An interview with designer Tia Cibani

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Having recently made a big career change while moving to a different state with my husband I know the constant struggle that is goes into maintaining a proper balance between career and home. It was therefore such a privilege to interview the very inspirational Tia Cibani before her upcoming sample sale, taking place August 30-31. (Invite below)

As women, we are often left wondering how to do it all. How can we accomplish our dreams without loosing sight of who we are? How can we be both successful business women and amazing mothers, and how do we do it all with with grace, dignity, and confidence?

Tia Cibani is a woman who’s figured it out, the formula for a great family, a roaring business, staunch values, and fame. Read my  exclusive one-on-one with Tia to see how she does the impossible, what inspires her, what keeps her going, and her advice on how to do what she does!
MJ: As a successful designer/business woman and a full time mom, how do you juggle the two worlds and make it work in both? How do you maintain that balance?

T.C: It is not easy having a full time job, let alone a business of your own, and a young family. I think the key to finding balance is to build a reliable team. It is never a one woman show. Delegating to people you trust and can rely on is important for running a healthy, professional project. As for the personal side of things, keeping things “manageable” is important. Do not bite off more than you can chew work-wise as well as on the personal side. For example, I love to entertain. Cooking for my guests, usually a table of 8-12, is one of my favorite things to do. However, I try to keep that to the times when I know I have the time and energy not to over extend myself, and leave nothing for my family in the end. Weekend…Aaahhhh…the weekend. I work very hard during the week, often 12 hour days and I like to keep the weekend for my family. Being efficient during the week allows you a nice weekend of relaxation and calmness knowing you did all that you could do during the week.

MJ: Throughout your career I am sure there has been kinks and set backs. What kept you going to accomplish your dreams?
T.C: The setbacks never end. I still run into them now and I guess I always will. Stamina and lasting power are key factors (among a few others) to success. What keeps me going is a constant drive to evolve and grow. I love newness, I love design for that reason. It is about being new and fresh. My dreams are not always crystal clear. I often start something not knowing exactly where I am going to land. I let the positive energies lead me where they may. I think that the meeting of minds is key. Collaborations with other brands and newness will keep you going.
M.J What advice would you give to young aspiring designers trying to crack their way into the industry?
T.C: Work for someone else for a very long time before you even consider starting your own project. There is a a lot to this industry that is unknown to the outside eye. It all looks peachy and easy from the outside looking in, until you are in the middle of things and there is no way out. It can break you down if you have not built your strengths. Strengths include relationships, contacts, resources, knowledge and an acute awareness of what it takes to make a collection, sell and then produce, deliver, sell and collect.
M.J: You seem like a fearless person and someone who has always been up for adventure, from going to China, leaving Ports to start a family, and starting your own children’s line and then women’s line. What is your thought process, are you someone who trusts your gut and does not look back?
T.C: You hit the nail on the head, Mushka. I am that person. I go with my gut. Sometimes it gets me in trouble but more times than not it has been the winning formula. I do not look back. It is all a learning and building experience. I think that staying active, engaged and involved is the true value.

M.J: Who is your muse? Your fashion inspirations?
T.C: My muse is a strong, courageous and global woman. I have a group of girlfriends that sum up the muse I aspire to design for and that inspires me. It is not one woman. It is many women. Artful, smart, individual, current, independent and beautiful.
M.J: What is beauty to you?
T.C: Beauty is from the inside. Even when it comes to garments. I find that when a garment is beautifully finished on the inside and thoughtfully constructed, that is when I feel like it will be amazing to wear. Thoughtful design made with love and attention is beauty.
M.J: What trends are you obsessing over now that can maybe give us a peak into your next collection?
T.C: I am crazy about painterly stripes. The kaftan is hotter than ever right now, although is has been a favorite of mine since long ago. Pleats.
M.J: Many woman struggle between deciding if they should go out and work for someone or pursue their dreams and work for themselves. What advice would you give to these woman?
T.C: It is a tough call. I think it depends on the individual. Working for yourself is not for the fainthearted.
M.J: From the different cities you lived in it seems New York is dearest to you, with your designs all made in New York. How have the different cities inspired you and influenced you as a designer?
T.C: It is the global, diverse and eclectic that inspires me. I love to reference different cultures for inspiration. With that, NY makes for the most diverse of all. It is a world city and I simply love it.
M.J: Lastly, what is your algorithm when it comes to being a happy and wholesome person in a hectic and crazy industry?
T.C: Do what is in front of you and it will be behind you.
Thank you Tia! XO – M.J

GreyAvenue

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