Dillard’s Inc. is rolling out LDT, a new exclusive dress collection from New York-based designers Alex and Michael Toccin, the husband-and-wife team behind Toccin NY.
The brand will be carried at 100 of its stores as well as Dillards.com.
Inspired by the 1960s and 1990s, the dress collection offers feminine styles and a mix of vibrant colors. It is designed to invoke a sense of youthful joy, with custom patterns and prints in easy-to-wear styles. LDT’s retail prices range from $139 to $229, with a $199 average retail price.
Alexandra Dillard, Dillard’s vice president of merchandising, said Thursday, “We haven’t seen a lot of newness, brands or lines emerge in the market for quite some time, and it’s exciting to see someone stepping out and trying something new and different. I love what they’re doing with their line.”
She said she was impressed with the Toccins’ entire organization, their professionalism, designers, sales team and the factory where they were developing the collection.
“Their aesthetic is straight up Dillard’s alley,” Dillard said. “It’s approachable fashion and it looks really fresh. The thing I like most about it is the quality of the product. This is really fantastic and substantial. This is not another fast-fashion line. This is extremely well made. The tailoring and attention to detail are superior. Their ideas are fresh but really wearable, and really speak to women of all ages and all backgrounds.”
The LDT dresses range from sizes 0 to 14. Eventually, they’ll consider doing extended sizing. The dresses are being merchandised on Dillard’s dress floor near such resources as Sachin & Babi and Badgley Mischka, both of which do exclusive dresses for the retailer.
Michael and Alex Toccin, cofounders of Toccin, discussed how they they got together with Dillard’s, the Little Rock, Ark.-based retailer.
Michael Toccin said he traveled a lot around the country and went to Arkansas for private clients. “Through my relationships, I was lucky enough to meet Alexandra Dillard. She saw our brand Toccin and she really loved it, and that’s what allowed us to lead into LDT, which is a brand exclusively designed for them and their customer,” he said. LDT is named for the Toccin’s daughter, Liv Dakota Toccin.
Alex Toccin said they started the conversation with Dillard’s in November 2019, and the project began in June 2020 “in the middle of the pandemic.”
The Toccins have been in the business more than 10 years, and have worked with several different companies. They met while they were studying at Parsons School of Design. Michael Toccin worked for Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen and KaufmanFranco, while Alex Toccin worked in press and marketing jobs at Ralph Lauren and Theory. They eventually launched a digital platform, Stylists to a T, which began as a blog. In September 2019, they created Toccin NY, a dress collection sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, some smaller specialty stores and direct-to-consumer. That higher-priced collection retails from $325 to $695.
The Toccins said they will deliver LDT dresses 10 months out of the year, with around six to eight styles dropping every month. “Certainly if it’s successful, it will be dramatically more than that,” Dillard said.
Michael Toccin explained that they are targeting “someone who wants to have fun.”
“Someone who wants to be excited to be dressed in the morning. She’s a mom, she’s a daughter, she’s someone who’s starting out in her professional career. She’s going to events. She’s really everybody. When Alex and I design a collection, we really want to be thinking of every type of woman and all different types of body types,” said Michael Toccin.
In their opinion, women are dressing up again. “They are leaving their houses and I think they’re ready to go,” said Michael Toccin. Alex Toccin added that she’s spoken about this on their marketing platform, that when women style themselves to a T, they feel better about themselves.
Dillard said she’s looking forward to wearing the line herself. “I can find many pieces to wear. I will be wearing quite a bit of it, and I feel that all the women I work with, my mother, my mother-in-law, just about anyone will be satisfied with the collection.”
“I can tell you I will them to work, for drinks after work, on vacation, just about everywhere. They are really well done. They have the coverage that’s appropriate for an office, but they have beautiful colorations that make this line to wear to an event or on a vacation.”
Dillard feels that the collection will appeal to all ages.
“I think every line these days really needs to speak to an attitude, and not an age. I think this line has done an exceptional job capturing all ages,” Dillard said. She said in her part of the country, her customers are still working from home, but schools and restaurants are opening up. “We have seen our dresses pick up quite dramatically over the last few weeks, and shockingly, I’ve even seen some of our prom dresses really take of. Where we’re located, consumers are optimistic about the future and are ready to get back out there and do some fun things. We’re also seeing customers shopping for travel again, which is very exciting,” she said.
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