REMAKING TOAST: The British label Toast is refreshing its design aesthetic, and looking to new markets outside the U.K., where it has 11 shops.
Launched in the Nineties as a catalogue company by husband-and-wife team Jessica and James Seaton, Toast offers women’s and men’s wear, footwear and items for the home.
Last month, the company named Suzie de Rohan Willner, formerly chief executive officer of FitFlop Ltd., to the post of chief executive officer and Laura Shippey, previously senior designer at Margaret Howell and J. Crew, as head of design.
“I guess Jamie and I would say that we didn’t feel we were really doing the job that we wanted to do,” said Jessica Seaton. “I think Suzie is very aligned with us, and now we feel like we can capitalize on the potential. We’ve had a roller-coaster year of managing and thrashing out what exactly we wanted, and it was thoughtfulness, in the products, and how we deal with people and the world.”
Spring 2016 is the brand’s transitional collection, and the first under the new design team. The aesthetic is based around textiles and is filled with androgynous silhouettes that are meant to be functional, as in an olive green trench that’s based on the brand’s best-selling parka, wide-leg denim trousers, and boxy, patterned dresses.
Prices range from 65 pounds, or $97 at current exchange, for a Moheda Betty sandal to 395 pounds, or $590, for a jacquard textured coat.
The export business remains small — about 10 percent of overall sales — and Seaton noted that expansion plans are in the works for next year. “We’re certainly looking for opportunities for retail in the U.K. and exploring other opportunities as well. We are meeting with some partners abroad with a view to launching in other countries.”