When you think husband-and-wife dream team, think of designer Amy Smilovic and her husband, Frank. Amy launched her label Tibi in 1997, making her trade in pieces perfect for a city girl's day of dressing sweetly. Two years into the business, Frank joined in, and he now serves as president of a label that retails in more than 500 specialty stores worldwide. During the day, Amy designs at her massive New York studio, then commutes back to Connecticut with her man. We'd be jealous if we didn't like her dresses so much.
Where's your studio?
We have a great 8,000-square-foot floor loft in Noho on Bond Street. I won’t be anywhere else!
Who do you design for? Who's your ideal customer or client?
Our ideal customer is someone who likes to have fun with their personal style and who can own anything they put on. I love a girl that can roll out of bed and look so effortlessly chic in 20 minutes. She’s feminine with a bit of edge and likes to make a statement when she walks in the room.
What’s the first thing you do when you go to work?
Starbucks, Starbucks, Starbucks.
How many hours of sleep do you run on?
Six hours? I live in Greenwich, Connecticut, with my husband and two young boys. Their constant energy and the daily commute don’t allow for much sleep these days.
Neat freak or a bit messy?
A bit messy…organized chaos is a better way to put it. Being in the creative field, I tend to rip out inspirations, save stacks of magazines, hoard drawing pencils and throw around fabric samples, all within a 4’ x 8’ space.
When do you feel most inspired to work?
Always when I travel. I’m inspired by the sights and experiences of cultures totally different from my own. Tibi started in 1997 after a trip to Bali. The colors and visuals were stunning. I get inspired everywhere I go, whether it’s Paris or Sea Island, Georgia. There’s always something peaking my creative interest.
When is the worst time to be creative?
I can’t really say there’s a bad time. It’s who I am and why I’m in the industry - I love it, it’s innate. Maybe when I’m getting a massage?!
Who’s at work with you?
I’m lucky to own and run Tibi with my husband, so he’s here with me every day. And of course my fabulous teams - design, technical, production, public relations and sales. We wouldn’t have the business without them.
What's on your iPod in the studio?
Fiery Furnaces, Florence & The Machine, Harry Connick Jr, Johnny Cash, The Kinks, The Ramones, Scissor Sisters, Shwayze…the list goes on and on. I have thousands.
What’s for lunch?
I eat a lot of soup. Some employees and I are doing an office “biggest loser” right now. We’re pooling money and whoever wins gets the pot. So right now my lunch menu isn’t so exciting.
When is the day over?
My husband and I leave around 4:30 p.m. everyday to get back to our kids in Connecticut. The weeks leading up to runway are another story but we’re good about staying on schedule for family time. We’re allowed to discuss work on the car ride to and from the office but we have a strict no-office-talk policy in the house!