Last year, former InStyle fashion market director Toby Tucker launched her own line of golfwear fueled by the stylish shortcomings she saw in the market. Dresses came with pockets to fit scorecards and shorts had ribbon trims with deliberate gaps to store tees. Now, she’s set her sights on another country-club staple: tennis.
This story first appeared in the July 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“This was a natural second step to the golf collection,” says the Connecticut-based Tucker, adding that while she grew up a golfer, even playing for the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s team, she’s new to the courts. “But living out in Greenwich, the social thing to do is to play tennis, so I started playing more. This started from the same place as my golf line — my girlfriends and I weren’t finding things we liked in the market.”
According to Tucker, her Toby Tucker Tennis collection targets the middle zone between “boring, white nurse-y outfits” and “crazy, Serena Williams fun.” Dresses, including racer-back and tank styles, come in four-way stretch fabrics that wick moisture from the body, and are boldly color-blocked (hot pink and blue or neon yellow and gray), riffing on a motif from her days covering the swimwear market. “What I took away was how to use colorblocking to create a slimming effect,” notes Tucker, who worked at Glamour before InStyle. Her shorts feature grosgrain ribbon details and special upside-down mesh pockets, the latter tailor-made to store tennis balls. Prices for the lineup, set to make its debut for the resort season, retail from $95 to $165.
And, yes, Tucker already has set her sights on her next sports launch, which, naturally, is swim. “I never let go of that market, even when I became director,” Tucker says. “I’m an absolute sucker for swimwear.”