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Fashion / Style File

A Woman for All Seasons

This Street-Style Phenom/Chic Mom/Flower Queen Ushers One of Texas’ Most Fashionable Stores Into a New Era

BY Rob Brinkley // 09.02.16

A scroll through Taylor Tomasi Hill’s LinkedIn page is a fast flip through some rather major fashion magazines. The Highland Park High School graduate — she moved to New York to study industrial design at Pratt Institute — has been an editor and director for W, Teen Vogue, and Marie Claire. Then, it was off the pages and online to luxe shopping site Moda Operandi, where Hill was creative director.

She has been a street-style phenom, a contributing editor for Goop and the founder of her own flower business. But Hill is back in Dallas, husband and toddler son in tow, for another plum gig: vice president, creative director, and women’s fashion director for Forty Five Ten. Her job? To nudge the famously fashionable store into new territory — in several senses — as it opens its new flagship in November in downtown Dallas, almost five times larger than the McKinney Avenue original, plus a branch in Houston’s tony River Oaks District the month before.

Hill has a full plate: She’s increasing the store’s offerings; introducing a new TTH shop-in-shop for emerging designers inside the flagship; turning the pint-sized outpost Five and Ten in Highland Park Village into a shop of her own, called TTH Forty Five Ten [which opened in August], and helping Forty Five Ten founder and president Brian Bolke take the bigger, bolder Forty Five Ten brand to untapped audiences — while keeping the selective current one happy and satiated. (The cult of Forty Five Ten, you see.) It won’t be easy.

Here, Hill’s take on whom they’re targeting and how that will happen.

On all the changes — your new TTH boutique, a new downtown Forty Five Ten flagship.
I’ve always had a passion for sourcing, supporting, and growing new designers. The TTH spaces are a launch pad for that: places to express my voice and promote young talent alongside established names. It will be a test. However, I am confident there are flocks of fashionable women in Dallas looking for something new and refreshing. It’s a good mix: catering to our current clientele while opening up the doors to a younger audience, with both playful and classic pieces.

For Forty Five Ten as a whole, we are creating something very edited in terms of our luxury brands and selection. I would say 75 percent of the store is exclusive to us in Dallas. We’ll be opening up our customer base to a younger audience, buying things at a friendlier price point while also catering to women who are simply looking for cool, casual clothes.

Designers to come.
There are so many new brands coming in to Forty Five Ten downtown: Sies Marjan by designer Sander Lak, who was head of design for Dries Van Noten for five years. Everyone is talking about him. We consider him the color specialist; there is a newness to his pieces that we love. Prada and Miu Miu are at the top of my list. You can’t find [them] anywhere in Dallas.

Eres makes the best swimsuits — once you try one on, you become addicted. Maison Rabih Kayrouz; he trained at Dior and Chanel and creates the most special couture quality pieces … he will be the go-to designer for all of those Dallas events. Palmer Harding is dubbed the world’s most perfect shirt makers. The duo has reinvented classic wardrobe essentials. It’s everyday dressing for every woman at the best price points.

How TTH Forty Five Ten in Highland Park Village feels.
The aesthetic of the actual store is being driven by me, and it has a very similar feeling to my own home: vintage furniture, embroidered toile furnishings by artist Richard Saja, art found during my travels, over-dyed rugs, my favorite baby gifts, et cetera.

On emerging designers.
Emerging brands are at the core of what TTH is all about. I’m excited to carry Harvey Faircloth, Faith Connexion, Dorateymur, and Beaufille. All are new and exclusive to us. I feel there’s a void in the Dallas market for showcasing fresh young talent — something I love doing. The selections I make are purely instinctual. After that, it’s down to business. Can we grow them.

Hill with her son
Hill with her son

The future of shopping.
In order for brick-and-mortar stores to work, we must first focus on elevating the customer experience. This is equally as important when it comes to e-commerce. Shoppers want purchases delivered fast, free, internationally — and easy returns. They want to try things on in their own home with zero pressure. When you provide all these conveniences, it’s proven that more purchases will be made.

On bloggers.
With the right platform, voice, and following, bloggers are still relevant and won’t be exiting the scene soon.

On social media.
I used Instagram to launch a successful flower company. It’s an extremely important sales tool that I will forever be grateful for. But, honestly, I’ve taken a bit of a time out from all of it lately. The appeal loses some of its luster when everything starts seeming like an advertisement: perfect, shiny images that you can tell are shot by a professional and retouched.

Think Fast
Taylor Tomasi Hill plays some rapid-fire word association.

Song: “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve.
Album: Pandora radio is my music outlet.
Car: Old Ford Broncos and Mercedes wagons.
Getaway: Anywhere new.
Perfect day off: Breakfast, yoga, beach.
Movie: The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Royal Tenenbaums.
Actor: Matt Damon.
Watching now: The Night Manager.
Singer: Jack Johnson, Eddie Vedder.
Author: Dr. Seuss. I have an 18-month-old son.

Home, chic home.

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