Roxane Horton, Alexandria Main designer, @alexandriamain
Roxane Horton is the designer behind loungewear label Alexandria Main. Not only does Roxane create the most luxurious sleepwear, robes and silk maxi dresses, but the label was created as a 'fashion with purpose' project. Roxane chose to work in Cambodia because the legacy of the terrible Pol Pot regime left the country with one of the greatest needs for income. She’s worked hard to seek out production partners who care about their sewers and weavers, and who provide fair wages, training and a working environment that enriches their lives. As well as this, 10% of all Alexandria Main profits are donated to an organisation that exists to improve the lives of women and children in Cambodia.
Besides working and travelling regularly to Cambodia, Roxane has been travelling the world since age 4 and was able to share a few of her favourite places around the world with us.
When did you discover your love for travel?
When I was four my family lived overseas for 2 and a half years for my father’s work. I started kindergarten in Copenhagen and school in Boston and also started my love of travel!
Favourite travel destination? Why?
Phnom Penh is my favourite place to visit because that’s where I get all my Alexandria Main clothes made. It’s crazy and chaotic and I feel most alive when I’m there. The pace of change is quick and every time I go back there is a new eatery or shop to discover.
What are your top tips for visiting that city or country?
Dress lightly but modestly. It can be a challenging city for a variety of reasons (eg seeing poverty, the heat, footpaths that aren’t easy to walk on, the traffic) so just go with the flow and make sure you take some time to lie by a pool or have a spa treatment each day to recharge.
Any hidden markets, shops or restaurants that you’re willing to share with us?
Also Bliss Spa for incredible jasmine and rose petal scrubs
Backyard Cafe is an amazing vegan health food place and where I go for lunch every day.
How have your travels inspired your home?
I have a large collection of Cambodian handwoven cotton blankets from going there regularly. More broadly, travelling has meant I’m a little allergic to buying chain store ‘fast homewares’ that rip off other cultures. I’d much sooner hop on Etsy and buy something authentic that is made by local artisans or buy textiles that have been sourced by others who have travelled and brought things back.
What’s your favourite space in your home and why?
My TV room/library is painted dark grey and the only colour comes from the books on the shelves. It’s intimate and quiet and is like being wrapped in a hug.
How would you describe your style when it comes to interiors?
I guess I’d describe my style as eclectic. I love a mix of old and new pieces - I’ve got modern couches with old batik cotton cushions. The only prerequisite is that every individual piece must have beauty and authenticity.
What’s your favourite travel treasure?
It’s a framed photograph of an art installation I saw in Milan. The words ‘Everything is going to be alright’ were spelled out in huge neon on the side of a building. My brother had just died and I was feeling far from alright - it seemed like a good luck sign so I wanted to capture it and bring it home.
How have your travels influenced your work?
I design clothes to be packed and travelled with. Every Alexandria Main item comes in its own cloth travel bag that has been made by graduates of a sewing school in Siem Reap that was set up to provide skills to the neediest women in the community. All my pieces pack down into teeny tiny squares that fit easily in a suitcase.
What are your top travel tips when it comes to discovering beautiful hotels, restaurants or sites?
I have a compilation of lists on my phone segmented into cities and places I’m planning to visit and every time I read or hear of someplace special in that place I add it to the list.
My go-to travel guide books are the Louis Vuitton city guides and the Luxe travel guides. They have surprisingly affordable insider lists of great hotels, shopping and restaurants. I also always check out the Conde Nast Traveller website.
What kind of traveller are you? Do you plan every moment or are you free-spirited?
I’m more of a planner - I like to make the most of the time I have in a place. Although if it’s not a work trip and it’s somewhere new, I like to spend the first day walking, getting lost and just soaking up the vibe.
Where and what is your favourite hotel and why?
The Upper House in Hong Kong is hands down my favourite hotel [editor note: we agree! We recently visited Upper House and instantly fell in love with it]. The interior is an exquisitely calm, restful, zen space and the service is beyond compare.
Where was your most recent trip?
I was in Auckland for a friend’s birthday a week ago. I highly recommend Amano restaurant in Britomart. They serve rustic Italian food - everything sourced locally and with a focus on sustainability, and beautiful decor.
Where is your next overseas trip?
I’m going to Rome for another friend’s birthday - staying at the H’All Hotel which she has booked out for the weekend. It will be my first time in Rome, so I’m super excited!