Recently I was delighted to meet designer Tia Cibani at her work studio in the Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, a lovely little corner studio that overlooks the beautiful cobblestone intersection of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. It was one of those beautiful spring days, the kind where, if you live in a walking city like I do, you opt to take the long walk home because it’s so beautiful out, and I was wearing (finally) my new spring dress designed by Tia. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn dancing around Paris in Funny Face…but updated with its asymmetry and MoMA-esque quirk.
I was excited to meet the designer – having been born in North Africa then raised in Canada before living in China for a decade, I knew she had a true worldly palette to pull from. So here is a lovely afternoon spent in the design studio of Tia Cibani and her thoughts on fashion, designing, traveling and where her inspiration comes from…
What is your background? Do you think it influences your design?
Well, I was born in Libya, but my family moved to Canada when I was 6 years old. I haven’t been back to Libya since…I’ve been to different parts of North Africa – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco – but not to Libya. I do have some childhood memories, but they are very, very faint.
I think subliminally, it definitely finds its way into my designs. I’m drawn to that part of the world. I love the food, I love the music, I love the color, I love the history. It’s a part of me, and I’m drawn to it.