Rixo: London's Newest It Label That's Reformation Meets Finery
The Debrief: Rixo is the brainchild of ex Asos buyers Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey
Fast-fashion is a fact of fashion, a bi-product of the High Street, further propelled in recent years by e-commerce. Add the word shop to the end of your latest autumn/winter 2015 trends search in Google, and you’ll find options at every price point. So, is there room for one more? Two former Asos buyers think they’ve got the right ingredients.
Rixo is the solution dreamed up by Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey. With a focus on lush seventies-style prints and high-quality fabrics, the Brit label is less concerned with seasons as it sets its sights on the niche contemporary market that has taken off in Australia and America. Ahead of the launch of the brand’s online platform on 8 September, we caught up with the creative duo to discover why this will be the collection on everyone’s lips come autumn.
Why Rixo? Why now?
'We felt like there was a huge gap in the market for a contemporary brand offering value at the £250 price point. The high street [is so over saturated], but our premium brands are few and far between [in the U.K.]. There is [no label] that offers a grown-up British bohemian vibe (think Kate Moss and the Olsen twins). We noticed how well certain Australian and L.A. brands were doing over here. Rixo has that [bohemian element] except we are doing it in a British way: less beach and more of a London cool, city vibe.
'Having done our time in the buying office we decided that come 2015 it would be our year to bring the world what we so strongly feel is missing. Additionally we started this to produce clothing we couldn’t find elsewhere. Rixo is feminine without being girly, whilst being relaxed with a refined edge. Rixo fuses the best of the old and new and is an extension of our own unique and free-spirited personal style.'
What does your mood board for Autumn/Winter ’15 look like?
'Our first collection was inspired by manuscripts of Italian herbs dating back to the 15th century hidden away in the British Library. Slightly odd, but we were genuinely so excited like kids in candy shop routing through those huge old books finding everything from carrots to rosemary to poppies. That was the starting point for us.
'We always tend to be inspired by more natural themes, whether it’s botanical or animal subjects, as well as anything old or slightly battered. Vintage treasures we have collected over the years also are a great source of inspiration.'
You’ve said Rixo is not concerned with fashion seasons – do you think this is reflective of current shopping trends?
'To be honest, the fashion cycle doesn’t really make much sense anymore. Everyone is chasing each other to get product in store first and we found people were losing the true value and creativity behind the actual product. We design pieces that we love and that are timeless, and I think that’s what is missing. The consumer is probably getting fed up of the every quickening and revolving trends.'
Which designers have made an impact on your aesthetic?
'We take huge inspiration from the Ossie Clark, Celia Birtwell era. We love hunting around vintage shops, auctions and fairs. We are huge fans of Emilio Pucci - the prints are amazing.'
Rixo has a pretty comprehensive blog and has already garnered attention on Instagram. How relevant is social media to you?
'Social media is so important. Instagram, in particular, is an amazing tool for sharing with our audience and helps build a strong [brand] image. We love it. It’s also a free way to build a following of dedicated fans and connect with them through a daily live feed. The blog was created to feature lovely areas of London and generally [show] our lifestyle to extend the brand.'
What are the standout pieces for Autumn ’15?
'The standout piece is the Camellia Dress. She is so flattering on all shapes and sizes, feels amazing on and can be worn to pretty much any occasion.'
Who is the Rixo woman?
'She a style-centric shopper, romanced by womenswear shapes and into quality, distinctive wearable pieces. She loves a print, and mixing vintage with current day pieces, unafraid to stand out in a classy way. However, something we feel really strongly about is that it isn’t about a certain age or demographic she could be any age. If a woman has style she doesn’t loose it just because of her age. She is someone who knows her own style, can mix and match pieces effortlessly. She invests in pieces that are not just one-season wonders but wardrobe staples she can wear day and night and pull out a year later and love.'
Best thing about London style:
'People aren’t so put together and have a real freedom in how they wear things. As far as creativity, it’s one of the best cities.'
Top piece of fashion advice:
'Don’t be a slave to trends, and accessorize with vintage. Even if you’re not [going to wear a retro dress], a gorgeous vintage bag can transform a whole outfit in a unique way.'
Do you have brand muses?
'Of course there are so many beautiful ladies who influence us. [The obvious ones are] Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, the Olsens, Jessica Hart, Caroline Sieber, Leandra Medine, Franca Sozzani.'
Henrietta: 'My mum is the one who got me into vintage and has been taking me to auction houses, vintage fairs, flea markets since I was born. She’s always finding gems for us.'
You discussed Rixo as the Brit equivalent to The Reformation? Will you also be working with run-off fabrics like the L.A. label?
'Yes this is in our strategy to take advantage of opportunities and work with dead stock fabrics where possible. If there is a gorgeous print and we can put it to use we definitely will, but we are also very passionate about creating our own unique prints like in our first VOR collection- we hand painted our floral print.'
What’s in store for Rixo?
'We’re aiming to offer rolling edited collections, including the It girl hallmarks, for the modern woman who wants fashion without having to be a slave to trends.
'What’s next immediately is the launch our e-commerce site. We slightly delayed the process to ensure it is 100 percent correct for [at launch]. Every day new opportunities come up and we are both very flexibly in the way we work. At the minute we are designing an exclusive Christmas print for one of our stockiest so watch this space...'
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