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MEET THE DESIGNER: TIFF MARIE MATERNITY

Posted on October 22 2018

Meet Tiff Marie, the woman behind the maternity label that's bringing a whole lot of style into a few of the most important months in any woman's life. See how she started, her favorite piece in her current collection and what we can expect from this local Chicago designer. And just a little known fact... many of her maternity pieces work postpartum and not pregnant too! 
  

Can you tell us what inspired you to start your own label and how it came into being?

Having chosen a career in finance, I always wanted to pursue my true passion for design.  I’d often find myself sketching dresses on notepads, particularly when I became pregnant with my first born.  During my experience, I had FOMO for outfits that I felt I couldn’t wear until after pregnancy and had a personal inflection point where I questioned why I felt like I needed to put my personal style on “hold.”  It became increasingly clear to me that finding modern clothing, especially items that were well-made, well-fitting, and at an affordable price, were hard to find (especially for special occasions). Through multiple conversations, I found that many other women shared in the same sentiment re: maternity-wear.

The connotation for “maternity” shouldn’t be something that’s dreaded; rather, it should represent clothing that woman feel comfortable and confident wearing.

My experience at the time motivated me to utilize my train commutes to work to jot down dress designs that I felt were ideal for a modern pregnancy.  A local pattern maker helped transform them into samples that I wore to holiday parties, office events, and family gatherings. After receiving positive feedback about the dresses, I decided to find a local manufacturer to bring them to life.  

What's your design process like, and where do you draw inspiration from? 

I draw inspiration from my young 20’s living in lower Manhattan working on Wall Street by day and hitting the Chelsea / Soho social scene by night.   Many of our dresses (like the Bowery) are named after streets of NYC and represent a classic/sophisticated look with a dual cool-mom vibe that carries from day to night.  I selected to focus on dress designs only during our first phase launch of the label.

While I am the sole designer, I have a team of Chicago-based pattern makers, fabric suppliers, project managers and manufactures whom I work with.  The brand is proudly mom-run and made in Chicago’s Fulton Market. One of my most important focuses is fabric quality. We source and utilize the most premium stretch fabrics for a flexible and flattering fit.   Each of our dresses incorporate elastic gatherings, meticulous tailoring, and a fashionable touch (one-shoulder, statement sleeves, pockets, etc.).

Our price points are below $100 a dress and you’re able to mix/match each style for several wears across every season either by swapping shoes or adding a throw-over poncho or jacket (leather, denim, etc.).  Each dress is designed for wear throughout all trimesters, postpartum, and incorporate nursing-friendly accessibility.

Describe your brand / collection in three words.

Comfortable + Versatile + Chic

What do you envision the quintessential Tiff Marie woman to be like?

She’s a modern mom, who had a very strong sense of self prior to becoming pregnant.  She realizes that motherhood will change her in ways she’d never imagine but doesn’t want to sacrifice her personal style and confidence during the transition into motherhood.   She’s aware of the latest trends that she adapts into classic looks while contributing to her responsibilities both at-home and in her professional life.

What is your favorite piece from your current collection?   

 

Our statement bell-sleeve “Delancey” dress is my favorite piece.  The stretch bamboo fabric feels as if you’re wearing sweatpants, not a dress.  The flared sleeves give a head-to-toe chic appearance without much effort. You may style this dress with ankle boots, knee-high boots, flats, or even sandals.  It’s also available in a gorgeous stretch black velvet for the holiday season!

Where do you see the label to be in the next five years?

My vision for Tiff.Marie Maternity is to be sold in a major retailer, like Nordstrom. I’d also love for the brand to have an expanded celebration collection (Baby Showers and Gender Reveals) and more nursing options.

Shop the full Tiff Marie Maternity collection on The Shoppes now! 

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