In case there was anyone left in the English speaking world who still didn’t know, I’m off to New York for fashion week tomorrow!!! To say I’m looking forward to it would be a serious understatement. I am so ridiculously, over-the-top excited that I’m practically singing to myself as I write, resulting in some pretty strange looks from my fellow Starbucks goers. In a mere matter of days I’ll be gazing upon the latest collections from the likes of Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta and of course, Tibi. I was lucky enough to see the Tibi catwalk show when I was in New York last September and can’t wait to see what Amy Smilovic offers up for SS13. With under a week to go until the show, I caught up with Amy in an attempt to find get the inside scoop on what’s in the world of Tibi…
LPA: The last time we spoke just over a year ago. Have any major changes occurred in the world of Tibi since then? If so, what?
AS: We’re very excited about our recent collaboration with talented UK artist Quentin Jones. Her films combine animation and still images, this is the first time we’ve used a video as part of an advertising campaign and we’re so pleased with the result.
LPA: For the past few seasons you seem to have been developing a more understated, less overtly feminine aesthetic, do you think this is a fair observation? If so, has this been a conscious move on your part or something that has developed naturally over time?
AS: Evolving to a cleaner aesthetic was a natural transition, it’s a better reflection of my personal style. I design for a woman who loves clean, relaxed, and feminine silhouettes.
LPA: Without giving the game away, what was your inspiration for your forthcoming SS13 collection?
AS: Shape, definition, and sculpture all play a part in the Spring ’13 inspiration
LPA:Your designs are a hot favourite among celebrities and style setters all over the world. Is there anyone who you’d particularly like to see wearing Tibi in the future but haven’t yet?
AS: I’m lucky that a few of my current style icons – Miroslava Duma, Elin Kling and Hanneli – are all fans of the brand. I’d also love to see Kate Bosworth or Dasha Zhukova in the collection.
LPA: Have you had to adapt your PR strategy or way of working in response to the rise of fashion blogs, online press and the increasing importance of social media? If so, how?
AS: Yes, we’ve really enjoyed getting to know the bloggers, they’ve been a huge support to us over the past few seasons. And social media is a definite focus. It’s a great way to directly reach consumers and instantly share news. Each outlet has its individual niche – Instagram for behind the scene photos and inspiration, Twitter for up to the minute info, Facebook for press scans and exclusive contests, Pinterest for trend boards and muses, etc.
LPA: In recent seasons you’ve chosen to feature women working within the creative industries, such as Wonderland Magazine Fashion Editor Julia Sarr-Jamois (SS12) and artist/filmmaker Quentin Jones (AW120 in your advertising campaigns. Why did decide to do this rather than using professional models?
AS: We were brainstorming which model to use for the SS12 campaign, around that time I kept seeing Julia Sarr-Jamois photographed on street style sites and absolutely loved her style. I thought about how amazing she would look in our SS12 collection and the idea sprouted from there. She felt fresh, interesting and relatable. It’s a formula that is working very well for us because these women represent so much more than just a picture on a page. It’s about substance and style.
LPA: I can imagine you receive hundreds of job and internship applications every year, how do you decide who to take on? Are there any specific qualities or qualifications you look for when adding to your team?
AS: Something I value about everyone on my team is creativity. Whether you are in PR, design, or sales, generating and executing ideas are so important. The first 5 might lead nowhere, but the next could be a huge success.
LPA: Tibi has been a sought after and successful company for over a decade now. What advice would you give to someone who aspired to one day launch their own business?
AS: Be true to your vision. As the company’s evolved, I’m aware more than ever that everything I create needs to be something I see in my own wardrobe.
LPA: What does 2013 hold for Tibi? Do you have any exciting projects in the pipelines?
AS: We have a few things under wraps I’m excited about, we’ll keep you posted
Love Ella. X