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London Fashion Week’s third day kicked off with both new names like Masha Popova, who held her first catwalk show at the British Fashion Council’s NewGEN show space by Selfridges, and consumer-popular brands like Rixo.
The most elaborate show was put on by Molly Goddard, who wrote in her show notes that she wanted guests to get away from the “endless scroll” by enjoying her frilly tulle collection. The look has been a signature of the brand, which has dressed everyone from Villanelle in British series “Killing Eve” to Beyoncé.
Among other notable shows on Saturday was that of SS Daley, who won the LVMH prize in June. The designer presented his collection for spring 2023 — inspired by British author Beatrix Potter, known for her animal stories — on a gender-diverse cast of models. And Korea-born designer Eudon Choi showed his collection, inspired by the French Riviera and summer love, in partnership with Korean bag company Louis Quatorze.
Newcomer Masha Popova, who started designing her denim collection in June, wanted to escape the worries about the siege in her home country in Ukraine. Inspired by her muse driving in a rush toward the night, she turned to escapism to fuel her collection. “I just wanted to scream, ‘Why am I making clothes?’” she said. “At some point, I just wanted to turn everything off and feel that nothing else matters but that adrenaline rush of the drive.” As the war in Ukraine continues, its impact on the fashion industry is still being felt, with design and manufacturing affected.
Expanding business Rixo focuses on size inclusivity
Rixo founders Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey started their brand eight years ago, with the likes of Margot Robbie and Sandra Bullock wearing dresses by the brand. The label has gone from strength to strength, in spite of the pandemic. It’s recently rolled out new categories including outerwear, nightwear and bridal, the latter of which has quickly gained traction. And last week, Rixo announced that it’s extending its size range to UK sizes 6-24.
Co-founder Orlagh McCloskey talked to Glossy about the impact on the collection of the duo’s recent trip. “We went to India in March to visit the factories, [marking] our first time going abroad since [the start of] Covid. We went to Goa over the weekend, as a break from work, and got really inspired by all the Portuguese influences there,” she said. “We had a Pantone book in our bag and put the Pantone shades against the colors we saw to get the exact matches. Even just the interiors and the metal work inspired us, and we brought the [ideas] back for the show.”
The brand has always tried to present multiple body types and genders in its marketing, and the newly debuted collection, coming out next summer, is focused on inclusive sizing. Rix said, “Our customer is very much a real woman; she’s not what you imagine a fashion show model to be.” The brand hired a dedicated dance choreographer and eight dancers for its casting to show the movement in the new collection.
The founders have been focused on extending the brand’s product assortment beyond its signature print dresses, they said. “We’ve had a lot of new customers, because we’ve diversified in silhouette shapes and block colors, as much as size,” they said. “We’re extending the types of clothes themselves beyond occasion dressing, to include day to night. As our collections evolve, new customers can come in and see something from Rixo that they’ll end up buying, even if they’re not regular customers.”
While the brand has been affected by rising costs, the founders have prioritized keeping prices the same. “We’ve always priced our clothes at what we, as the consumer, would want to [spend],” said McCloskey. “We don’t have investors, so there is no one saying that we have to make this margin or else we haven’t performed this year for them. Seeing the bottom line grow was actually more important than the percentage of the margin.”
Rix added, “Our brand is all about value for money. Our customer is willing to spend on the quality, [knowing they’ll] wear the piece 20 times in the next season.
According to the founders, they have great relationships with their suppliers and can save in other ways. “We want the business to be a long-term, sustainable business, not a business that’s just looking at the profit in the year ahead,” McCloskey said.
Rixo is also changing its business model, to limit sales items and leftover stock. “One of the biggest things we’re trying to do is not buy too much ahead of time,” McCloskey said. “We buy as much in-season as possible so that we don’t have overstock, to the point of sale. We would rather lose sales by selling out than have too much stuff.”
The company’s bridal business, launched in February 2021, has expanded beyond ceremony gowns, as more brides are looking for casual alternatives for day-before and party dresses. Bridalwear will be a growing area for Rixo in the year to come. “We have such versatile shapes that women come looking for our dresses, and they love the shape and they want it in white. Wedding party dresses are definitely something that we can cater to, without being ridiculously expensive,” Rix said.