Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey met at London College of Fashion and studied together for 4 years. They instantly became best friends and started making plans to do something on their own one day. After graduating they both gained experience in buying offices and earlier this year took the plunge into making their dream a reality and RIXO London was born..
Have you always been interested in fashion?
H: Always, since such a young age I’d spend every Sunday with my mum and nan gallivanting around vintage fairs and markets- anywhere where I can have a good hunt and unearth some vintage treasures I’m happy. Orlagh is the same, we spend a summer in California together and everyday we would be in and out of thrift shops/Goodwills (it became a favourite in our SatNav) we cant help ourselves, it’s definitely in our bloody and a HUGE passion of ours.
What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
The biggest highlights are 100% getting good customer feedback and seeing our lovely ladies wear our pieces and rocking them with confidence in there own way! Its so rewarding seeing and hearing people be genuinely excited about RIXO. The biggest challenge is probably getting the brand out there and building awareness and it was a struggle taking the daunting leap into self employment- it was difficult before we launched, having no physical product and working around the clock from our home (we live together) but being so passionate and driven about our vision we just had to remain positive that people would love it.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Our first collection was inspired by 15th Century manuscripts of old Italian herbs, roots and bulbs which lay hidden away in the British Library. Slightly odd but we were genuinely so excited - like kids in candy shop routing through those huge big old books finding everything from carrots, rosemary & poppies. That was the starting point for us, we always tend to be inspired by more natural themes, be it botanical or animalistic subjects, plus anything old, slightly battered we become obsessed by! Vintage treasures we have been collecting over the years also are a great source of inspiration- every week pretty much you’ll find us at one vintage fair around the country, like the scalloping of our blouses and the jackets lapels in the collection.
Do you ever struggle to stay inspired?
Never!! We have far far too many ideas and development to put into work.
Where is your go-to meeting spot?
Wholefoods – it give us an excuse the have a ponder around the yummy food after!
How would you describe your customer base?
The Rixo woman- She is a style centric wearer, romanced by womenswear shapes and into quality, distinctive but wearable pieces. She loves a print, and mixing vintage with current day pieces, not being afraid to stand out in a classy way. We feel really strongly that it isn’t about a certain age or demographic, shecould be any age – if a woman has style she doesn’t loose it just because she is older... Our RIXO woman could be in her sixties or early twenties, we’ve see older ladies rock our RIXO numbers just as well as their youthful counterparts. 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 still love. We want to be the brand that cool confident ladies any age, any country fell they need in their wardrobe and can afford to buy into.
Is there anyone you would love to see wearing your designs?
Ha yes lots and lots, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Alexa chung, The Olsens, Nicole Richie, Chloe Sevigny… the list goes on.
What are the morals you run your brand by?
Be nice to everyone, it’s so important to build good and genuine relationships, getting to know people face to face is so important to both Orlagh and I.
Do you have a mentor?
Not directly, we both lean on each other for support and couldn’t go this journey alone.
What apps keep you sane?
We’re not particularly app type of people- we are pretty addicted to IG, but I think that probably does the opposite to keeping us sane. We have a good routine and like to have a good work out in the gym plus amazing friends and family that we couldn’t grow RIXO without keep us pretty sane.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
So hard! Possibly the Georgia skirt, its so light, comfortable and easy to wear in the day time or at night. It looks great with a big oversized jumper or a little T and then also at night with a blouse tucked in- we both love it!
What’s the biggest style mistake you’ve ever made?
O: Leg warmers at a school disco
H: Customising a denim skirt (for a school disco) with horrendous ribbons and beads! Wrong on every level..
Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?
We are in love with Christopher Kane, Jonthan Saunders and brands such as Gucci, Marni, Prada..
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Where theres a will theres a way!
What drew you to Wolf & Badger?
The unique concept and its support to developing designers/brands.
Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
To see RIXO go from strength to strength on our e-commerce shop, with a really engaging platform where our customer can shop newness every week. We want to develop RIXO with rolling collections and mini vintage inspired stories continually, instead of having traditional seasons that are more structured. Additionally we want RIXO to be represented in key city’s globally in individual cool boutiques… and the dream is to have a flagship store in London.