French fashion firm
Company History: Began as family business in Nice, 1949, expanded into sportswear with factories in the South of France. Company Address: 14 avenue de Verdun, 06000 Nice, France.
McDowell, Colin, McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1985.
"Tiktiner Fall," in WWD, 26 February 1990.
The owners of Tiktiner, a family-run fashion house based in Nice, France, never really considered their position outside the urban fashion center of Paris a liability. The principles, Henri and Dina Viterbo and their daughters Miquette and Vivian, occasionally admitted to the need for stimulation beyond the French Riviera in order to inspire new ideas. But the Viterbos remained committed to their own brand of high-quality, classic-styled, resort-oriented ready-to-wear, and felt no need to leave Nice or tamper with the relaxed attitude toward clothing that supported them handsomely for decades.
The Tiktiner family members each played an important role in the company: Henri was the founder and owner; Dina was the head designer; eldest daughter Miquette, an international attorney married to American Mort Schrader, represented the company in the United States; and younger daughter Vivian helped designed collections with her mother. Together the Viterbos created and promoted dependable ready-to-wear collections with their own, recognizable "Tiktiner look,"—a look based essentially on tailored sportswear separates, with a focus on knits, basic colors, rich weaves, and youthful lines.
The combined inspiration of Vivian and mother Dina resulted in fashion-forward clothes mitigated by classicism, and Vivian often chided her mother for excessive conservatism. Yet the pair worked well together. Early collections emphasized the sleek lines in vogue during the 1960s, with clingy jersey tops over slim, hip-hugging trousers and mini-skirts. Tiktiner favored the natural fiber fabrics used in active wear, often experimenting with stretch jerseys and printed piques in their youth-oriented clothes. The polo shirt, that icon of French sportswear popularized by René Lacoste, was even fair game, given a clever twist by Vivian and Dina in their one-piece shirt dress with a polo top and faux skirt designed to look like separates. The Tiktiner style, though essentially casual, relied on the buyer's familiarity with design classics, and the look was equally at home at a beachside tennis court or a Parisian salon.
The family firm, however, did not design only garments meant for warm weather resorts. The biannual collections included autumn-winter lines with thick knits and cold-weather layered looks. In the 1970s Tiktiner made fashion news with their sweater tunics and bulky multicolored sweater coats over plaid shirt jackets in lieu of the traditional cloth coat. Each knitted sweater layer was designed to coordinate, so a lightweight, slim jersey top might slip over a matching skirt under a fuller mohair coat, all in various shades of amber or other compatible hues. These loose, comfortable, mix-and-match cold weather knits fit perfectly into the youthful fashion mood of the period of the 1970s, when even a simple cloth coat could be seen as bourgeois and confining. But Tiktiner was not averse to more traditional coat designs, and were lauded for their updated, shaped "redingote" of rosy wool chinchilla in 1979.
Tiktiner never wavered from the Viterbos' dedication to style combined with comfort. One clothing group comprised of over 200 pieces highlighted slim waists with drawstring closures, shirred shoulders, and back yokes for easy movement. The collections were frequently hailed for their coordinating palettes; muted earth tones, dusty blues and greens, pale pastels, and paired intensities of the same color figured largely in the Viterbos' vision. The notion of comfort also emerges when considering Tiktiner's attention to travel-minded clothes made from lightweight and packable wool challis, mohairs, and double-knits. Underlying the designs was a philosophy based on ease—ease of fit, of combining colors, of simply getting dressed.