soft pink coat is a great transitional piece. And of course, no look is complete without tall boots this season.

xo,
Crystal Nicodemus

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Shop similar styles:
Coats for Spring | Pleated Skirts | Tall Boots

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Trina Turk Long Trench Coat | Tibi Eyelet Skirt | Jimmy Choo ‘Grand’ Tall Boot

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Maria’s graphic sweater caught my eye straight away. There’s something a little bit modernist–as well as nouveau southwestern–about the pattern that is really interesting. Culottes continue to dominate the street-style scene, and I love these menswear-inspired crops. The mirrored Dior sunnies are the most popular sunglasses style of the season and add some shine to this tonal look.

xo,
Crystal Nicodemus

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Shop similar styles:
Dior Sunglasses | Ankle Strap Platform Sandals | Culottes

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Dior ‘So Real’ Sunglasses | Nicholas Kirkwood ‘Pearl’ Sandal | Tibi Pleated Culottes

 

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Street Style: Linda Tol at Tibi

Linda Tol is a style superstar. She’s fearless, creative and cutting-edge. I love how Linda plays with proportion in this look. While her lines are sleek and stark, her palette is soft. Edgy black leather accessories add some classic Linda quirkiness. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this Dutch darling as Fashion Week goes on!

xo,
Crystal Nicodemus

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Shop similar styles:
Platform Flats | Asymmetrical Tops | Fringe Handbags

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Opening Ceremony Platform Oxford | Stella McCartney Asymmetrical Sweater | Valentino Fringe Clutch

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Street Style: Ania Stalman at Tibi

Calgary-based blogger Ania Stalman (Ania.B) is no stranger to Nordstrom or The Thread. I actually ran into her on the Calgary streets years ago to snap her style, so it was a pleasure to cross paths again today! Ania looks fantastic in her retro-modern lady look. Baby pink is still going strong, especially in coats and accessories. Her wide-striped, full skirt is eye-catching and has vintage glamour. I can’t wait to see where we meet next!

xo,
Crystal Nicodemus

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Shop similar styles:
Pink Handbags | Pink Clothing | Pink Hats

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Rebecca Minkoff ‘Amorous’ Satchel | Lucy Paris Striped Midi Skirt | Tildon Fedora

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The makeup look at Tibi was “pretty but not overly done” to balance the Alaskan-Inuit inspired clothing. Fresh, clean skin and illuminated cheeks were paired with a soft wash of pink on eyes (including applying blush in Nude Pink on top of white eyeshadow!) and matte pink lips in Pink Martini Lip Color (launching fall 2015). Only a hint of Everything Mascara was used to finish the look.

backstage-beauty-nyfw-aw15-jinsoon-choi-tibiOn nails, Jin Soon Choi created a “snow-tipped neutral” inspired by the shape of snowy mountains to complement the icy palette throughout the clothing collection. After a base coat, nails were applied with two coats of Nostalgia. Once dry, she then painted a curved line across the middle of the nail to tips in a new color called Doux (launching this spring). According to Choi, “It’s okay if they’re all a little different – if it curves, just go with it!”

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Street Style: Negin Outside BCBG

Negin has totally mastered the modern ’70s revival. I have been on the hunt for a great suede jacket, and Negin’s fringed number is perfection. A fringed suede jacket can be tough to pull off without looking like Davy Crockett, but I’d say Negin nailed it. Her silky dress has a great pattern and I love the flowing train, which has fantastic movement in a breeze. Stiletto boots add urban femininity.

xo,
Crystal Nicodemus

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Shop similar styles:
Graphic Print High-Low Dresses | Suede Jackets | Stiletto booties

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Belstaff Suede Jacket | Tibi Dress | GUESS Bootie

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Studies show shopping is at least twelve times more fun en masse. Our Try This On series is all about the camaraderie of sartorial group projects.

rag & bone Cardigan | Topshop Sweater | MARC BY MARC JACOBS Jeans | Berry Jewel Necklace Infinity Scarf | Topshop Rhinestone Earrings | Christian Louboutin Heels (for this pair call 206.628.2111)

Party season, storm season: The two sure aren’t mutually exclusive. Depending on where you live, going out for a good time can be a heck of a battle, but neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can keep Seattle-based dancer and choreographer Kisha Vaughan down. Not with these looks in the mix.

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This outfit is all I want to wear for fall. A conceptual crop top, textural full skirt and slingback pumps are spot-on trends for the season. Nichelle has found the perfect colors and cuts to complement her figure. I love retro-modern silhouettes and Nichelle has totally nailed the ’50s redux look. Grazie mille, bella!

xo,
Crystal Nicodemus

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Shop similar styles:

White Crop Tops | Full Midi Skirts | Black Slingback Pumps

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:


Topshop Crop Top | Tibi Skirt | Trotters Slingback Pump

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