Rixo’s New Collection Just Debuted At London Fashion Week – And You’ll Want It All

In just six years the brand has seen incredible success – but it's only just getting started.

rixo spring summer 2022

by Hannah Banks-Walker |

'We wanted these pieces to make people feel amazing – and happy,' says Henrietta Rix, one half of the design duo behind Rixo. Her co-founder is Orlagh McCloskey, with whom she lived for four years before the pair started Rixo from their student house. Six years later, the brand has been worn by everyone from Margot Robbie to Sandra Bullock – and they're just getting started. Today, Rixo debuted its spring/summer 2022 collection at London Fashion Week, heralding the return of fashion shows after a turbulent year and a half for everyone.

rixo spring summer london fashion week 2022

'The collection is called Bon Voyage, so is very much about getting away on holiday,' says Rix. Our conversation takes place in the brand's bridal store in London, which has been overtaken by the new collection. There are the usual printed silks, which for next season come in bright, zesty colours as well as sugary pastel shades, but there are also wafty cotton dresses, vintage-inspired denim skirts and knitted blouses. 'We wanted to get across all the different fabrics that we do now. We’re known for our silk printed dresses but we really wanted to show the seersucker, cotton, embroidery, the denim- which is sustainable- as well as knitwear. There is big variety in this collection, we wanted to make sure there are things people would wear in the daytime, not just to big events.'

There are so many things we’d love to do but we’re rejecting them until we’ve got womenswear 100% nailed

McCloskey and Rix have managed to navigate the pandemic successfully, maintaining a successful business in the most difficult of circumstances. In fact, they launched several new categories over the past year, adding nightwear, shoes, sustainable swimwear, coats and a hugely successful bridal line, which was followed by a dedicated range of bridesmaid dresses.

rixo dresses on models at london fashion week

'We always wanted Rixo to be seen as more of a lifestyle brand but when you first launch a brand you become known for what you launch it with and what you do straight away,' Rix says. Now, she and McCloskey are keen that people see Rixo as a well-rounded label, offering clothes for every aspect of life. 'Don’t get me wrong, we will always do the vintage-inspired, silk printed occasion dresses we think are really special, so you will always see those. But we wanted more of a range of pieces that fit in with everyday life at a slightly cheaper price point so they’re more accessible and those are what we’ve focussed on.'

We want as many people as possible to feel amazing when they get dressed and if Rixo can help them do that, that’s our job done.

The girls have big plans for the brand. Rix speaks of her and McCloskey's shared love of interiors, suggesting a move into homewares at some point. The very chair on which she sits for our interview has been reupholstered in a Rixo leopard print, which customers constantly try to buy. Male friends and relatives, too, ask for 'funky' shirts ('If only they wouldn't use that word,' laughs Rix) and they love the idea of creating a menswear line. 'There are so many things we’d love to do but we’re rejecting them until we’ve got womenswear 100% nailed in terms of sizes, fabrics and sustainability. There’s so much to do within womenswear so as a brand we need to focus.'

rixo summer dress 2022

Size is very much on their minds. At the moment, Rixo caters for sizes 6-16 but the spring/summer collection will, for the first time, go up to a size 20. 'We’re working our way towards size 24, which we wanted to have ready for this collection but the grading of the sizes takes so much time and we want to get it right,' says Rix. 'Orlagh and I never want people to feel like they can’t wear Rixo. If you love the aesthetic of the brand, or a certain shape, we’re not here to stop people buying it. We want as many people as possible to feel amazing when they get dressed and if Rixo can help them do that, that’s our job done. We’re also working on a petite range but we’re starting with sizing up first. We’re always trying to develop the brand.'

For small brands like Rixo, the way the manufacturing process is set up can be frustrating because, in order to make clothes for a broader range of sizes, companies need to invest time and money – both of which are in short supply for a tiny label without financial investors behind them. 'It’s about having the capacity and the right team to focus on it,' Rix explains. 'When you first start as a small brand, I mean it was just Orlagh and me for the first three years of the company, doing everything. We were only ordering 30 units of a dress and it’s not efficient for the supplier to cut that into 10 different sizes, so when we first started we could only have S, M and L which equated to an 8, 10 and 12. We couldn’t do any more because the supplier wouldn’t do it.'

rixo red printed dress

Rix and McCloskey have worked for over a year to get their suppliers to produce bigger sizes, a process Rix says is lengthy and difficult – but well worth it. 'Going from a size 16 to a 24 is very different from just grading up a size 6 to a 12. You have to consider different proportions because peoples’ arms, back lengths and body lengths don’t all of a sudden grow, so you have to get the right garment tech on board, get the supplier to understand it and then execute it.'

Sustainability is also a priority for the team. Rix and McCloskey have built strong relationships with their suppliers, ensuring that each one sources materials locally in order to reduce shipping and waste. Says Rix, 'I think one of the major ways to be more sustainable is simply efficiency, like when I worked for other fashion brands on the high street, they would have around 60 different suppliers for just day dresses alone. As the company evolves and we want to do more things like knitwear and denim, we need new suppliers. But whenever we take a new supplier on, we always work with people who can advise us. Like with denim, we’ve worked with this amazing consultant who is passionate about sustainability, she’s incredible.'

rixo suit spring summer 2022

Rixo's pieces are designed to last – the team behind the brand is not interested in passing trends. Rather, Rix and McCloskey want people to treasure their clothes. 'We want people to be wearing these pieces years after they’ve bought them and we do see that on Instagram, which is lovely. It’s pieces you can wear over and over again and really invest in.'

In this most recent collection, it's certainly true that the designers have produced a bit of something for everyone, without it feeling watered down. Those denim skirts, for example, have braided detailing on the pockets for a Rixo twist and a matching jacket with oversized Peter Pan collar, while the knitwear is very lightweight and in joyful colours and stripes. Rix and McCloskey are not reinventing the wheel but they have tapped into a demand for lovely, wearable clothes that make you feel great, whether you're going to a wedding, going to bed or going to the beach.

rixo denim skirt and matching jacket
Rixo's denim skirt with matching jacket

'I think Covid has changed our customer’s mindset, with a lot of them thinking actually I can wear Rixo even if I haven’t got an occasion to go to. You just want to feel nice about yourself. And what we focus on at Rixo, which can sometimes be masked by our bright prints, is the fit and the cut of the dress. Sometimes that can be underestimated. People want to dress up again – we've noticed it in the last few weeks at our stores. And with weddings and events coming back now, we’re hoping for a big fiesta party by next summer.'

Well, at least we'll all have something to wear.

Gallery

SHOP: 11 New Rixo Pieces You'll Want For Autumn

Polka Dot Denim Dress, £255
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Mermaid Postcard T-Shirt, £85 at Harrods
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Embroidered Jumper, £225
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Cotton and Silk-Blend Midi Dress, £305 at Selfridges
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Sweater Vest, £155
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Leather Appliquu00e9 Jacket, £385
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Knit Midi Skirt, £255
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Printed Silk Shirt, £195 at Net-a-Porter
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Leopard Print Coat, £305
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Mixed Print Dress, £315
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Pyjama Set, £150 at Net-a-Porter
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READ MORE: If The Catwalks Are Really Waking Up To Body Diversity, Why Is Still So Hard To Find Clothes That Fit?

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