The Dynamics- Dione
Tell us your name and a bit about yourself.
My name is Dione Davis and I'm a 33-year-old, NYC-based stylist and creative consultant. I have been director of styling and visual merchandising at Tibi since 2015 and have been with the company since 2013.
What does personal style mean to you?
I truly believe that personal style is essentially just finding a way to make your outside match your inside. Personal style is a direct reflection of my interests and sensibilities as a creative person. I wear a lot of vintage from the early '80s and '90s to complement my modern clothing because so much of my inspiration comes from an element of nostalgia and elegance that could only be embodied in those time periods. Exaggerated proportions in minimalist silhouettes complement my big personality. Use of constant hyperbole in the way I speak and my flair for drama when expressing myself needs clothing that is understated but still elegant.
How does what you wear reflect how you feel?
When I'm in a good outfit, it allows me to be so much more present and in the moment. I'm an anxious person, and clothing has always been a way for me to feel at ease and more comfortable in my own skin. If I'm nervous about something, wearing a good outfit removes that element of being self-conscious out of the equation entirely. Some people trivialize fashion, but it's my way of practicing self-care. I want the clothes I wear to feel good as well as look good so I don't sacrifice my principles for the latest trend. I value not only the artistry that comes with design, but all of the creative people it takes to execute a beautiful piece of clothing. Working in-house for a brand really pulled back the curtain on what it really takes to make clothing—and it takes a village. When I wear something special, I can feel the love and care that was put into it. It's why I stopped buying fast fashion and started investing.
When do you feel your happiest?
If there's good food, wine, good conversation and a nice atmosphere with my real family or chosen family, I don't have a complaint in the world.
How does fashion intersect with what you do for work?
I'm the styling director at Tibi, so fashion is everything in my job. I think of myself as a visual storyteller. Essentially, my job is to take the vision of the creative director and our extremely talented design team and interpret it and communicate it through the styling and marketing of our products on our various channels.
Tell us about your career journey.
Originally, I had no plans to work in the fashion industry at all, and my shift to that came from a genuine love of clothing and not a clear career plan at all. My passion was ballet and I was an apprentice at a professional company in college until quitting due to injury. The fashion industry was very closed off and still is, especially for people of color, so I started out in retail. A case of mistaken identity started my career as an assistant for editorial stylists. I was still working retail to pay the bills and eventually started working at Tibi in 2013. My job at Tibi started out in retail as an assistant manager at the flagship, then I transitioned to corporate and started styling e-commerce in 2015. My responsibilities evolved over the years to a broader role in styling for campaigns, content shoots, still life and runway. I also had the opportunity to travel around and help out with our showroom in Paris and also do product trainings in the U.S. and abroad. In the pandemic with reduced travel, I started an Instagram Live every Wednesday at 2pm with Amy Smilovic, the founder and creative director of Tibi. We look forward to it every week since we can't visit some of our favorite stores and customers.
Why did you choose these pieces for the shoot?
I've always been known for wearing a suit at all times, so I figured I'd show more range with dresses and matching separates. I chose this Issey Miyake number to show my "all or nothing" approach to red. I used to hate the color until I realized how to wear it and feel elevated. Wearing red broken up with shades of black always looks mature and forced, so I go for head-to-toe red with neutrals in the sand, brown or camel territory. I wanted it to look more modern with the Stella McCartney platforms because that's how I would wear it in my real life.
This white dress from The Row is something I'd definitely own and wear as a dress or a bit more dressed down as a duster with wide-leg wool pants in white or ivory. The strappy sandal is gorgeous, and paired with a sock is right up my alley. In my opinion, winter white is the epitome of luxury.
What/who are you inspired by?
My mother got me into clothes because she always looked so elegant despite living in areas with limited resources. She always wore a red lip and tailored pieces that fit her perfectly. Elegance doesn't have a price tag and she was my first example of this. Also, anyone who plays around with androgyny is always appealing in my eyes.
What are you looking forward to?
I'm not a big hug person, but I really can't wait to hug my parents when this is all over.