Richards Radcliffe is a luxury brand that focuses on clean and contemporary women’s clothing and accessories. The founders Tess Richards and Kat Radcliffe, who have managed other profitable brands in the past such as Mulberry, work to provide everyday luxury clothing from stunning Italian sheepskins to vintage-inspired silk woven pieces.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with the creative directors Tess and Kat and asked them a little bit about the brand’s background and their involvement in Richards Radcliffe.
Can you tell us a little about yourselves and where you draw inspiration from for the brand?
We both met at University, and over the last 20 years we have worked our way from designers to creative directors in the fashion industry. We have designed, re-launched, and managed some of the most well-known and profitable brands from high fashion to the high street, including Jaeger, Jaeger London, Mulberry, Ghost and Jigsaw.
We draw inspiration from the juxtaposition of hard and soft, feminine and masculine. We are driven to create exquisitely cut and beautifully detailed must-haves for our customer’s everyday life. Essentially we focus on bold, clean leathers and sharp tailored separates alongside exquisite hand beadings, vintage-inspired silks and luxurious jerseys. We use the most superior, ethically sourced by-product skins and the finest noble fibre wovens and jerseys.
We live multifaceted lives; mothers, wives, home-keepers, business directors; friends, families, work events, social occasions – all of it! We wanted to create a brand name and style that worked within these areas rather than committing to only one lifestyle. The key to our designs is versatility. You can wear our silk beaded dress with bare feet at the beach bar or with killer heels at a Christmas party. You can throw one of our leather jackets on with jeans and converse for the school run, over a silk blouse for work or over a silk dress for a contemporary occasion-wear look. Every piece we design is luxurious but needs to work hard for its spend!
Where did the inspiration for the company name come from?
We take immense pride in our work and it only felt right to put our names to it. Although I’m (Tess Richards) happily married now with the name Kendereski, Kendereski Radcliffe didn’t quite have the same ring to it! Similarly, we wanted to emphasise the play on masculine and feminine so Richards Radcliffe felt right.
Are there any new design techniques or fabrics that you’ve introduced for the first time with your latest products?
Yes, for Autumn/Winter 2016 we were delighted to launch handmade silks and silk dresses. We had the opportunity to work with the top-tier of international clothing and accessories suppliers, which are also the same supply base for Dries van Noten, Isabel Marant, Maxmara and Cavalli.
Photograph: From the Autumn/Winter 2016 campaign introducing the new beaded and plain silk pieces within the collection.
What countries are you currently manufacturing in? Are they specific to your company’s image?
As mentioned before we insist on only using the very best of the industry, as this goes in line with the quality of the product being created. We don’t focus on the benefit of manufacturing out of one country, but instead work internationally using factories with the finest skill set within that product or fabric area. For example, tailoring is made either in Italy, using the same supplier routes as Prada and Aquascutum, or the Far East using factories which make for Maxmara and Sportmax. Silks, artworks or beaded softs are made in China and India where they make for Cavalli, Armani, Isabel Marant and so on. The focus is on craftsmanship and premium production at all times.
How would you describe your brand/products in one word?
Who is your product aimed towards? How would you describe your customer?
Like ourselves, our customer is multifaceted. She has her own sense of style and wants items to fit into her daily life while allowing her to experience luxurious quality, comfort and overall to look fantastic regardless of the occasion.
Many thanks to Tess and Kat for giving us an insight into how they handle their company and its creative decisions. We can’t wait to see what lies in the future for the brand and upcoming collections.
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