It’s the conundrum that vexes many a modern woman: how to make your wardrobe work for your city or office-based job, your weekends in the country, and your desire not to be pigeonholed via your dress choices as either ‘classic’ or ‘contemporary’. We seek that elusive balance: pieces that seamlessly cross over. Happily, the Really Wild label is developing as a perfect all-round solution.
Founded in 2002 by dynamic designer and entrepreneur Natalie Lake to create a line of updated shootingwear for the Royal Berkshire Shooting School, Really Wild quickly established itself as a standalone women’s brand, inspired by a deep love of the British countryside and the colours and textures of the changing seasons. Its collections combine the best of British heritage with the most enduring of British style.
Tailored to flatter, pieces are made from the warmest wools and the most luxurious silks, combining colours and yarns to create a wardrobe that is exquisitely crafted and endlessly versatile.
British heritage, modernised, and designed to be lived in.
Back in 2002, Really Wild was an e-commerce pioneer, only opening its first bricks-and-mortar store in 2016, about 30 miles outside London in the Berkshire town of Marlow. All that is now changing, since the runaway success of the brand’s experimental pop-up store in Duke of York Square, Chelsea, launched during 2018. ‘Everyone is loving the collections,’ said Natalie, ‘and as a result we are now looking for a long-term store in London.’
This new move comes on the back of Really Wild having held to its strong point of view about sourcing from Britain.
It uses British manufacturers and mills to create exquisite bespoke tweeds and wool, refining the fabric at the weaving stage; and it works with British leather manufacturers and Liberty silk for shirts and dresses. ‘We were about country pursuits originally,’ says Natalie, ‘but we are now developing wearable pieces that move effortlessly from country to town and back again.’ A good example is the brand’s signature Spanish boots, created for the outdoors but stylish and practical in any situation; there are now over ten different footwear designs, from the heeled Chelsea boot in suede to the leather biker boot.
Masters in the art of layering – an advantage in the face of unpredictable British weather – the team still laugh when they recall their photoshoot for S/S’19, on a beach near Walberswick in Suffolk. ‘It was a highlight of the year. The light was beautiful but the weather had suddenly turned cold after a storm. The model was dressed to look summery, but was, in fact, freezing. Fortunately, one of the S/S’19 looks is a tailored jacket over a flowing maxi dress. The shoot showed exactly how this would work in real life.’
Along with its retail plans, Really Wild has been reviewing its digital marketing capabilities. A fresh, modern website is being launched, designed in-house to provide a more sophisticated customer journey, taking into account the brand’s 15-year experience of how customers like to shop. For now, the business is a tight-knit group of around 12 – but with international expansion plans on the horizon, things could be about to get really wild.
REALLY WILD UNIT B1-B2, ACCESS TWELVE, STATION ROAD, THEALE, RG7 4PN +44 (0)1491 352600