Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

Tia and Fiona Cibani

Sisters Tia and Fiona Cibani, who grew up in Vancouver, moved to China in 1994 to relaunch the Canadian sportswear label Ports International, targeting affluent Chinese women. Fiona remains at the helm of that line, while Tia branched off in 2004 to create the successful New York City-based designer label Ports 1961.

Favorite city: "New York, because I spent four years studying at Parsons [the New School for Design] and now call it home. It's eclectic and embraces everyone," says Tia. Fiona prefers Shanghai because "there are plenty of historic sites and quaint shops." Favorite hotel: The Amanpulo, on a private island in the Philippines, is a favorite of Fiona's. "It offers unrivaled luxury," she says. Tia regularly checks into the Hôtel du Bourg Tibourg in Paris, which has "dreamy North African dècor and gives me a sense of home," and Shanghai's Old House Inn, a relic from the French Concession that was converted into a bed-and-breakfast.

Airport pastime: "I keep a journal and sketch. I love long-haul flights. I never pull out my computer and work," Tia says.

Perfect escape: For Fiona, it is Piano Island in the South China Sea. Tia, on the other hand, loves "traveling with my boyfriend. He has introduced me to sailing in Brittany."

Packing tip: Fiona says to "pack light and shop when you get there." Tia advises, "Everything you pack should be multi-functional. And always bring one great dress for going out." Most memorable trip: "Climbing Mount Fuji," Tia says. "Getting to the peak and seeing the sunrise from the top of the clouds was incredible." Fiona's favorite moment came when she was shooting an ad campaign in Cairo. "There I was, in front of thousands of years of history and the beauty of the Sphinx. I was in awe of the human ingenuity," she says.

Secret hideaway: Fiona steals away to Hohhot in Inner Mongolia: "In the summer, it is light until midnight, and it's just beautiful watching wild horses run through the valleys."

By Leah Bourne