Why we’re all so­cial shop­pers

Is In­sta­gram your fash­ion in­spo? Then you need to know about Laura Jack­son’s col­lec­tion for Rixo, which marks a new chap­ter for influencer and brand col­labs

Grazia (UK) - - Contents - WORDS LAURA AN TO­NIA JOR­DAN PHO­TO­GRAPH JON G OR RIG AN Laura Jack­son X Rixo: avail­able from 24 Sept, ex­clu­sively at ne­ta­porter.com and rixo.com

like most peo­ple, Laura Jack­son – the TV pre­sen­ter, cook­book writer and model – dis­cov­ered Rixo through word of mouth. The brand, founded by Hen­ri­etta Rix and Or­lagh Mc­closkey, has made its name with easy to wear, boldly pat­terned dresses and grown mon­u­men­tally in the three years since it was founded, thanks to rec­om­men­da­tion and so­cial me­dia influence. In­dica­tive of a power shift to­wards Insta-bait con­tem­po­rary brands (not to men­tion the sell­ing power of so­cial me­dia), Net-aPorter’s Rixo sales have in­creased 500% since they first started stock­ing the col­lec­tion in 2017.

Un­like most peo­ple, how­ever, Laura took her brand fan­dom to the next level, by join­ing forces with Rixo for a new cap­sule col­lab­o­ra­tion – which is out later this month. ‘She’s who we en­vis­age a Rixo girl to be,’ says Hen­ri­etta. ‘It was a nat­u­ral fit.’

The flat­ter­ing cuts that are a sig­na­ture of the brand are there; think slightly puffed half-sleeves and bias-cut skirts; ditto the vi­brant prints. The col­lec­tion’s key bird-of-par­adise print nods to the girls’ shared pas­sions: lemons and seashells to rep­re­sent food and travel, birds and naked fig­ures to il­lus­trate a free-spir­ited at­ti­tude, and faces that call to mind naive Pi­casso sketches to show their love of art. ‘It’s in­ter­est­ing, but it’s not so zany that you think, “I’ll wear that for a sea­son and never again,”’ says Laura.

Ver­sa­til­ity is key. Dresses can be thrown over a bikini in the sum­mer as eas­ily as they can be lay­ered over a roll neck now. ‘I kind of think about it like a fam­ily,’ says Laura. ‘Each piece is very dif­fer­ent, but they have to have a relationship and sit around the same ta­ble.’

This em­pha­sis on wear­a­bil­ity has al­ways un­der­pinned Rixo’s ro­mance and helped make it the suc­cess story it is. ‘ What’s re­ally im­por­tant for me, with ev­ery­thing I do, is that it’s ac­ces­si­ble,’ Laura says. ‘I don’t want to alien­ate any­one; I want ev­ery­one to be part of it.’

Ac­ces­si­bil­ity is un­der­rated, but don’t we all want that from our brands? Not just in price point (along with brands like Ganni and Re­al­i­sa­tion Par, Rixo comes in at that sub-£300 sweet spot), but in aes­thetic and

wear­a­bil­ity. That’s why in­creas­ingly we are look­ing to influencers not just for in­spi­ra­tion, but also for col­lab­o­ra­tions. The in­nate ap­peal of the best of them is that they pull off that magic mix of be­ing both as­pi­ra­tional and at­tain­able.

There’s no doubt In­sta­gram has changed the way we shop. ‘I think we use it as a shop­ping win­dow now. I know I do,’ says Laura. ‘I try not to go on peo­ple’s per­sonal pages and scroll through what they’re do­ing, be­cause I just think it’s point­less, but I use it to shop for new de­sign­ers, new ac­ces­sory brands and home­ware.’ It’s not just a tool of dis­cov­ery, but also a plat­form for style self-ex­pres­sion, en­cour­ag­ing ever bolder sar­to­rial choices. A re­cent sur­vey car­ried out by Bar­clays even dis­cov­ered that one in 10 of us ad­mit to buy­ing clothes only for the ‘hash­tag mo­ment’ – when we post pho­tos on so­cial me­dia – and then re­turn them, with 35 to 44-year-olds among the worst cul­prits. In an In­sta­gram world, influencers are the new au­thor­i­ties – so no won­der we’re turn­ing to them for ac­tual de­signs.

She would prob­a­bly cringe at the de­scrip­tion, but Laura has now reached influencer sta­tus in that what she wears, or for that mat­ter how she dec­o­rates her home, will be no­ticed, noted and ul­ti­mately copied. She has crafted a niche as a sort of Mil­len­nial do­mes­tic god­dess – Nigella Law­son in a pretty dress and Con­verse – and peo­ple want in. ‘My style is a real mix, even though I look at the trends, I only wear what suits me,’ says Laura of her look. ‘It kind of evolves ev­ery year, like ev­ery­body’s. Your tastes change and you grow into your looks and know who you are a lot more.’

So what style ad­vice would she give? ‘It’s OK to miss a trend,’ she says. ‘If berets are re­ally cool this sea­son, but you don’t look good in hats, then don’t wear them. But then if jump­suits are in and they’re your thing, then go hell for leather, roll with it! It’s about be­ing hon­est with yourself. I think some­times we get too caught up with what ev­ery­one else is do­ing and what ev­ery­one else is wear­ing.’ That’s not to say she doesn’t draw in­spi­ra­tion from other places. ‘I am so in­spired by my group of girl­friends, by peo­ple on In­sta­gram, by mag­a­zines and street style, but I want to in­ter­pret that into how I wear it.’

What­ever your per­sonal scrolling habits, one thing’s for sure – you can ex­pect to see this Rixo col­lec­tion all over your feed soon.

Clockwise from left: Frieda dress, £315; Luna dress, £310, and Alexa scarf, £40; Sa­man­tha dress, £295; Roisin top, £175, and Gra­cie skirt, £225; Zadie dress, £305, and Jasper scrunchie, £15, all RIXO x Laura Jack­son

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