Q&A: Tibi Founder Amy Smilovic Talks Miami Style

October 11, 2013 | by liana lozada | Talk of the Town

Amy Smilovic   
Tibi founder Amy Smilovic  

Miami's Jenna White boutique transformed into a Tibi pop-up shop this week for the second year running. What's more fun than shopping Tibi's clean, modern designs? Shopping them with Tibi founder Amy Smilovic, of course. Smilovic was on hand for two personal appearances at the pop-up. We stole some time with the in-demand designer to find out more about about the Tibi girl and how she dresses in Miami.

Does the time you spend in Miami help to inspire your designs?
AMY SMILOVIC: My design team is in the northeast. When I go back I let them know that the women in Miami have got the jewelry, they are in the sun, and they need a little more skin showing. It's important that we incorporate that into Tibi's DNA. We don't really use the term 'sexy' to describe our brand, but I what I love about Miami is that a Brooklyn tomboy type and really sexy woman can both find pieces perfect for them.

Are there any other Tibi pop-ups elsewhere? Why Jenna White?
AS: No, Jenna is the first and only right now. I've never seen someone who knows her customer so well; she's a unique breed. I'd love to do it in other cities, but it would need to be the right fit. We'd need very entrepreneurial store owners.

Do you have any downtime scheduled during your Miami stay?
AS: I wish. Every morning I've gotten up at 7 a.m. and made it a point to walk from the Shore Club where I'm staying to the News Cafe. But you know, I have kids. My husband called this morning to say he took the dog to the emergency room for eating my son's chocolate bar. Meanwhile, I was walking on the beach. That moment to myself is kind of my vacation [laughs].

How does your lifestyle and sense of style play into the overall look of the Tibi girl?
AS: For me, it is about, 'How can I drop the kids at school in Connecticut, work in SoHo, fit it with my 20-something employees from Brooklyn, go to an amazing event in the city, and be the same individual all throughout? How [can we help] women look great no matter what they are doing and without looking like they are trying too hard?

What's selling like crazy this season and at the Jenna White pop-up?
AS: We've become known for these full, long black leather skirts and they are sold out. Jenna has two left, and that's all that's left in the country. You can wear it with a great tee and black flat sandals and it looks amazing. 

Let's talk about fashion bloggers, as Miami has more than a few. How have they changed the game for designers like yourself? 
AS: Bloggers have leveled the playing field. I don't have to wait for editors to decide to promote the brand. It's nice to have more control and approachability in that respect. It's nice to know that girls living in small towns with a particular style don't have to look at magazines for validation; they can gain validation from somewhere else.

Will you be back in Miami any time soon?
AS: We're looking to do a show here in the spring. I feel like we need to bring a full runway show down here, especially with Jenna's following. It might become a biannual event!

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