Tibi: A Unique American Fashion Brand With Roots in New York City

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Tibi is an American fashion company based in New York City. Still an independently owned brand, it was founded by Georgia-born Amy Smilovic in 1997.

According to an October 2017 interview published in Hong Kong Tatler, the fashion line is named after Amy Smilovic’s grandmother, Tibi.

“Shortly after moving to Hong Kong, I met a woman who was from New York and she was engaged to a guy, who by total coincidence I went to the University of Georgia with. She and I started a line together named after her grandmother Tibi but six months after living in HK she decided to move back to the US and I kept the name, hired her sister to work for me for four years and the rest is history.”

Designer Amy Smilovic (middle) posing with models backstage at the Tibi 2010 fashion show Designer Amy Smilovic (middle) posing with models backstage at the Tibi 2010 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim at Cabana Grande at The Raleigh on July 16, 2009, in Miami Beach, FL (Credit: WENN)

A former advertising executive with no formal training in fashion, in September 2006, she opened the first Tibi retail store at 120 Wooster Street in SoHo in New York City. Steve Blatz and Antonio Saracino designed the 2,200-square-foot boutique.

Tibi is typically classified as a contemporary fashion rather than a traditional luxury brand. The contemporary fashion segment sits between high-end luxury labels and mass-market brands, offering a balance of quality, style, and affordability.

Amy Smilovic walks the runway at the finale of Tibi Spring 2018 fashion show during New York Fashion WeekAmy Smilovic walks the runway at the finale of Tibi Spring 2018 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 9, 2017, in New York City (Credit: FashionStock / Shutterstock)

Tibi is in the same contemporary fashion realm as brands like Theory, Vince, Rebecca Taylor, Diane von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, Acne Studios, Alice + Olivia, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and A.L.C. Like Tibi, these brands cater to consumers looking for stylish, high-quality, and versatile fashion.

From Street Style Star to Web Campaign: Olivia Palermo Rocks Tibi for Spring 2011

In early 2011, Olivia Palermo was spotted doing a shoot for Tibi’s web ad campaign. The campaign, which centered on bloggers and individual style, gave the fashionista free rein on what pieces to wear and style, using some of Scott Schuman’s pictures (The Sartorialist) as a backdrop.

Among the images that came out, this photo of Olivia in an animal-printed black and white number stood out for its simplicity and coolness:

Fashion icon Olivia Palermo in Tibi's animal-print dress, February 2011 web ad campaignFashion icon Olivia Palermo in Tibi’s animal-print dress, February 2011 web ad campaign (Image courtesy of Tibi)

If you love Olivia and think you can rock this look, then be glad that THAT dress is now available for pre-order at Shopbop.

Olivia’s dress is the Tibi animal on crepe cap sleeve dress, and it retails at a slightly high $368. If you don’t mind spending that much on a dress, feel free to indulge yourself:

Tibi Animal on Crepe Cap Sleeve DressTibi Animal on Crepe Cap Sleeve Dress, $368

To achieve Olivia’s uber-cool look, put on these sunnies from DSQUARED2 and stack up on these bangles:

Complete the look with DSQUARED2 sunglasses and an assortment of bangles from Chan Luu, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Jay Lane, and Juicy CoutureComplete the look with DSQUARED2 sunglasses and an assortment of bangles from Chan Luu, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Jay Lane, and Juicy Couture

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