Dilli Grey founder, Vickie el Rayyes
Vickie El-Rayyes launched Dilli Grey in 2015 after 20 + years in fashion, including senior buying roles at retailers Monsoon, Warehouse and East. Her early beginnings, growing up in enviable destinations such as Hong Kong and the Middle East, and then later studying European languages, imprinted Vickie with a wanderlust and international outlook that is the heartbeat of Dilli Grey.
A modern-day Silk Road explorer, Vickie is magnetically drawn to the Far East and indeed, one of her most vivid early memories was holidaying in Bali and Indonesia. However, her engrained need to explore places and cultures is not sated by hammocks and sandy shores alone. Consumed by a passion for art that incited her to inter-rail around Europe’s magnificent art galleries as a teenager, Vickie is eternally fascinated by creativity and is often to be found delving into the archives or poring over exhibits at her favourite museum – the V & A.
Scouting vintage markets in the Far East with her mother in the 80’s ignited Vickie’s love for colour, pattern and texture and her years as a fashion buyer, not only honed her vision, but fuelled a passion to set up her own business.
For Vickie, travel and, in particular, the beauty of India are an eternal source of inspiration and a driving force behind her creativity. From exploring the dusty byways of Rajasthani villages to soaking up the vibrant hues of her beloved Jaipur, the Pink City, Vickie has happily spent months, if not years, uncovering the many layers of India, to create and bring beautiful, unique pieces back home - all with that covetable Dilli Grey flourish!
Meet the rest of the Dilli Grey Team...
Content and Marketing manager, Lydia Mansi
At Dilli Grey I… bring you the stories and the inspiration behind the end products you buy and love. Every day varies - from travelling with Vickie to India to meet our artisans and learn about the heritage skills used to create our products, to crafting our website content, overseeing photoshoots and ultimately ensuring our customers learn just how much love, passion and skill has gone into every design.
India is magic because… it created paneer. My single most favourite thing to come out of the country. Besides cheese, it has to be the mindblowing talent of the artisans we are lucky enough to work with. Watching handblock printers lay down a print with such precision, or the speed and deft of a hand embroiderer's needle... it makes me beyond proud that we get to support and showcase these heritage techniques, for the next generation.
When I’m not at Dilli Grey HQ I love to… walk my rescue pup in the woods and on the beaches of Devon, where we live (and eat paneer, did I mention that?).
Other ethical brands I love to champion are… The handmade, bio-acetate eyewear brand, Monc make incredible specs that are completely biodegradable and I love their coloured frames. I also love the traditional woven baskets from Wovenology, created by artisan weavers in Ghana.
This season, my favourite Dilli Grey item is… my Chaka Dress - I'm obsessed with vintage and it feels so nostaglic to me with the quilted yolk. It's such an easy dress to wear and I get so many compliments about it. I'll be wearing it this autumn with a skinny poloneck underneath and tan leather boots.
Customer Services manager, Milly Murray
At Dilli Grey I... take care of all customer inquiries and questions. Being part of a small business I believe that it is incredibly important to put the time and energy into providing excellent customer service and to be a friendly and approachable voice at the end of the phone. I love problem solving and getting to the bottom of things so you can email me with all your Dilli Grey questions!
When I'm not at Dilli Grey HQ I love to... read and listen to podcasts! Being a creative person I also love visiting gallery exhibitions and trawling vintage clothing shops with friends.
This season my favourite Dilli Grey item is... my Neela blue Farah dress, the oversized sleeves are fab and the dress itself is the most comfortable outfit that I own. I'm such a fan of clothes that can be dressed up or down and this amazing dress works perfectly with my vintage denim jacket and trainers!