Home > Pittsburgh Urban Media One on One with Kiya Tomlin Who Opens Up about Her New Design Space Located in Pittsburgh's East End

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Pittsburgh Urban Media One on One with Kiya Tomlin Who Opens Up about Her New Design Space Located in Pittsburgh's East End 

As a  mother of three children and the wife of Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, Ms. Tomlin is demonstrating that no doubt she is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion arena.


Kiya Tomlin is a women's wear designer, specializing in custom dresses for women, teens, and children. With a love of fashion since childhood, Kiya submerged herself in design textbooks and sewing manuals, creating prom dresses for friends and family. After graduating from The College of William and Mary, Kiya realized her childhood hobby was actually her true passion. She enrolled at The University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art and Architectural Planning to study design formally, and continues to elevate her craft through fit and couture workshops around the country. 
At her studio location in Pittsburgh's East End, Kiya works closely with clients to create the most flattering designs for each unique figure. Clients of all ages, shapes and sizes looking for casual day dresses to evening couture can come "experience the design.



Kiya Tomlin Goes Public


Custom dress designer and wife of Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, takes a fresh approach to fashion design in her new, open-to-the-public studio, inside Meadeworth Interiors located in Pittsburgh’s

East Liberty neighborhood.


 After years of working part-time from home, Kiya Tomlin has taken the leap and moved into a larger and more visible space to create her one-of-a-kind fashions. "It's time. I've outgrown my home studio. I need a space where clients can feel comfortable dropping in, whether to place an order or just watch the process," says Tomlin. Her new space, located inside Meadeworth Interiors at 11 Penn Circle West in East Liberty, seemed like a good fit.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kiya into her own space here at Meadeworth." Says Sue Anderson, owner of Meadeworth Interiors. “Working together on an interior design project in her home, Kiya and I developed a nice relationship and through a series of conversations realized that an empty showroom area in my studio would be a perfect location for her to expand her design business.  Our businesses are similar in that we both provide a custom experience for our clients. It just makes sense.”

With the move to the new location, Tomlin is able to bring her signature, customizable sheath dresses to the public. "The sheath is the most universally flattering dress style. Its simple silhouette is timeless and versatile. It is the perfect choice for every occasion, from day to office to evening." Tomlin's design concept customizes a fitted dress by offering options in fabric, necklines, sleeve style and hem length according to the client's figure and taste.

“I make women look and feel fabulous for the most important occasions in their life. I specialize in tailoring my designs for her exact body type.  Unlike a typical dressmaker, I do a custom fitting analysis for each client that allows me to create a one-of-a-kind piece that suits her body perfectly.  She can even use those results as guidelines for buying clothing off the rack too. While I love focusing on the details of the design experience, I want her to walk away with a unique piece that she’ll look stunning in and feel confident wearing.  It feels great knowing that my clients feel amazing when they wear my designs.”


The customizable sheath dress is a compliment to her limited edition designs that are made to order. Tomlin uses luxurious fabrics purchased in small quantities to keep her designs exclusive. She also signs and numbers each design. "I want each dress to have a personality of it's own and have each client feel comfortable knowing her dress is special." Prices for the sheath package start at $650.

Opening in September, Tomlin designs for women of all ages, shapes and sizes, including children. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:30am-3:30pm, by appointment only. For more information, visit www.KiyaTomlin.com.

About Meadeworth Interiors

Award-winning Meadeworth Interiors was founded by Sue Anderson in 1995. It offers top quality custom made merchandise for all aspects of interior home design, from traditional to contemporary, eclectic to minimalist and everything in between. The 10,000 square foot showroom is open to the public Monday through Friday 10am-5pm. For more information call 412-441-2484 or visit meadeworthinteriors.com.



Pittsburgh Urban Media Catches up with one of the Hardest Working Women In the Fashion Industry.
  •   PUM: What was your inspiration to open your new design space at 11 Penn Circle West, inside Meadeworth Interiors in East Liberty? 
KT: My inspiration was the store "Build-A-Bear". I love the process of creating new designs. The ability to cater them exactly to how I want them. I thought other people might be interested in that process as well. 
  •  PUM: As a designer, what are you hoping your customers experience when they visit your new design space? 
KT: First and foremost, I hope they love their custom piece. Secondly, that they come away with an understanding of their unique shape and the best ways to flatter it. Lastly, I hope my clients see all that goes into creating an individual piece. With mass production being the norm these days, I think we have lost an appreciation for craftsmanship and individuality. 
  •  PUM: Tell us a little more about your background in design, why does this field interest you? 
KT: I am predominantly self-taught. I have been sewing and designing since I was a kid, but no one else in my family sews or designs. I have always had a love of fashion, a love of building things, and the ability to see beauty in differences. Fashion design interested me because it has the accuracy of science, the construction of architecture, and the aesthetics of art. I can visually transform a figure as well as express a multitude of personlities. I was fortunate to have been able to study design in a more formal setting when my husband took a job coaching football at the University of Cincinnati. They have a wonderful fashion design program that I enrolled in for a few years before we moved to our next stop. Since I left UC, I continue to devour textbooks, take workshops and just study fashion at every opportunity.
  •  PUM:  How do you see your business growing in the future?
KT: In the future I plan to venture into mass producing a small line. I have a great design concept that I am anxious to bring to a larger population than I can do myself. I also hope to help other local aspiring designers. There is much that can really only be learned from doing it. It's something I would have loved to do when I was younger. 
  •  PUM:  Do you design any items or cloths for your husband or kids?
KT: Aside from a pair of pajama bottoms and a poorly made button down shirt about 15 years ago, no. My husband did love the pants and keeps asking me to make him another pair. He is also waiting for me to mend a bunch of clothes, too. I tell him I don't do alterations. As for the kids, they grow so fast it's not worth the time. Occasionally I'll design a dress for my daughter, but she is 6 years old and has a fashion sense all her own.  She thinks pink cowgirl boots go with everything. I taughther how to sew so now she makes her own.  And my boys only want to wear sweats.
(Click on images to enlarge)
 Kiya Tomlin Pittsburgh


Where: 11 Penn Circle West, East Liberty.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment.

Contact: 412-345-1135 orinfo@kiyatomlin.com.




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