Game Changer: Tibi
Tibi founder Amy Smilovic on how she styles her new urban-sport collection, The Drop, exclusive to Nordstrom.
By Britt Burritt
One of the biggest hits from Fashion Week? Cycling shorts. No longer a trend, mixing workout apparel with daywear is now just how we dress. But if you're puzzled by how to integrate such athletic looks into your wardrobe, Tibi's new collection, The Drop, makes it easy—as do tips from New York-based Tibi founder and creative director Amy Smilovic.
"I wear activewear items but I mix it in," says Smilovic, the picture of modern minimalism in a Tibi cream two-piece suit layered over a white tee from The Drop. She founded Tibi in 1997, and the brand has been an enduring favorite of fashion editors ever since. Her new collection, created in partnership with Nordstrom, offers elevated track pants, sweatshirts and joggers. It's "sporty but still urban, urban but eased-out, eased-out but still refined," as Smilovic defines it. The Drop's 14 pieces are meant to be worn together or with dressier items from the Tibi world to create outfits for any setting.
Smilovic's own aesthetic is simply assured. "With age, I've gotten more confident about my style," she shares. "You can finally figure out what those staples are for you. For me, it's a wide-leg pant, it's a blazer, it's a great pair of Levi's, it's a high-neck T-shirt. When I have a high-neck T-shirt and a blazer, it allows me to be extremely experimental with the skirt because something on me feels so much like myself."
The Drop provides the sleek, casual pieces to build modern outfits. Each of the six annual collections—or drops—comes in a fresh, vibrant color story that complements and expands on previous seasons. For Smilovic, the goal was to give women tools to dress from day to night, spring to winter, whether they're dropping kids off, grocery shopping, working or going out. "One of the most challenging things as a woman is getting dressed in a way that you feel great about yourself but that you're appropriately dressed," she says. "The Drop combined with other elements in your closet is the ultimate daywear. I want people feeling great about themselves."
And she does mean people. By the fifth or sixth collection, Smilovic plans for The Drop to be entirely gender fluid. "I'm really striving for that. Byron, our art director, he constantly wears our blazers," she says. "My boys [Gabriel, 18, and Charlie, 15] have now started picking up pieces from this sport collection and have been wearing them. And I'm constantly in my sons' closets."
"My oldest son has really beautiful taste," she shares. "I just bought him some Dries Van Noten silk paisley boxer shorts. He wears them with a pair of Nikes and a big sweatshirt. And I love them with a beautiful blazer and a pair of sandals."
How Smilovic Styles…
"All the track pants go from gym to desk to dinner—all three places. By gym, I mean post-workout gym. You can absolutely wear them to the office with a blazer. And you can absolutely put on a great little tank top and you're good to go out at night."
"I would wear the jogger pant with a beautiful silk blouse and a fur slide at home if I were entertaining. I would go to the grocery store in a polished oxford shirt and the jogger. And I would tie the shirt at the waist and be really put together but dressed appropriately for grocery shopping."
"The plush velvet tracksuit, absolutely I would entertain at home in it. I would wear it on a plane, and I could see a woman wearing a strappy sandal and great jewelry and going out to a restaurant in it. With sneakers, it could take you to a kid's drop-off at school. I really can't think of a place where that would be inappropriate. Even in an office, with a great grey blazer and the right shoes, you could wear it."