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Tanya Taylor celebrated the 10th anniversary of her namesake brand this year. The Toronto-born designer commemorated the occasion with a party held at the NYC restaurant Dowling’s at the Carlyle, which was attended by celebrities including Chelsea Clinton and Emmy Rossum. In addition, she transformed her brand’s new Madison Avenue store into a museum of her career.
For Taylor, who owns her brand, the milestone has proven the perfect opportunity to reflect on how her career and the fashion industry have changed.
“Brands have so much more power now,” she said. “Wholesale dominated fashion when I started. I’m grateful for the access to customers I’ve had over the years through Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, but it was always one step removed. Now I’m fixated on connecting with people directly.”
The biggest way Taylor is doing that is through her new flagship store, which opened on NYC’s Madison Avenue in September. It’s her first direct store. And just as her retail partners helped put her brand on the map when she was starting, she’s been using her store to do the same for upcoming brands. She stocks its shelves with home decor and jewelry from several emerging brands, including Helle Mardahl, Monica Sordo and Khiry.
This year has also seen Tanya Taylor branching out into new categories, something Taylor said she only felt comfortable doing after 10 years of perfecting her core categories of dresses, coats and eveningwear.
“I want to do more playful eveningwear, because that’s what works for my life. And we’ve recently done some swimwear with Summersalt,” she said. “Earlier in my career, we tried all sorts of things — shoes, runway shows — just throwing the spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. But now that we’re more mature, we can develop our DNA around new categories more thoughtfully.”
Taylor is also focused on building the brand’s store footprint. “We’re definitely looking at expanding retail,” she said, citing markets like Palm Beach, Boston, Washington, D.C. and cities in Texas as potential locations for future storefronts.
In addition, she said, “We put a hold on partnerships during Covid, but I want to get back to combining our signature touch with other brands.”
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