LONDON — Where have all the go-to brands gone? The fashion-y, everyday brands that offered clothing and accessories at prices women, of all ages, could reasonably afford without blowing a month’s salary?
That’s just what industry veterans Camille Perry and Holly Wright were contemplating when they created Tove, a contemporary collection that offers chic and easy looks in the spirit of Phoebe Philo’s Celine, the Scandinavian brand Totême and Loewe — but with lighter price tags.
The designers, who recall loving, and buying designer diffusion lines and brands such as Luella, Miu Miu and PPQ when they were younger said they wanted to create something with quality, longevity and practicality, rather than reference a particular era or label.
“The collection shows how we’d like a wardrobe to function. The conversation is changing, fashion is changing and it felt like the right time to bring a collection like Tove into the world,” said Perry and Wright, during a joint interview at Rainbowwave, their showroom in London.
The two met while working at Topshop at a time when the retailer was trendsetting and throwing its weight behind emerging fashion labels with its runway brand Unique and via NewGen sponsorship at the British Fashion Council.
Wright spent nearly 12 years at Topshop, and by the time she left in 2017 she was head of design. Perry was head of buying for 8 years at Topshop. They’re now plying that left-brain, right-brain experience into Tove, which launches on Net-a-porter today. The brand will be exclusive to the site for the next two seasons.
The collection, with prices that range from 275 pounds for a camisole to 875 pounds for a satin dress, is self-funded and the designers are working with the factories and suppliers they grew to know in their former jobs.
They collection, which is heavy on silk, is manufactured in China, in factories used by brands including Alexander McQueen, Zimmermann, Acne and Alexander Wang. They’re also looking to the U.K. In Scotland, they’ve found a factory that works with recycled yarns and are putting the focus on hand-finished garments.
The Tove packaging is recyclable, the tissue paper sustainable and the cloth garment bags are meant to be re-used.
The collection, which debuted earlier this year, has so far made hand-finished silk designs the stars of the show. They worked taupe and earth-toned silks into languid tops and dresses with pleats, gatherings and deep V-necks or into bias-cut skirts and loose pajama style trousers.
Libby Page, senior fashion market editor at Net-a-porter, said Tove was appealing because it was designed by women “who really understand the importance of fit and fabrication. The brand’s easy, yet fashion forward, approach to wardrobing gives the collection enough of a point of difference whilst still appealing to the woman who wants to invest in elevated day-to-day pieces. Moreover, it’s all at a great price point. We love the colors and drapes seen in the collection particularly.”
Page said the brand appeals to the woman who is looking for “investment pieces that can live beyond her work wardrobe — a blouse that’s perfect for the office, but that can easily be styled with jeans and a relaxed blazer for the weekend. These pieces are about quality, timelessness and effortless style.”
Looking ahead, the Tove designers said they plan to work with heavier fabrics for outerwear and tailored clothing, and also plan to add shoes and accessories to create a complete wardrobe and a “genuine connection” with customers.