Tiba + Marl co-founder Lydia Barron believes style and function can blend
Co-founders of accessories brand Tiba + Marl, Anna Tizard and Lydia Barron, found themselves lamenting the limited options for baby-changing bags market, and took the chance to answer this demand. They created their own brand focused on meeting both the style and practical demands of contemporary parents. The brand currently has 35 stockists worldwide including Selfridges, Farfetch, Alex & Alexa and Shopbop. It has branched out from changing bags and its offer now includes totes and clutches. Wholesale prices range from £17.50 to £70. Drapers speaks to Barron about what inspired the brand and why style and functionality are equally important to the modern-day parent.
What is your career history?
I did a BA in furniture and sustainable design before completing a postgraduate degree in bespoke footwear making at London College of Fashion Cordwainers in 2003. I was given a junior design role at Miss Selfridge from my degree show. I designed bags, accessories, lingerie, swimwear and sunglasses – learning all disciplines on the job. I then moved to a footwear design role at Kurt Geiger, designing the KG, Kurt Geiger and premium catwalk Fashionistas ranges. After several years there, I moved to New York to work for footwear brand Sigerson Morrison.
After that, I moved back to London as a freelance footwear and accessories designer, during which time I designed collections for retailers and brands including Topshop, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Pollini and Nicholas Kirkwood.
What inspired the brand?
Anna and I had babies ourselves, and couldn’t find any baby changing bags that fitted our own style – that met both our style and practicality needs.
Where did the name come from?
It is a mix of letters from our maiden names and initials of our first kids’ and our names. We knew from the get-go we wanted it to be a bit of an ambiguous name that didn’t force it into a niche.
How would you describe the aesthetic of Tiba + Marl?
We are obsessed with fashion. We scour shows and blogs and keep a keen eye on street style. This is reflected in the aesthetic of the brand. We both love sportswear-inspired, androgynous style and super-technical yet luxe fabric, clever design details and attention to usability that still looks sartorial.
Why is the brand marketed as unisex?
Being a unisex brand is incredibly important to us, and is woven into our brand DNA. It was one of our key objectives when we came up with the idea for the brand. We wanted to make sure we catered for all parents including stay-at-home dads and same-sex parents, along with creating bags that could be used by both parents seamlessly.
What advice would you give to yourself at the start of your career?
You need to be so motivated and driven towards a specific end goal. We both “gave up” really successful careers to start our own brand, so we had to succeed. Take chances and risks, stay real to yourself and your brand, expect to worker than you ever thought imaginable and, most of all, love what you do!
Where would you like to progress the brand in the future?
We are constantly trying to think of the unexpected from a “baby bag” brand – new products, new categories, exciting collaborations with other brands/artists. We want to carry on with that, and continue our expansion outside the UK, especially in the US.
Favourite clothing brand
Favourite places to shop
Last fashion purchase
Leopard print slip dress from Never Fully Dressed and a grey logo hoodie from Stüssy
An amazing converted country estate in Majorca
Last book you read
NW by Zadie Smith
Last film you watched
A Quiet Place – it’s petrifying and super-tense!
Washing hair in a hairdresser’s in Chelsea when I was 14
Favourite London hotspot
The South Bank – come rain or shine. it’s my favourite place in London
It would honestly be to still be doing what I’m doing now, but with a bigger team and support infrastructure underneath us so we could continue to push T+M creatively and be forward-thinking and unexpected
What would we find you doing at the weekend
On Saturdays mostly lounging locally with family and friends. Sunday usually my daughter skateboards at Bay66 with a bunch of her mates and all the parents hang out, drink coffee and chat