88 ATTIRE Tell me a bit about how the company started.What was the aim of the label when it was launched? The aim of Vixen Millinery was to create an accessible millinery brand that offers exquisite quality and sophistication at an affordable price. We wanted women of all demographics to be able to express themselves with beautiful headwear. We did a lot of research and realised there was a significant gap between high- end luxury hats and the lower price point millinery. Vixen bridges that gap, offering a high-end level of design and quality, but at an accessible price-point. How were the initial products developed, and what was the response? The collections were developed with our customers very much at the forefront of our minds, they are at the heart of everything we do, and I think this shines through in the designs. For example, the hats are balanced and lightweight and constructed using our signature double headband with comb for added security on their big day, be it a windy wedding or raucous race-day. In order to finish the look and help sell the outfit as a whole, we also create our collections to ensure they tone with a vast array of occasionwear brands. For example, the Vixen blush colour from our SS18 collection perfectly toned with the blush for major occasionwear brands, giving shops the best chance of an add-on sale. What challenges were overcome when the company was starting out? Launching a new brand is never easy, and coming up with a strong brand identity and making sure it’s properly communicated, can be challenging. It can also take time for the brand’s USPs to filter through, but I think our accounts now really understand the philosophy behind Vixen. We have a very good sell-through and re-order rate each season, which means the designs are striking a chord with their customers. It’s much easier to open doors when you have the numbers behind you! What sets your business apart from your competitors? There are some great millinery brands out there, but as I alluded to; I think Vixen is the first brand to offer this level of design, at this price point. A great deal of thought and care goes into the design process to give Vixen a really clear point of difference. This point-of-difference isn’t just in the designs – we spend a lot of time on how the brand looks and feels and we invest in beautiful lifestyle shoots each season.This helps convey the brand philosophy of Vixen and, in turn, helps our shops sell the designs. How has the product offering changed over the years, and how would you describe your current collection?