FK chats to Sam and Pip from their brand new label, The Wolf and I
The Wolf and I is a collaboration between the two of you. Can you tell us more?
The Wolf and I believe dressing for everyday life is where a woman’s true style emerges. It is a collection of effortless garments with individual unabashed style inspired by our surroundings and everything we love.
After hundreds of coffees and months of preparation we are just about to launch The Wolf and I. It is all very new and exciting. We are really enjoying the whole roller coaster ride so far.
What will you bring from your backgrounds with two successful labels to The Wolf and I?
Sam – I have been in the fashion industry for a long time. I currently manage my own fashion agency and have a small children’s clothing line Ohme Ohmi. Having worked in all areas of the industry over the years – retail, wholesale manufacturing both local and overseas it has given me an insight on how to get started and what pot holes to avoid! Starting a clothing label from scratch is a new experience for me and I am excited and nervous about the whole process.
Pip – Coming from a graphic communication background, I know all to well the stresses of working to deadlines and being part of a creative process. Once children came along I was happy to give up that tedious industry and find a more rewarding career path! Life became a mixture of creative ventures: production designer for an SBS television series, painting children’s furniture and eventually Pip&Maude handmade cards and stationary. I have always had an interest in fashion… not labels and names but developing my own individual style and trying my best not to follow trends.
Although our backgrounds are quite different we both have a lot to offer our label. Together we have been able to find a comfortable balance between work and family life, albeit a little hectic at times.
Can you describe your creative process and everyday surroundings to us?
We both work from our own homes so a lot of the creative process happens over coffee at our local St Kilda haunts! We can often be found sitting at the Galleon or Il Fornaio with our note pads and laptops for hours or fossicking through fabrics and trims to find inspiration. It is lovely not to be confined to an office or a timetable preferring to work at our own pace. Our homes are both filled with an eclectic mix of old meets new which we are noticing is reflected in our designs.
We are very fortunate to have met with exceptional Melbourne manufactures and trim specialists who have been very supportive in helping us get started. Having been extremely happy with the overall quality we would like to keep the majority of our manufacturing in Melbourne.
While designing The Wolf and I we came across a talented young illustrator, Amy Blackwell, who we commissioned to design our ‘wolf’. We love Amy’s work, she has truly captured the essence of our label.
What inspired you both to work together and what inspires your work?
Having been friends for over 10 years we had talked about starting a small lifestyle clothing range for quite some time with the idea of designing what we would love to wear ourselves. The planning process started in Sept 2010 from where it naturally evolved over a few months and we finally launched our first collection at the end of April 2011.
We have both been on the ‘designer market scene’ for quite a few years with our own businesses Pip&Maude and Ohme Ohmi. We enjoy the atmosphere and it’s ever inspiring group of diverse and talented retailers selling their wares. Being a little older and wiser these days enabling us to face challenges with a lot more confidence and enthusiasm.
What advice to you have for others wanting do start their own label?
Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Always ask questions and listen a to the advice of others in the industry. Start small, dream big.
What exciting things do you have planned for this year and where do you hope to see The Wolf and I?
At this point our focus is mainly on the designer markets and gauging peoples reaction to The Wolf and I. Slow and steady at this stage.
The process of building our website and online store is underway and we have started thinking about our next exciting range for Winter 2012 including the introduction of a knitwear component.