An Interview With: Tiba+Marl

We have recently launched a new changing bag brand here at The Baby Room and that is the gorgeous Tiba + Marl. A unisex brand which was launched by Anna Tizard and Lydia Barron in 2015. 

Anna was previously a Bag Buyer for Urban Outfitters and Topshop, and Lydia worked as a Footwear and Accessories designer for the likes of Jaegar, Kurt Geiger and Sigerson Morrison. As new Mums, they both struggled to find changing bags that suited their style needs so they decided to create their own with the emphasis on merging fashion and functionality. Featuring contemporary shapes, modern graphic prints, premium and high-tech materials with stylish and practical design details. Inspired by catwalk trends and street-style, their award-winning collection is known as the cult accessories brand for cool, modern parents who are seeking unisex designs that don’t compromise their sartorial choices. 

We wanted to find out a little more about the brand and the women themselves, and were lucky enough to interview both recently. Scroll down to read the interview in full and shop the range.

Anna and Lydia, how did you two meet originally and how did Tiba + Marl come to be?

Anna “We met during our first jobs at Miss Selfridge when I was a junior buyer and Lydia was starting out as a footwear and accessories designer. We bonded over fashion as we both have a really similar sense of style and our friendship grew from there. We became mothers at a similar time and started lamenting the lack of decent baby changing bags on the market at the time. There was nothing really cool or unisex that we felt appealed to modern parents with a more pared back, contemporary approach to style”.

Lydia: “There was definitely a gap in the market so we decided to go with our gut instinct and create a range that we knew our friends and contemporaries (various friends in fashion and design backgrounds, who like us had just become parents for the first time) would like, rather than creating anything similar to what existed in the market. We spent a lot of time testing the bags, and wearing them to parental events – like Mothers Meetings for example – and we found that people loved the brand and we started to get press in publications like Grazia before we even launched! We ended up with a waiting list of 1000 people before we launched, and there was such a great buzz about our brand, that we started to realize very quickly that parents were really ready for this new direction in changing bags.”

I understand that you seek inspiration from the catwalks and street-style, but is there anyone in particular who inspires your designs? 

There aren’t really any individuals who inspire designs as such, but there are definitely people whose personal sense of style we really admire. We love Pernille Teisbaek’s style – so cool, boysy – love how she mixes labels such as Vetements, Ganni and Adidas. Also will also love Chloe Sevignes style and attitude.”

We absolutely love the We Are Family campaign here at The Baby Room, but what’s been the most exciting campaign each of you have worked on so far at Tiba+Marl?

Anna:“It is definitely the We are Family campaign for both of us. We loved all the modern representation of families and how great everyone was. They all were genuine T+M customers which I think is what made it really special and authentic. We’d love to do it again as there are still so many other amazing families out there who really capture the vibe of Tiba +Marl.”

Lydia: “I think also the recent shoot we did with Billy Huxley as that was our first dedicated menswear campaign and we really pride ourselves on being a unisex brand and appealing to dads too. We are also working on a new shoot, set in LA, which we can’t wait to work on.”

There are so many gorgeous Tiba+Marl styles available, but which is your own personal favourites and why?

Anna: “For me, it has to be the Miko bumbag – I use the black all the time – for when I go to bootcamp or out with the kids and just want my essentials with me. I’ve also ‘borrowed’ (pinched!) the snake Miko which I love for a more fashion look, it instantly makes an outfit look cooler, and is my ‘fashion’ bag atm..”

Lydia: “I’d have to say the Snake Miller – I love the slightly smaller scale of the Miller, and the tonal snake is a great trend led neutral that goes with everything – it looks great with denim and also black. Both Anna and I are out of the nappy stage, but we use our Tiba +Marl bags ALL THE TIME to carry our daily essentials – klean kanteen bottle/ headphones/ laptop/ spf etc etc”

What would you say has been the key to your success?

Anna: “There’s been a few things – probably the most important one being that at the time we identified a genuine gap in the market. With our combined buying and design fashion experience, we were perfectly placed to create our own brand. 

We have also refused to compromise on production – the quality and design detail in our bags means customers feel they are getting something really special.”

Lydia: “From the very beginning we networked hard and met so many lovely people who have supported us and become genuine friends. Going to the likes of Mother’s Meetings was invaluable to introduce us to some major social media influencers like Anna Whitehouse, Zoe De Pass, Clemmie Telford and Clemmie Hooper who have helped us spread the word about the brand.”

Looking into the future, are there any expansion plans? 

Anna: “We have recently launched in The Iconic in Australia which is super exciting, they have been really receptive to T+M. Looking ahead, there are definitely other markets we’d like to crack such as Asia- and we want to continue our US expansion.”

Lastly, do you have any advice to any mums (or dads!) out there looking to start their own business?

Lydia:“Definitely do your research and make sure you have a viable audience / customer base for the product or service you are creating. To save on start-up costs, use your network of friends for advice wherever you can, you will no doubt have all sorts of experts in your friendship circle.”

Anna: “Run through your business model with an accountant before investing too much money – it’s so important to ensure you can make the business work from a financial point of view. Also be prepared to work super hard and pretty much 24/7 for the first couple of years!”

Shop the full range on Tiba+Marl changing bags here.