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Kiya Tomlin’s Guide to Pittsburgh

The fashion designer shares her top spots in a burgeoning town regularly ranked as one of the country’s most livable cities

When people in and around Pittsburgh hear the last name Tomlin, they instantly think of that guy on the sidelines of Heinz Field. But, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team Mike Tomlin’s wife, Kiya Tomlin, is a local celebrity in her own right with a fashion-forward collection of versatile pieces that are as comfortable as they are cool. “I have always loved fashion, but I think as I got older and had children, I was less interested in ‘suffering for fashion’ and more interested in being as productive with my time as I could,” she says. “Like most women, I would love to spend my day in workout clothes, whether a workout was on the schedule or not, but I had real places to go, a business to represent and a public image to uphold. I needed to be presentable in a variety of situations, but with as little effort and as much comfort as possible. It was a no-brainer to create a wardrobe for myself out of sweatshirt fabric that would look fabulous, be comfortable and, at the end of the day, machine washable.”

A 21st century rendition of a line akin to Donna Karan’s breakout “7 Easy Pieces” collection, Tomlin’s capsule includes edgy sweatshirts and tees, dresses, leggings, and rompers—all made from soft (and sustainable!) bamboo. “I design the pieces to mix and match, both for the ease of dress and the versatility of a capsule collection, but I design the pieces work together more so to be able to cater to the variety of body types,” says Tomlin, who got her start in fashion with a custom wedding gown business she launched from her home. “My collections allow women of all shapes and sizes to find the right mix of pieces to flatter their unique shape and personality. And, yes, the hope is that they will find several items that will work for them to create a personalized capsule collection. My goal is always to help busy women feel comfortable, confident and beautiful.”

Up next is a move to a new location that brings retail and design into one location, as well as the possibility of entering into menswear. Here, a look at some of the places she likes to visit around Pittsburgh.

Cup of Joe: I don’t drink coffee, but I’m looking forward to the Shiny Bean opening on Butler Street in Etna in hopes they will make a mean cup of hot cocoa!

Power Lunch: La Feria‘s quinoa salad plate on Walnut Street. It’s light, yet filling and flavor-filled.

Cocktail HourCasbah on Highland Avenue is a favorite—great atmosphere and really close to home. My drink of choice is Malibu with cranberry juice, orange juice and Sprite; it’s super sweet and fizzy. But I’m looking forward to the new cocktail bar Bridges and Bourbon, coming downtown. Sounds like it will be a Willy Wonka factory of cocktails—right up my alley!

Retail Therapy: Definitely Kristi Boutique in Aspinwall for clothing—there’s a selection you won’t see elsewhere. And I’m dying to go to Hot Haute Hot [http://www.hothautehot.net/ ] in the Strip District! I follow them on Instagram and their home goods are so eclectic and unique. I know I would do some damage in there.

Field Trip: The Andy Warhol Museum—it’s a Pittsburgh signature! Even if you’re not a fan of his artwork, take the tour. The history and story behind the man is fascinating and will make you a fan. Plus, they have great touring exhibits and artists. I send all our visiting friends there.

Date Night: We like Senti on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Chic and modern and the lasagna is to die for! And they make me a hot cocoa that is like pure liquid chocolate. It’s not on the menu, but it’s the best dessert ever.

Don’t Miss: The view from Mt. Washington at sunset, of course! I feel like there needs to be a Pittsburgh theme song blaring from a speaker up there, kind of like our “Rocky” moment.

Hidden Gem: Our city parks. They are surprising large and well-maintained. They have amazing trails that you can definitely get lost in.

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