But the brand is keeping the creative leadership in the family, and Tia’s older sister Fiona, who has overseen the Ports International brand, will take over at Ports 1961 as well.
Tia, 37, served as creative director of Ports 1961 for the past five years, and has been with the company since 1990. Ports is an unusual brand, having redefined what it means to be “Made in China.” Originally a Canadian company, Ports was purchased by entrepreneur Alfred Chan (Fiona’s husband) in 1989, who moved operations to his hometown in Xiamen, China. Tia moved to Xiamen in 1993, and spent seven years overseeing the brand’s development there, before returning to the US in 2003 to launch Ports 1961.
So it follows that Tia–who is of Italian and Libyan descent, was raised in Canada, worked in China, and opened Ports 1961 flagship stores in New York, LA and London–has often looked to different countries across the globe for inspiration.
We’ll miss seeing Tia’s creations come down the runway but look forward to seeing what big sis Fiona will do with the line.