Is occasion dressing still a thing? According to Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, it definitely is. The duo started RIXO London in September 2015 after leaving their buying positions at ASOS, and decided to launch a brand they believed was lacking in the saturated retail universe – specialising in a high-quality, vintage-inspired silk dress at an entry-level contemporary price point. And boy, they were right. In less than two years, RIXO London is selling at Net-a-porter, Saks Fifth Avenue, ShopBop and FWRD by Elyse Walker, as well as their main shopping platform – their own e-commerce website. In this case of what seems to be a successful example of branding and product-led retail, we took a look behind the floral curtain and talked to one half of RIXO – Henrietta Rix.

Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey of RIXO London

“You can never know too much information about your customer – they are fundamental,” says Rix. “Design is only 10 percent of our jobs. You’ve got to know what’s commercially sellable and have more of an awareness about who is going to be wearing your product.” And that product is easy-to-wear, eye-catching and appealing to a wide range of women and ages – equally cool with a pair of high-heeled metallic sandals as a pair of Stan Smith trainers. Versatility is the key.

The inspiration behind all of their collections comes from 1970s vintage dressing. On the website, they style RIXO looks with vintage pieces and if you are lucky, you can buy the whole look. While sampling and prints are done in London and Brighton, production is in China keeping costs affordable.

RIXO London Rose Dress

Rix and McCloskey are very hands on, controlling everything from sales to PR. But they have big ambitions for the brand. “Once we’ve got a bigger team and more time, we want to really invest into the vintage side of things, as well as increasing our product categories into knitwear, swimwear as well and more jersey pieces.” And for autumn/winter 2017? “Bamboos and palms, moons and suns.” According to RIXO London, fashion is the game where it’s absolutely worth being a Jackie of all trades. Especially when dressed in a palm-print maxi dress.

Shop RIXO London at rixo.co.uk with prices starting at £65.

Text by Dino Bonacic