Amy Smilovic of Tibi


SC: Do you have a signature recipe? If so, can you share it with us?

AS: I’m Southern and my recipe is super simple it’s strawberry shortcake using Bisquick. Take a Bisquick sugar biscuit, slice it open, cover it in strawberries, cook it in sugar-water and top with whipped cream from a can. My husband is European and absolutely prides himself on his uber sophisticated European palette this is one of his most favorite desserts ever!

SC: What was your first AIM screen name?

AS: Oh that’s way too personal.

SC: Where is your next travel destination?

AS: I leave for Japan on Tuesday. I just returned from London and I just booked my tickets to Sea Island for the 4th of July week.

SC: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

AS: Having written a fabulous novel, continuing to design amazing clothes that I love, and the owner of a full fledged interior design house.

SC: What books are you reading now?

AS: I just finished “The Namesake” omg, amazing. Now I’ve moved on to some novel about the Contemporary Art World only it was written in early 2008, and therefore is now COMPLETELY obsolete due to the economy.

SC: Are you very spiritual? What are some of your core beliefs?

AS: I am a huge believer in karma. If I’ve accidentally stolen something from a store (like walked out of whole foods with a eaten bagel I didn’t pay for) I’ll stress for weeks on how to get the money back to them, convinced that somehow my spring collection will be an utter failure because I’ve wronged the Whole Foods on Houston St.

SC: What’s playing on your iPod right now?

AS: Anything by The Gossip, Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and Queen’s “Somebody to love.”

SC: Phone or Blackberry?

AS: Blackberry for sure fingers just can’t nail the iPhone keyboard.

SC: Favorite flower?

AS: Daisies.

SC: Do you have a signature scent? What is it?

AS: Stella McCartney’s (relatively) new perfume.

SC: What are your top three can’t-live-without beauty products?

AS: Remergent’s DNA Skin Repair amazing I’ll never use another face lotion again; Bare Essentials powders the infomercials are sooo cheesy, but the product is amazing and my face never breaks out any more from foundations — and Fake Bake suntan – it’s sold at Ricky’s (and used to be sold at Sephora) it’s amazing!!!!!! The tan is incredible no orange look just make sure you have towels and soaps nearby you tan IMMEDIATELY and had better get it off your hands straight away.

SC: What is your dream project?

AS: To design the interior of a fabulous hotel and then design the dresses for every fabulous person that would stay there.

SC: If you could pick anyone to work with, who would it be?

AS: Tina Fey. I would just have her with me at all times to crack me up. I really wish she could just hang out at the office with us all day.

SC: What are some of your style secrets?

AS: To always change my look and try new things, but to always keep it grounded with items that are undeniably me. I adore new trends harem pants, slinky tanks, pegged baggy trousers, whatever. But I make sure I always mix it up with something that I’ve owned forever so I’m not some walking trend calamity.

SC: What inspires you?

AS: Traveling, of course, and people watching. I can do it for hours upon hours. It’s why I set my office up in Soho and not in the Garment district. I am not inspired by the Garment district.

SC: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

AS: It was when I was contemplating starting my business. I was immersed in information trying to piece together a business plan, and an entrepreneur told me “Here’s your business plan […] you make a product, if you sell it, you have a business. If you don’t, you don’t have a business.” I went out and placed an order with my factory the next day and I was in business.

SC: If you could time travel to any period, which would it be?

AS: Oh the 20’s without a doubt. Have you seen the way they dressed back then. Can you imagine everyone looking so chic and suave??? I would die to go to a party and have everyone looking so fabulous they looked insane back then, no matter what they seemed to be doing.

SC: How did your interest in fashion begin?

AS: I always took jobs in clothing stores as a teenager so I could earn money for clothing — I’ve always been mad for clothes, having this company is just my way of getting to be around something I love everyday. I love that shopping is actually a required activity.

SC: What has been your biggest challenge in creating the Tibi brand?

AS: Tuning out others opinions. I have a business background, and you’re so trained to gather input from a range of people. But in fashion, I think the key is to have a very clear vision of who you are and to stick with that no matter other’s opinions. In my first couple of years, I wavered trying to please too many people. Simply creating what you love is the best way to develop a clear and consistent message.

SC: What are your plans for expansion?

AS: I’d give anything to stay just where we are, but in order to do that, I have to keep growing. We’ll open new stores in the upcoming years L.A., Miami, etc. I’ll def get further in to the home arena. We’ve opened eight stores so far this year in Japan, with about eight more to follow. I’m exhausted.

SC: What exciting plans do you have for the future?

AS: A fabulous style book coming out next year that I’m co-authoring with the most amazing woman who was one of the first editors I ever worked with when I started the company. She’s a former editor at InStyle and the book will be the absolute bible on how to look chic and fabulous.


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