Taller Than Your Average is a womens apparel brand and the brainchild of our friend Irene Agbontaen. As the name ‘Taller Than Your Average’ already suggests, the brand offers pieces that are specifically cut for the taller woman. The collections offer simple, but stylish and high-quality garments ranging from formal essentials to casual daily pieces to mix and match with your existing wardrobe and style. Irene is in town to introduce TTYA in The Netherlands, so we had a little chat with her.
- For those who don’t know, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
My name's Irene Agbontaen, 30, from South London. I am the owner and founder of TTYA. I also host club nights at the Edition Hotel in London.
- You are in town to ready the launch of Taller Than Your Average in the Netherlands, how did the brand come about?
I started the brand as I, myself stand at 5’11” (181cm) and I found it frustrating finding key wardrobe staple pieces that fit me. I have long arms and long legs, and everything would always come up too short. Some of the specialist brands in the UK that offered clothes for tall people were often frumpy or out of fashion, so I created TTYA so girls like myself could feel style conscience, not self conscience about the way we look. My first stockist in London was Selfridges, which was a big deal for me. Not only the fact that it's one of the most prestigious stores in the world, but it gave tall girls the platform to have a home, somewhere they could shop with their friends and find something that fit. I went on to be stocked on ASOS, which gave my brand an international global platform - Tall girls all over the world have access to TTYA. My first US stockist was Barney's in New York, which again for me was such a big deal as my brand was accessible in the best stores globally. Super model Jourdan Dunn amongst other celebrities have showed their love for the brand, so it was only right that Amsterdam was the next stop!
- Aside from your experience as a successful stylist, did you have any professional training in the field of fashion?
I fell into fashion by accident lol - Funny enough I actually stared my career in fashion working on the shop floor in Selfridges, which made it even more of an accomplishment when my brand was now stocked in store. I began visual merchandising, and I fell into styling shortly after that. When I started TTYA, I took all the courses that were available to me to understand business. I knew I would find the creative side much easier to deal with, but I wanted to be clued up on what it took to run a retail business - Understanding supply and demand, logistics and liaising with you factory/supplier. These are all things I had to learn along the way. I'm still learning but it's all part of the journey.
- Where do you find your inspiration to create?
Insipration is pretty straight forward as I'm a tall girl myself, so I just mainly make essentials that are lacking on the current market. I'm lucky to be born and raised in London, which is a multicultural epicentre so you can find inspiration all around you!
- Surely one of the reasons you’re introducing the brand in The Netherlands is because there are many tall women here! Do you have any suggestions for our (tall) female readers?
Jersey staples are the foundation to any womens wardrobe - Being tall is beautiful. TTYA offers key pieces that can slide into your existing warbrobe making it a functional and accessible brand. The Netherlands is home to the tallest women in world, so it was only right that this was the next place for me to launch! I love Amsterdam and I'm excited about whats to come!
Irene and Taller Than Your Average invite you to celebrate and preview its Staple Collection this Wednesday May 13th from 17:00 - 20:00 at Iconic Studios, Prinsengracht 384, Amsterdam. Drinks, music and goodie bags on deck! RSVP: [email protected]