“This is the first time we’ve really been able to sit back and enjoy what we’ve done,” says Rhode Resort cofounder Phoebe Vickers, celebrating her label’s new six-piece capsule collection for Shopbop at a flower-festooned dinner at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont Thursday night.
Jamie Chung, Skyler Samuels and Shopbop fashion director Caroline Maguire joined guests in wearing the collection’s vacation-ready, exclusive cactus and hibiscus flower-print dresses (some sold with fun, matching belt bags), while sipping prosecco in Bungalow One, before sitting down to dinner beneath a rainbow grove of blooms created by L.A.-based florist Art Fleur.
“We love to nurture young designers,” said Shopbop’s Maguire. “Rhode Resort especially resonates with who our brand is; it’s bright, cheery and colorful — our customer loves it.”
Rhode Resort was founded in New York in 2014 by Vickers and Purna Khatau, who met as freshman roommates at Hamilton College and discovered they had the same taste during their first trip to stock their dorm room at Bed Bath & Beyond. After school, Khatau gained experience as a buyer for Harvey Nichols in London, while Vickers worked in advertising. They reconnected over a desire to create daywear that bridged the gap between business attire and streetwear, and named their label Rhode after a sea nymph of Greek mythology. The brand’s breezy dresses, kimonos and caftans, priced right at less than $500, including the popular Ella minidress, Lena robe dress with tassel trim and smocked Eva dress, are sold at Net-a-porter, MatchesFashion, Bergdorf Goodman, and soon Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The partners relocated to L.A. in 2017 so Khatau could be closer to her husband, who works in the entertainment business, and put down stakes by opening an atelier on Beverly Boulevard. They now employ 23 people, producing much of their product in Bombay, where Khatau grew up, and knitwear in Peru.
Shopbop was the first retailer to pick up Rhode Resort’s first collection at the Coterie trade show in New York, so the collaboration feels particularly personal, says Vickers, who shared that she and Khatau will be paying particular attention to developing eveningwear in the coming months, and have ambitions to show at New York Fashion Week in September.