In 2015, best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey founded RIXO to channel their love for vintage clothing. Both were under 30 years old at the time, dedicating their twenties to establishing the early stage business. Fast forward to now and the womenswear label is stocked at over 150 wholesale retailers worldwide, best known for evoking a colourful, free-spirited wanderlust every season.
Key to their winning strategy is agility. "Within the first one-two week sell-through, we can see what is working and what’s not, and then take it back and review it for the next season,” says Henrietta Rix. “We’re so close to the business and we are not precious about it. Honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t helps us grow and evolve the business."
To reflect the brand's social responsibility, the duo adopted a formula that Rix describes as “conscious-consuming,” producing 100 or 150 runs of one particular style. It’s a potent strategy: dresses typically sell-out within two hours, and the brand has seen growth from season to season. “We want people to fall in love with pieces and cherish them for life, and we don’t want Rixo to go on sale because that cycle just does not make sense."
Knitwear is a new category that the duo have also introduced: “we’ve produced some gorgeous Lurex dresses and jumpers that you’ll see in the SS’20 collection. We wanted to elevate our different offerings." For Rix, having a community has enabled the brand to create a conversation with consumers. “Our customers asked for knits to go with their RIXO skirt, so we always listen and evolve,” she validates.
But big business isn’t always easy; the duo worked extremely hard to build the company to its 2019-self. “We physically cannot afford to have traditional wholesale agencies or press agencies. We’ve literally done everything ourselves: every single carpet at our SS’20 event we lifted it and brought it with vans. We don’t have event production; we do everything." Which harks back to the humble start-up mentality of the founders: “since we were giving up our twenties for RIXO, we just went for it”.
ORDRE’s fashion director Kirsten Lock caught up with one half of the designer duo behind Rixo, Henrietta Rix, at the SS’20 presentation. Click below to watch the video >