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25 Mar

Michael and Alex Toccin, From Influencers to Entrepreneurs Nurturing

Toccin is a small fashion company with a giant appetite for growth at a rapid clip.

“On this business, you’ve got to have traction. You never know what’s going to occur,” said Michael Toccin, cofounder and co-owner of Toccin Apparel Holdings LLC, along along with his wife Alex Toccin. They’re 50/50 partners.

Launched in 2019, the Toccin women’s fashion brand, which focuses on classic knitwear, dresses, jackets and “essential” styles, currently sells at Saks, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Rent the Runway, on the Toccin website and at other specialty stores. With a mean price point of $495, the highest category is dresses, with bestsellers including tie-front silhouettes that accentuate a lady’s waist, in addition to cheetah prints and dresses with long fringe.

Just two years later in 2021, the Toccins launched a second women’s brand, called LDT, that focuses on trendy, fun, festive dresses and is called after their daughter, Liv Dakota Toccin.

After selling first to Dillard’s, LDT for spring 2023 is rolling out to Saks.com; just a few Saks Fifth Avenue stores; Nuuly, the rental and resale marketplace of Urban Outfitters, and continuing with Rent the Runway. The Lebel Group showroom was hired to represent LDT. With a mean price of $225, bestsellers include dresses in toile, parachute fabrics and in floral prints.

The Toccins even have an exclusive collection with Rent the Runway called “Rent the Runway Collective.”

Last week, Jeffrey Brumley got here on board as president. He shall be overseeing, strategy, operations, logistics, planning and growth for each the Toccin and LDT brands. Brumley was formerly vp of merchandise planning and allocation at Vince and earlier was buying director at Lululemon and director of retail planning for Seven For All Mankind.

“We never had a president before,” said Michael Toccin, who serves as chief executive officer and inventive director. “Jeff shall be overseeing, strategy, operations, logistics, planning and growth. We wanted someone behind us. There are only so many hours within the day, and Alex and I want to give attention to our strengths. We want someone behind us leading the team so we may be constructing the brands.” Alex serves as chief marketing officer and head of communications.

Michael and Alex Toccin

DAN LI

The couple met on their first day as freshmen at George Washington University, got married eight years later and have been together for 20 years. After college, they relocated to Latest York City. Though Michael studied criminal justice, he realized fashion was his passion. He interned at Giorgio Armani, Tod’s, Oscar de la Renta and KaufmanFranco. He later got a job at KaufmanFranco, where he was encouraged to attend Parsons School of Design. Returning to KaufmanFranco, he became vp of domestic and international sales, oversaw celebrity styling and created a non-public client program. “I used to be there for 10 years. I loved the chase of getting accounts. I loved getting stores” to purchase the gathering.

Alex also attended Parsons, studying marketing while interning at Ralph Lauren, where she ended up getting a job within the merchandising department. She has also worked as a buyer at Theory, in public relations on the HL Group, and at Emily and Ashley fantastic jewelry, in sales. “While I used to be there I said to myself, if these girls could start a business, Michael and I could start a business.”

The couple began a blog in 2016 called “Stylists to a T.” Unlike other bloggers who charge brands for posting a story, an image and a link, the Toccins felt that based on their experience in the style industry, clients would pay for a sponsored program where they might need to sign for no less than three months, or a couple of season’s length. It could be a monthly fee slightly than a pay-per-post arrangement. Their Instagram page, @alexandmichaeltoccin, has 107,000 followers.

“I wasn’t going to post a brand one time and be done, if I believed within the brand,” Michael said. “Principally, as a substitute of brands paying us for one image, we created partnerships with brands. At the tip of the day, Alex and I wanted to advertise brands we actually liked and wanted our followers to find out about. We made it a money-maker. The concept was to create a one-stop shop telling women what to wear, learn how to wear it and where to purchase it. We desired to see if we had a voice, but we built a following in a short time. The blog became the stepping stone for launching our business and it continues to be the platform for promoting each of our fashion brands, and anything we do in our personal life.”

At KaufmanFranco, Michael saw women buying expensive gowns and cocktail dresses yet were missing something to wear to work. “They needed daytime looks that didn’t break the bank.” He also asked the chief merchant at Rent the Runway what women wanted. The response was wear-to-work dresses.

Between their work experiences, the blog, and their growing entrepreneurial spirit, the Toccins became hungry to begin their very own fashion business, first with the Toccin label after which LDT.

Toccin’s bestselling cheetah-print dress.

The couple describe their Toccin brand as “a designer have a look at an approachable, contemporary price, with classic pieces that make a lady feel put together,” including dresses and jackets that may be worn together. It’s been evolving. “When the pandemic hit, it pushed us to create a full Toccin ready-to-wear collection, with pants, tops, in addition to dresses and jackets, and that’s what got us into knitwear,” said Michael, noting that knitwear drives greater than 50 percent of Toccin’s business.

The Toccins got here up with their lower-priced, colourful, youthful LDT concept while visiting specialty stores within the South and attending events there. “Women would at all times say ‘I got my dresses at Dillard’s.’ So I made a decision I desired to create the LDT line for Dillard’s,” Michael said. “If I’m doing a brand selling at Neiman’s and Saks, why can’t I do that on the Dillard’s price point? We saw a chance and desired to chase it.

“What sets us apart is that we move fast and are growing,” Michael added, while declining to specify the corporate’s volume.

“We’ve got a real customer base and we’re making a product that’s desirable, approachable, reasonably priced. We shall be profitable in 2023. That’s pretty good after three and a half years in business. We’re seeking to construct a legacy of brands.”

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