10 Minutes With: Amy Smilovic of Tibi at NYFW
March 6, 2017
If remixed classics are your calling, look to the Tibi Fall 2017 collection. Founder and designer Amy Smilovic is passionate about her minimalist, chic, and modern aesthetic, and she lives her life accordingly. These characteristics have been successfully incorporated into her latest collection, highlighting suiting with a menswear influence as her focus for night and day.
After her NYFW show, we had the opportunity to chat with Smilovic about her inspiration, individual favorites, and must-haves for the season.
Neiman Marcus: We were so excited to see you at New York Fashion Week! What were the weeks of preparation leading up to the big day like for you and your team?
Amy Smilovic: Pretty hectic but in the best way possible! The energy of our team was at an all-time high—it’s a terrific feeling to have all the teams at Tibi focused on FW17 and the runway show. We take so much pride in presenting the collection. We spent our time on so many critical things that made the show a show—castings, fittings, music supervision, and set design. In that moment, we were just focused on bringing out our creative best.
NM: How does this collection compare to your Pre-Fall 2017 collection?
AS: Continuity exists between Pre-Fall 2017 and Fall 2017. While every collection is unique, I design for the modern woman who desires to dress well and remains at ease while doing so. You definitely see suiting and the ease and lines of menswear continue.
NM: Did you carry the “working girl” vibe from your Pre-Fall collection into your new designs?
AS: I have always designed pieces that women can wear in their professional lives. The collections ultimately represent the women of today—busy, independent, and living their lives to the fullest. Fulfillment brings happiness.
NM: Tell us about the inspiration for your Fall 2017 collection.
AS: We wanted the clothing to communicate strength. It’s about desiring the life that you have and knowing that a strong sense of independence is an important factor to get there.
NM: Describe the Tibi woman this season. What are her favorite activities, and where is she going in these pieces?
AS: She dedicates herself to her work, whether it’s a professional or home life. What she does during the day is a result of complete commitment and a desire to excel. Outside of this, she is a friend, a sibling, a daughter, and a parent. She plays multiple roles at once and connects all facets of her life into a story that is all her own.
NM: What colors were you most excited to use this season?
AS: Odd neutrals in slightly “off” shades like brown, gray, and navy. We paired these with electric, intense colors—fluorescent yellow, bright peach, deep turquoise, jade, and hot pink.
NM: What is your go-to textile for fall?
AS: We loved sporty fabrications—think sweatshirt material—and made them super elevated, chic, and easy to wear.
NM: What new design techniques did you incorporate into the fall collection?
AS: We put a new emphasis on the shoulder, both strong styles and draping details. Layering and color combinations were also big in the collection, as well as the athletic fabrics for day. Additionally, we played with a new take on menswear.
NM: Name one piece from this collection that every woman needs to own.
AS: I love the menswear element in Fall 2017—the suits are a definite must.
NM: What are your styling recommendations for fall? Do you have a favorite trend?
AS: I think layering will really become a functional decision in women’s dressing. Styling skirts and dresses over pants really brings a whole new view to these pieces. I truly believe every woman should wear clothes that make her feel good, without being overdressed.
NM: If you could only wear one accessory for the rest of the season, what would it be and why?
AS: The corset or a corseted top. It literally transforms any outfit. Start with your basic top and skirt, add a corset, and it becomes something completely different. We designed a corset in denim for spring, and we’ll be doing them in a range of fabrications going forward.
NM: What’s your go-to heel height?
AS: The new 1.5-inch heel—it feels cool, gives enough lift, and I can stand in it all day.
NM: What’s one fashion rule you love to break?
AS: I don’t obsess over “wearing what’s right for your body type.” I wear what I love, what I am in the mood for, and what inspires me. So sometimes it may not be “perfect” for someone who is 5’5” or flat chested, but I don’t care—wear what you love, go ahead!
NM: If you had to give women one piece of advice, what would it be?
AS: Dress for yourself and embrace it—beauty, creativity, and looking great are empowering.