RIXO: Not Just For Occasions

In a time where quality matters and every piece we add to our wardrobe is carefully thought out and curated, the items we choose need to be special, long lasting, and versatile. Many of our customers have told us that they are being extra thoughtful about their purchases, and some have even limited themselves to only five new pieces this year! A mindful approach can prove quite the challenge when deciding just which clothes are worth the jump, so let’s take a closer look at one of the brands that deserve a place in your wardrobe, and why – RIXO.

Started by good friends Henrietta & Orla in 2015 the brand has gone from strength to strength. As they have grown, their focus’ continue to be luxurious fabrics and hand painted prints, framed in stunning vintage- inspired outlines, giving them a clear and recognisable DNA. To maintain this Henrietta and Orla remain heavily involved in the design process, they keep their design team small and ensure one of them touches the product at every step of the way.

RIXO design their pieces to become ’future vintage’ with styles that stand the test of time, they want to create something that can be loved over and over and worn at more than just big occasions! Whether you’re at brunch with friends, a day out in the city or attending a wedding, you can transform your RIXO with some simple styling.

But don’t just take our word for it, we reached out to the brand to find out more about what makes them lasting and unique, and we heard back from the lovely Henrietta Herself!

How do you decide on the themes for your collections and stay inspired?

The inspiration for our collections has always stemmed from different places but more often than not it’s from vintage finds. Orlagh is constantly looking so it could be from a vintage fair, a museum, a library or travels. Charity shops can be amazing too! With the internet also Orlagh can often get into a deep dive of research at 3am.

How does vintage continue to inspire your designs today whilst keeping designs interesting and contemporary?

The brand was founded from a love of vintage and is what Orlagh and I originally bonded over. Our dream weekend is rummaging through a flea market or vintage fair. Whenever we both travel we immediately research local vintage spots. It’s then all about adapting a particular element, it could be the shape, the cut of a silhouette, a lace trim detail etc.

What are your favourite ways to wear your dresses?

Our RIXO dresses are great because you don’t have to keep them for best. I love that I can wear my RIXO to work, at the weekend and then to a really special occasion. So definitely getting my wear out of each piece is key.

Many of us are cutting down on how many new items, why might RIXO be one of our choices?

The most sustainable way to shop is to buy something that’s already been made or buying in charity or vintage shops. So when we launched our flagship, we knew that we wanted to have a space that was dedicated to pre-loved where people can donate their old RIXO to allow others to buy it at a cheaper price point - and you have that circularity within that product because our customers are always like, “oh, when are you bringing this back.” They love coming in and discovering the old, and just because it’s five years old, doesn’t mean it’s not nice. We also offer an in in-house alternation service at our Kings Road flagship, which aims to enhance customers’ shopping experience by perfecting fit and maximising longevity on all RIXO purchases.

Who do you think of when you talk about #humansofrixo and how do you engage with the community you’ve built around your brand?

I think of a women’s style not a specific age, size or anything else. It could be mothers, daughters, grandmothers. We’ve always wanted RIXO to be an inclusive fashion brand for all, that is something that we’ve felt passionately about from the offset. I’ve personally done the RIXO Instagram myself for the first 9 years of the brand so organically I’ve connected with the community and there is a very personal approach. Community has always been a key part of our business. We designed our flagship store to be somewhere our #humansofRIXO can relax, hang out and inspire each other; it is so much more than a shopping destination. With lots of colour, vintage furniture, a coffee kiosk, cocktail bar, alternation service and individual RIXO special touches we have seen a lot of UGC on social of the space, which helps with awareness and attracting more customers. We’re so fortunate to have always had such an engaged #humansofrixo community who regularly share feedback on DMs with us, which is invaluable!

We love that you’re in our independent and are also stocked by many of the very best department stores. Being such a recognisable brand now, how do you maintain exclusivity and desirability as you grow?

Our collections are all born from the same philosophy; to evoke effortless confidence in all our wearers, whilst filling a gap in the contemporary market with easy-to-wear, flattering shapes and high-quality materials. We pride ourselves on unique hand-painted prints combined with classic and timeless shapes that transcend time and can be worn by your sister as well as your mum or grandmother! Our prints as well as the quality and the longevity of our products define RIXO’s DNA. We maintain exclusivity by producing in very limited runs and not going into deep markdowns. We also have exclusive styles that are 1 of 30 so they are extremely special!

We love that you are also a female led business, and know how much care, hard work, passion and often stress go into making things successful. We put a lot of focus into building a strong team to help us manage our work-life balance, do you have any tips for women currently working hard on their own business?

I’d say trust your gut and it's going to be a journey so being resilient is so important. There's a lot of scarifies that are made when you first set up a brand but as long as it's something you're passionate about, and something you love, it’s a worthy sacrifice. Building a brand isn't short term, it's long term. Both Orlagh and I have learnt to embrace the dual roles of being mums and juggling work responsibilities but it’s definitely a challenge and something we’re both constantly working on.

Jane & Kim came to see you last time they were buying and loved your new flagship store (they said there’s nothing quite like it!). Who, past or present, would you most like to see walk through those doors to be dressed in RIXO and why?

I’d love my grandmother Gwendolyn to come to our store, I was very close with her and used to go to vintage fairs most Sundays with her and my mother. She was a real magpie and so stylish.

What’s RIXO’s biggest focus right now?

Growing our community is key. The opening of our shop-in-shop in Selfridges earlier this month alongside the exciting launch of our New York pop-up will hopefully reach brand new audiences. International expansion is key for us over the next three years & we’ll stay true to our roots and focused on womenswear while we grow.

And finally, do you have a favourite EVER RIXO dress? (we’d love to see pictures!)

For me it has to be our EVIE dress (pictured here) which is a true RIXO classic that works for so many different occasions. I’ve worn this shape throughout two pregnancies and over the past 9 years it has always been my go to. It’s named after my first niece and was designed back in the living room. So if you’re investing in one dress this summer I’d suggest this & in our new red floral print it can easily be dressed down on holiday or up for a special occasion.