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Article: Creative Pragmatism: The Philosophy of Tibi Clothing

Creative Pragmatism: The Philosophy of Tibi Clothing

In the bustling world that is the fashion industry, one brand champions a philosophy aptly named creative pragmatism: Tibi clothing. This American bred, New York born label was founded by Amy Smilovic back in 1997, and it has since crafted an entire philosophy within the world of fashion. With lively Instagram interactions and consistent collections of wearable clothing, Tibi has become a quiet symbol of modern American fashion.

The concept of Tibi clothing emerged from a number of years spent in the vibrant streets of Hong Kong by Amy, where street style simplicity met a new kind of innovation unconstrained by Western notions of style. This chapter of her life would give way to a line of dresses that would soon evolve into a full ready-to-wear collection. 

Tibi’s Good Ick 

Over the years, Smilovic’s Tibi would carve a niche for itself in the highly competitive fashion capital that is New York City, balancing a sense of timelessness with a deep perspective on fashion. 

In her own words: 

‘’[...] our circle is smart - intimidatingly smart - but they’re also humble and curious. We love inciting considered discourse, which will make you think, and that is good.[...]

-Amy Smilovic

Henceforth, at the heart of Tibi lies a community committed to self expression and profound views on modern fashion. We are not to follow what is being told to us, but rather express what we really want to say. And Tibi has a lot to say. 

Which is why they founded The Good Ick, an online space open to discussions on fashion and the philosophy behind every choice of garments. Accompanying the brand’s timeless, sophisticated pieces, we will find thinkpieces detailing both perspectives and features behind styles, fashion choices and the brand’s entire universe. The Good Ick is not just the how behind Tibi clothing, it is also the why

The Tibictionary

Tibi's universe of creations transcends garments to include a whole glossary of terms into the brand’s ethos. The label’s Tibictionary is the Creative Pragmatist’s field guide to dressing. As mentioned above, creative pragmatism is the philosophy underlying the entire Tibi clothing line. From the brand’s beginning, this has meant that behind every choice for a garment in the collection, lies a complex yet mindful thought process that justifies the final result and builds a wardrobe from the ground up. The Creative Pragmatist, a term for the Tibi customer, follows a similar rulebook when curating her wardrobe. 

Terms like 12 Mo’er (garments usable all year around), Chill, Mod·ern, Clas·sic (the balancing act of an outfit) and Modifier (an element of self-expression within a balanced outfit); all come to represent the Creative Pragmatist’s way of life: someone who embraces functionality above all, but that’s appreciate and unafraid of daring with colour, texture and form as a mode for self-expression. 

Tibi Clothing: A Clear-Cut View on Funcionality

Each season, Tibi runway shows present wardrobe staples that are reimagined with daring cuts, fresh silhouettes, and bold colour choices in the mix. It's not just clothing for Smilovic and her team. For them, and for us, clothing is a journey of self-expression, where pieces effortlessly adapt to the wearer's individuality and reflect experienced neural pathways.

For example, in their latest collection, Tibi clothing champions their "creative pragmatism" with a renewed focus on comfort and self-discovery. The whole collection radiates a sense of calm amidst chaos, inviting wearers to anchor in their true selves. Silhouettes exude confidence with spacious volumes and tailored precision, all while maintaining Tibi's signature sporty charm. An exploration of colour takes centre stage, with black and white tones serving as the basis from which to build vibrant individuality, much like in our own exploration of ourselves as we mature.

Nonetheless, all the rules and terms compiled in Tibi’s vocabulary are all but constricting. As Amy herself has stated, we all have days where we feel we’ve nailed our looks, and days when we don’t feel so great. Our three modes of self expression, she explains, are verbal, visual and action. Clothing representing visuals, the nuance and understanding of one’s style and perspective on fashion is learnable, which is good. The Tibi philosophy is not to claim our style nor tell us what to do, but rather offer formulas and definitions for pinning down that feeling of nailing your looks, every day.

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