Amy Smilovic of Tibi - Neiman Marcus
Amy Smilovic of Tibi

Amy Smilovic of Tibi

Regina Campbell

November 19, 2014

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As the holidays approach, we are simultaneously dreaming of a white Christmas as well as a seaside vacation and temperatures above 70 degrees. That’s why it’s never too early to talk about resort! Tibi‘s newest collection fits perfectly in the nonchalant mood that we are hoping our next getaway will be all about (Art Basel, anyone?). In fact, we can’t remember a Tibi runway show where we didn’t swoon over wonderful knit dresses, full skirts, cool boyfriend jackets and pretty yet effortless cocktail ensembles.
Visits by Tibi designer and founder Amy Smilovic to our Houston, Dallas Willow Bend and Dallas NorthPark stores this week couldn’t have been better timed. So, we had to ask the designer a few questions about the collection that’s hitting stores as we speak, her current street-style muses and the best way to style our favorite Tibi culottes.

Amy Smilovic
Amy Smilovic

NM: What are your favorite Tibi pieces in your closet these days?
AS: The escalante-striped silk culotte, striped sailor sweater and the bibelot long-sleeve wrap blouse.

NM: You pioneered some major street-style trend in the past years – the full skirt, the culottes, the off-the-shoulder blouse. Where does your inspiration come from?
AS: Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Much of the time, it’s while traveling. I recently fell in love with Stockholm, and Prague is always a favorite. Street style is a big inspiration for me, too. I’m drawn to women who have a relaxed way about them; they look put-together and chic but never with too much effort. I’m also constantly flipping through books, looking at photography, drawings, paintings, watching old films, architecture – finding inspiration from whatever is going on around me.

NM: Describe your Resort 2015 collection in one sentence.
AS: Resort 2015 was inspired by a man I saw on the subway – rough beard, an arm sleeve of tattoos, aged from too many years in the sun. He reminded me of a weathered sailor, which influenced my nautical-themed collection.

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NM: What’s the best way to style culotte pants – high heels or flats? Fitted top or loose top?
AS: I believe in a way of dressing that is effortless but never lazy – modern, relaxed, feminine. Culottes have the ease of trousers but they look like a beautiful skirt. For the daytime I’ll go for an eased-out look and pair them with a cashmere sweater and slide sandals. At night I’ll switch the sweater for an off the-the- shoulder top and mule.

NM: Do you have a muse in mind when you design?
AS: We’ve worked with a few different seasonal muses in the past, such as Elin Kling or Julia Sarr-Jamois, but general women of inspiration are Charlotte Rampling, Jane Birkin and Lauren Hutton. My goal is to design for the modern woman’s wardrobe needing to satisfy the versatile demands of everyday life. I also now design for myself more than ever; I want to wear every piece in the collection.

NM: Name three Tibi essentials for Resort.
AS: A toggled sweater, leather culottes and a satin off-the-shoulder top

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NM: What’s your favorite thing about traveling and meeting your customers and fans in stores?
AS: I love coming to Texas because it reminds me a lot of where I grew up in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia – a strong sense of hometown pride, amazing shopping and of course, great BBQ. It’s great to have that feeling of home when I’m on the road. It’s all about designing for our customer, so I love getting to spend one-on-one time with them –learning about what they’re doing in their everyday lives, what they need in their wardrobe, what’s working for them and what doesn’t. That personal feedback keeps us moving forward in our designs.

NM: Tell us about your latest obsession.
AS: I love finding new jewelry brands. I recently discovered Gaydamak & Pristine and have been wearing their diamond hand bracelet nonstop.

NM: If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you do?
AS: I would be an artist.

NM: What are you looking forward to this holiday season?
AS: Spending time with my family and close friends.

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