Freelance Designer

Although commercially successful, lack of financial acumen closed the business, and Rhodes went on become a freelance designer, producing her first solo collection in 1969. She was encouraged by a successful visit to New York, where she sold work to the department store Henri Bendel, but it was difficult to convince buyers from the big British department stores to stock avant-garde designers. Marit Allen, then editor of "Young Ideas" in Vogue, showed Rhodes's clothes in the pages of the magazine, even though they had no retail outlet at the time. The ploy persuaded retailers that there was a market for innovative design, and Allen introduced Rhodes's clothes to the London store Fortnum and Mason.

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