LONDON — London-based label The Vampire’s Wife quietly came onto the scene four years ago, but quickly seduced women with its lavish fabrics, romantic prints and signature ruffles.
What started as an insiders’ secret — favored by British fashion editors, models and friends of the brand’s founder Susie Cave, who is a former model and the wife of musician Nick Cave — turned into global retail hit, with stockists including Matchesfashion.com, Browns, Dover Street Market and Moda Operandi.
Cave’s success recipe is simple: offering product that fits well and makes women feel good.
“There is certainly a community of women who are loyal to The Vampire’s Wife, but this is simply because the dresses just look beautiful when on — women respond to this,” Cave said. “The pieces are easy-to-wear but have a maximum impact and there’s a disruptive quality to them, a sort of seditiousness. They are simultaneously demure and outrageous, turning the wearer into a walking event.”
Despite the brand’s soaring popularity both at retail and on the red carpet — fans include everyone from Keira Knightley, to Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Aniston and Ruth Negga — Cave has been treading cautiously when it came to growing the brand’s offer.
Her aim is to stay focused on the brand’s now signature ruffle-trimmed maxi silhouette and to just keep getting more adventurous with the fabrics and patterns, season after season. She has also added a small handbag range to the mix — they come in charming heart shapes and metallic lamé or floral fabrics to match the dresses.
“We have all sorts of new dresses and designs coming up, but many have the same silhouette — I’m not changing that. They are just wilder and more radical,” the designer added.
At retail, the aim was to create a network of “key doors and partners in specific markets.” Having seen success both online and in key concept stores across the globe, including Fivestory in New York, The Webster in Miami, Holly Golightly in Copenhagen and The Store in Berlin, the brand is now gearing up for one of its biggest launches to date with online giant Net-a-porter.
It is set to launch with an exclusive capsule range today, followed by a main line drop in March.
For the capsule, Cave reworked her signature dress silhouette using romantic Liberty prints, printed velvets, as well as an emerald corduroy fabric.
“I’d say a huge benefit in partnering with Net-a-porter on this, is the brand being introduced to their global customer base,” Cave added.
For Elizabeth von der Goltz, Net’s global buying director, the appeal of the brand lies in its “strong following” and use of unusual fabrics and prints, feeding off of Cave’s personal style.
“If it’s a floral print, it will have a mix of unexpected colors, making each dress a unique statement. Many people these days are looking for something slightly different to stand out and Susie accomplishes this with every piece,” added von der Goltz. “It felt like the right time to launch as we are now entering the warmer months and the floral decorative prints of the dresses have a really summery feel. Susie has created a signature look that’s both glamorous and dramatic yet all very wearable.”