Rose & Willard is a groundbreaking British womenswear brand, which has reinvented female fashion through its dedication to ethics and empowerment, the two leading principles at its core.
The London-based fashion house has earned acclaim from style bibles including Vogue, thanks to its shape-flattering, classic designs and exceptional craftsmanship.
Like its name - Rose (feminine) and Willard (bold) - the brand’s creators believe women should feel confident and feminine, and their extraordinary pieces have attracted the attention of women who perfectly embody this, from royals and Hollywood icons to inspirational politicians.
They ensure their consumers feel empowered and confident through intelligent design and tailoring, which elongates and slims the silhouette with details which distract from problem areas.
What makes the brand’s triumphant success even more remarkable, is the fact that it launched less than a year ago.
Its founder Heidy Rehman explains: “Rose & Willard is a new, modern British womenswear brand. “We do style, we don’t do fashion. We express life, we don’t pose.
“We have a moral conscience, we don’t exploit. We’re a team, not just a name. “And we don’t mess around... except in our photo shoots.”
Impeccable ethics are integral to every element of the Rose & Willard process, from the design and production to the retail and purchase.
Luxury, ethics and high sustainability standards are imperative to the brand, so they minimise their carbon footprint and provide opportunities for the declining UK economy, by designing all of their pieces in Britain, which is also home to most of its manufacturing, in sites like the top East London factory it shares with Victoria Beckham.
The factories they use abroad all have spotless ethical records and excellent working conditions - 90% of their fabric is from Italy with some Japanese materials and English Tweed. Their trims are cherry-picked from Italy, Switzerland and Germany.
It is this quality and dedication to ethics which justifies the price of these pieces, which range from £100-£600.
And in a truly original ethical turn, the brand even uses fish skin as a material, since it is beautiful, unusual, ecologially-friendly, washable and enjoys anti-tear and anti-scratch properties.
Rose & Willard is a powerful example of the marriage between two beautiful F-words: fashion and feminism.
Its founder, Heidy Rehman, has a unique and fascinating insight into the gender politics of dressing for business, from her previous career as one of the few female senior equity research analysts at Citi.
She learned that femininity is frequently removed from business fashion, equating masculine traits with success and credibility. So she ensures that Rose & Willard embraces femininity, which empowers the wearer and can disarm men in the boardroom.
Heidy also had first-hand experience of the lack of mid-market choice for business women when she worked in the city, forcing her to buy everything from one shop and leading her to fill that gap.
The fashion brand has five charity partners, which are all focussed on empowerment, particularly of women, from Rosa (supporting initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK) to Shine Trust (helping disadvantaged children and teenagers realise their potential) EDT (encouraging young people, especially girls, into maths and science) Futures for Women (promoting the training of women) and The Medaille Trust, helping people who have been freed from trafficking.
Rose & Willard is also passionate about nurturing young talent and provides amazing opportunities to its team for growth, with many of its celebrated pattern cutters starting life there as interns and Matthew Coats, who joined the team as studio manager and is now wowing the industry as one of the brand’s top designers.