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
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