Ports 1961, originally from Canada, has gained recognition among Chinese fashion lovers, after its success in North America market. The Cibani sisters, Fiona and Tia, are the key contributors and spokespersons of the Ports spirit. While the Ports 1961 Spring/Summer 09 collection are now available in stores, we meet Fiona Cibani in our interview, where she shares her options on modern femininity.
As the third generation of Ports 1961 designers, could you let us know how you got started at Ports?
I was attending Parsons at that time, when I heard of a position open at Ports. From the very beginning, I worked with the creative designers, Dean and Dan Caten, who later formed Dsquared2.
How would you describe a Ports 1961 lady?
She’s independent, confident and fond of traveling around the world. She pursues all beautiful things. She leads the fashion, and always looks radiantly different.
Do you agree that women’s approach to their wardrobe is changing?
Undoubtedly women’s role has greatly changed since the establishment of the brand in 1961. Women nowadays are busier, more powerful and influential in social, business and political fields which used be dominated by men. This definitely affects women’s attitude towards getting dressed in the morning. The point is that they have to balance the roles from mother and wife to executive and CEO, and that’s what we are here for.
How did Ports 1961 enter China?
In the 1980’s, Ports had firmly established the position of a “must-have” brand among North American middle class ladies. We therefore decided on expansion and started on testing new markets. Through extensive research, we selected China, the largest emerging market, where consumers are gradually getting sophisticated. In early 1990’s, Ports launched into China, as one of the pioneering brands, to bring in western lifestyle and fashion, and present brand new looks for the Chinese ladies, who are eager to catch the fashion trends of the world.
Where do you find your inspirations?
Passions on architecture, fine arts and traveling, are the consistent and signature elements in my designs. Tia and I always find our Muse “on the way” of traveling. There’s inspiration to explore everywhere in the world, it can be in a remote temple of South Asia, or in the arctic village under flaming rays.