Tibi founder Amy Smilovic on how she reached 21,000 Instagram followers and the blazer she can't live without

 Amy Smilovic with a dog in her lap
Founder and creative director of Tibi, Amy Smilovic

Women love the chic, modern designs which Amy Smilovic creates at her New York-based label, Tibi. Here she tells us about her daily routine and her fashion, beauty and tech essentials

I wake up at 6am, and for 15 minutes I’ll scan the Wall Street Journal app in bed and check Instagram. I only really started interacting with my personal account in March, and went from 800 followers to about 21,000 now. I use it as an incubator to float new ideas.

I change my style a lot because I’m constantly trying to figure out what could make my wardrobe feel new and fresh. The only time I ever go into a uniform is when we’re styling the next collection: then I wear all-black so my brain doesn’t get too tilted in one direction.

I cook breakfast for my younger son – my other one’s off at college – and drive him to school. Then I have some kind of nutrition bar that I eat on the train. It takes 45 minutes to get from Greenwich to Grand Central Station, and I work the whole way in.

My day is packed with micro- meetings. I’m dealing with every aspect of the business and every season – current fall, current resort, upcoming spring, next pre-fall, next fall, and now resort 2021. I migrate from desk to desk, getting updates. I tend to have the same two things in rotation for lunch. Today it’s salmon sushi; on other days it’s noodle and dumpling soup.

I get home around 7.15pm and eat like crazy, because if I don’t eat I get really grumpy. Then I try to decompress. I’ll binge-watch 
a TV show, or try to read something that’s not business-related. I go to bed at about 10.30pm, and read for at least an hour and a half before going to sleep.

My favourite...


Never Look Away

Never Look Away. It’s a German film. It’s so good, it really moved me. I’ve seen it four times recently [because] I made my parents watch it, and my husband.

… handbag essentials

I have Carmex lip balm (£2.02, Boots), Chantecaille Pure Rosewater spray (£65, SpaceNK) and multiple chargers. 

… device 

My large iPad, for sure. Everything’s on there, including all my books. 12.9in iPad Pro, £969, Apple.

… restaurant 

Crown Shy in New York. It’s a prix fixe-type place geared towards the business crowd, and they bring your dessert in a little to-go cup. I have dreams about it.

… outfit

The thing that I live in is the navy-blue Liam blazer. It’s very square – the perfect blazer. Wool-blend jacket, £730, Tibi at Matches Fashion

… app

I live on Procreate. In two seconds I can sketch an idea and send it to my head of design, who can sketch stuff and send it back.

… hair product

DevaCurl did one of the first no-sulphate shampoos, and I’ve been using it for  nearly 20 years.  Weird, because I have straight hair. No-Poo, £23.99, DevaCurl at Kiyo Beauty

… book 

I usually have four books going at once. I just finished Rouge, a fictional story about the rivalry between figures inspired by Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein.

… TV show 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag

Fleabag. I’m on season two. I resisted it for so long for some reason. Every friend was like, ‘Please just watch the damn show.’ And, oh my God, [Phoebe Waller-Bridge is] so fricking witty. I just love it.

... podcast

My favourite podcast is Hitting Rock Middle – and I was just on Recho Omondi’s  The Cutting Room Floor.

Sign up for Stella Daily - your seven-day slice of fashion, beauty, food, travel, interiors and more from the Stella magazine team