There is one dress in our wardrobes which our mums think we look lovely in, our fashion friends think we look cool in, our boyfriend thinks we look hot in and even strangers seem sufﬁciently wooed by to sheepishly ask where it’s from. It is – in short – a serious sartorial slam dunk.
The dress in question (a coral mididress with splashy abstract print, FYI) is from Rixo, the cult brand that’s gone from one-to-watch to one-to-wear at lightning speed. Even if the name isn’t familiar, chances are the colourful, vintage-inspired designs have already inﬁltrated some of the more stylish Insta feeds you follow. Statement pieces that are ridiculously easy to wear, bold hand-painted prints – think Matisse-style ﬂorals, glam-rock stars, Chinese bamboos – have become Rixo’s calling card and are translating into big business: at just two years old the brand now has over 40 stockists in 20 countries worldwide, and last month opened its ﬁrst shop in London’s Selfridges.
Rixo is the brainchild of London College of Fashion alumni Henrietta Rix, 26, and Orlagh McCloskey, 28, who quit their careers as ASOS buyers to set up the label in 2015. To leave a good job in a competitive ﬁeld during an uncertain economic climate takes a lot of guts and a ton of conviction – so what did they feel was missing in the already crowded contemporary market? “Gorgeous printed silk dresses, tops and separates – something you could wear to work or dress up for a wedding, or down on the beach with ﬂip-ﬂops,” explains Henrietta from the Fulham studio they’ve recently moved to (the kitchen table in their shared ﬂat was HQ until now).
Flattering cuts give the pieces their versatility and cross-generational appeal. On a visit to the brand’s Covent Garden pop-up shop last week (where it moved after demand outpaced a smaller Soho venue), we spied a mum-and-daughter pair in their sixties and thirties both trying and buying, while the 19-year-old shop assistant told us she was a fully-ﬂedged member of “the fan club”. “Getting someone to feel good when they wear Rixo is so important to us,” says Henrietta of the designs’ wearability. “We never want to alienate people.”
Then there’s the price. Rixo dresses come in at around the Dhs1,500 mark – a retail sweet spot that’s aspirational though, crucially, not unattainable.
Henrietta says that in the ﬂedgling days of the label, she and Orlagh were advised they could signiﬁcantly up what they were charging, but remained adamant about “not taking the mick”.
“Not everyone’s on a great wage, but there’s weddings to go to the whole time!” she says, understanding a dilemma familiar to many of us – you want to look a million dollars without spending that.
With Rixo swimwear launching this month, accessories and shoes to come, a showroom in New York in February and a debut presentation in Paris – world domination somehow seems inevitable.