Tove: Building a Fashion Start-Up in Quarantine
Camille Perry and Holly Wright are the women behind Tove, a London-based label that’s barely a year old. The founders say that creating the company as a direct-to-consumer business was “always a priority,” and that priority has made it easier for them to adjust to the pandemic.
Perry and Wright told Vogue that being in lockdown has forced them to slow down. This has proven challenging for larger businesses, but for them, it has been a gift. They’ve had to “really focus without all of the noise and distraction of rushing from meeting to meeting…it’s been a really useful time.”
The founders met at Topshop, where Perry was head of design and Wright was head of buying, and knew they wanted to take time to build the business over several years. Nothing about the brand is rushed, from the ideas on the business side to the pieces Perry and Wright’s team creates. Their collections are “breezy and luxurious,” to use Vogue’s very apt description, and meant to be building blocks. The idea is that each season builds on the one before, so customers will be able to mix and match across collections, not just within each season.
Their designs and ethos made waves in the industry immediately. After just one collection, Net-a-Porter contracted them for a year-long exclusive partnership, which has been a major source of support for Perry and Wright during lockdown. The pair have not relied on the outside world coming to them, though. Their years of experience mean that they know how influential social media presence can be. The brand has “always invested in our imagery really heavily because it’s our strongest asset as a direct-to-consumer brand,” Perry says, and quarantine has given them a captive audience. Their images are elegant, often earth-toned with pops of color, and their over-35,000 Instagram followers seem to think they’re doing something right.
At the end of the day, Perry and Wright say, they want to create timeless clothing that balances strength and beauty, the translation of the name “Tove” from its original Danish. Each piece is a statement, but versatile enough to allow each person’s individual style to shine through when they wear it and to translate from a casual day to the office to a night out. The founders say what they really want is for their customers to have “a wardrobe of really beautifully crafted, timeless pieces that are going to last you for a lifetime.”