Central Saint Martins graduate Chessie Grievson launched Tephi in 2009 after spotting a gap in the market for semi-bespoke bridal and formalwear at a mid-range price point.
“My clients loved the concept of slightly changing clothes to suit their shape or colouring,” says Grievson. “My designs merge the gap between occasionwear and elegant summer dressing.”
Grievson grew up just outside of London and the brand is so-called after her sister’s middle-name. The now Kensington-based designer couples a relaxed, clean-lined aesthetic with a predominantly pastel colour palette for a feminine collection with cross-generational appeal.
The brand caused a stir earlier this year when Pippa Middleton stepped out at Wimbledon in the effortlessly lady-like Rome dress. The ‘Pippa effect’ boosted sales overnight, as orders flew in for the drop-shoulder, mint green piece with a subtle side split (£385). “It was such a fabulous surprise to see Pippa wearing the dress. She looked incredible and our web traffic instantly increased. We had an influx of orders, including quite a few from the US and overseas.”
The dress stars in the brand’s new ready-to-wear collection, alongside wafting silk skirts and backless maxi dresses. Both contemporary and timeless, Tephi achieves an accessible price-point without compromising on construction, all of which takes place in England. “We are a British brand and I want to support British manufacturing,” says Grievson. “By doing so, I can oversee the quality on a daily basis and the control of this is very important for a growing brand.”
Further high-profile Tephi fans include Chloe Delevingne and Jodie Kidd. “I would love if Laura Bailey or Arizona Muse wore something from Tephi as I think their elegance would suit my designs. Or perhaps Daisy Lowe, whose curves would beautifully accentuate the cut of clothes.”