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New Beginnings: The TOTC Origin Story

Words by Jordan Robin

Photo by Christian Brylle

When I moved to New York in 2006, I dove headfirst into the burgeoning fashion, music and art scenes of the time. Coming from Los Angeles, I had experience with how creative people can live, work and share ideas. But it was in the streets, galleries, shops and night clubs of New York City that I truly felt the magnetic pull of creative energy. Artists were designers were DJs were writers were photographers were painters were in bands. In New York I have been able to take ownership over being an artist making everything. 

I met Aleksandra at a dinner party in 2009 and we became fast friends, paling around to art openings, fashion shows, concerts, parties and growing into our own artists in between. Aleksandra started working with me at the old Acne store on Greene Street where we became part of the Opening Ceremony family of familiar downtown kids. At that time, boutiques were venues for experiencing the intersection between fashion, art, music and beyond. They had parties, blogs, art shows, concerts. They collaborated with their customers and with each other. There was a collective creative spirit behind retail, and by supporting the designers you became a part of a community. 

Aleksandra and I have continued to be family, and in 2017 Gemma came into our fold. Countless brands have emerged since, and simultaneously countless brick and mortar stores have closed. Fashion has been in limbo. And while I’ve continued to express myself through fashion and support the brands I love, that spark of real, live connection has lost its charge to ecommerce. 

We are in a pivotal moment, where the world is changing dramatically before our eyes and culture is revolving through countless challenges. We are creating TOTC to tap into that spirit of collaboration, and forge a new community through a product that acknowledges the past to look to the future and transcend this moment. 

I love fashion and fragrance both for their power to transform the way you feel. To offer the world around you the full sensory experience of who you are. It is my hope that TOTC will become a tool for our community to show up authentically, with minimal effort and maximum impact. With everything around us in flux, living for the moment has never been more important. vWe aren’t going to miss it because we were getting dressed. 

If the future is now, my future is TOTC.