T:“Living your truth” seems like your formula of success, how does it translate in your everyday life (work and personal)?
AS:Yes, I think that the best success is derived from knowing who you are and having the confidence and conviction that it is good enough. Good enough for you. If it’s not good for someone else, then that’s ok. You can’t be everything to everyone. As long as you are a good person, of course. That goes for dressing. If you are creative and pragmatic like I am, then you have something to say about yourself and your style which is a great way to communicate that. When I have that balance of interest, modernity with functionality then I am at my best. This is what gives me confidence that if I like it, if I love it, that’s good enough for me.
T: Tryano’s theme this year revolves around sustainability in all its aspects, what are your thoughts on this and how does Tibi integrate sustainability within its strategy and operations?
AS: Sustainability is incredibly important, and we tackle it in three different ways.
The first way we approach it is we are always looking at using recycled products, organic products, and fibers from sustainable ethical farms. The second way we look at it is by not overproducing. We have committed to reducing the amount of clothing we are producing to the lowest inventory levels possible, meaning cut to order, which eliminates tremendous waste. Most of the issues in clothing are because of over production. Finally, we focus on the longevity of clothing from both a quality standpoint (luxury) and from a trend standpoint (creating items made to fuel your wardrobe, work with past designs and eliminating the angst to throw away an entire closet each year and start fresh). We love it when people wear our clothes over and over and over. And they do.
T: Why did you decide to change the image of the brand? Have digital platforms contributed to that change?
AS: It was almost 8 years ago now that we recognized that the contemporary segment was not an area for the future for Tibi. It was limited in how creative we could be (brands in contemporary sell trends vs. ideas), the contemporary category was eclipsed by fast fashion, and there was certainly no room for sustainability. I did not believe we had a future in contemporary. I love design, luxury, and creativity and had a team that was ready to change things up, so it was the right thing to do. Digital has given us a platform to communicate directly with consumers about what we believe in. So digital (Instagram) has helped tremendously from that perspective.