Angeline featured in House of Coco


Angeline Khoo of Rosie on Fire

Rosie On Fire is playful, flirty with a little bit of sexy. Their favourite F word is flattering and all their kimonos and pieces are made with that in mind. A little drape to cover this, a ruche to hide that, a little stretch to pop this, a sheer to show that – everything that we love here at House of Coco.

We went along to find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?

Rosie On Fire was launched in December 2015. Kimonos are something I’ve always worn as they’re really easy glam (the fashion equivalent of the perfect red lip), but they were never as flattering as I needed them to be, so Rosie On Fire was born. I wanted to bring to the market a fusion of my Western and Asian background in something modern and timeless.

The other reason for starting was because my little brother is autistic, and mum is involved in a lot of human right’s work for women. Those are causes close to my heart so I wanted to create a vehicle where I could contribute to those causes. To that end, we hire single mothers or women from low income families to do a portion of our stitching, and employ autistic people in roles that complement their strengths such as order fulfillment.

What's your background?

My family is in retailing (in the UK, that includes Laura Ashley) and it’s something I’ve always been involved in. From internships to conversations around the dinner table, my opinion was always given, sometimes unwelcomed I’m sure. Educationally, I’m trained as a lawyer and have a Masters of Science from the University of Oxford. I’m neither a very good lawyer or a scientist, so I’m lucky I landed in retailing.

Jewel Kimono

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?

We have 13 people across all areas, from advisory, legal and operations, to sales, stock and order fulfillment. We’re one small happy family!

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?

I would have started with larger quantities, improved my weak areas faster (things I hate, like excel sheets) and been a lot stricter with quality control.

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company? Feeling my way around blindly. I don’t have direct startup experience to rely on which means everything is done through a combination of advice and intuition, which is scary. You’re never quite sure whether you’re doing things right or not. Another challenge has been facing cultural differences; as we’re based out of London, Canada and Malaysia, each culture has a different way of doing business so you have to quickly adapt in order to be effective in each country.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?

My little brother is autistic and my best buddy, and I have an unconventional palate. I’ll eat things some people would find truly disgusting.

2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?

We’re expanding our kimono range and we’re also introducing ‘unders’ – beautiful wrap dresses, ruched tops, other flattering things to be worn under a kimono or by themselves. We’ve also established a stronger presence in the UK and expanding into Canada. Exciting!

Evie Kimono

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?

Oh my gosh, there have been so many. It sounds minor, but selling our first kimono was a big deal to us! It represented all the backend work no one sees and being rewarded that it’s valued. Also, being able to sponsor our first under privileged child with a portion of our sales was another big deal. And when Vogue contacted us to be featured, that was cool too. Too many to list!

Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?

Having been to all three I can say London, for sure! I’ve been here since I was 19 (not that long ago really) and there’s nowhere else in the world like it.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?

These are absolute game changers for me: Batisse XXL Volume dry shampoo, Missha Time Revolution First Essence Treatment (which is an amazing dupe for SK-II Essence) and Nars Satin lip pencil in Yu.

Style means….?

Wearing whatever makes you feel the most confident and sexiest, and not caring what the trends say.

Best thing about London to you?

The amazing theatre productions, Hyde Park, the mix of cultures, the access to travel being centrally, to name very few.

Black Heart kimono

Statement shoe or statement bag?

I wouldn’t turn down either if someone is offering! A nice giant bag, if I’ve got a choice.

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?

Underwear…and in close second our classic kimono.

Favourite love song?

Sinead O’Connor ‘Nothing Compares’ or else Shaggy ‘It Wasn’t Me’. ☺

Best place for a coffee?

I don’t drink coffee actually, but the best place for burgers in London is Shake Shack, Bone Daddies for raman, Roka for sushi, Maze for steak, Oblix lounge for the view and The Wolseley if you want to feel like a grownup.

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?

Be nice or go away and to always dress like you’re going to run into an ex.

Guilty pleasure?

Reality TV, Crime dramas, Marvel universe anything. But that’s all pleasure and no guilt.

 Iris Kimono

If you could spend 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Disneyworld of course, and in close second Bangkok or LA.

In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?

The dream is to build Rosie On Fire out into a lifestyle brand. Our next step was going into ‘unders’ which include the most flattering wrapped dresses and gathered tops. From there, accessories, jewelry, sportswear and even beauty and homeware. We don’t plan on stopping, just one thing at a time!

Source : House of Coco

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