Based in Guimarães, Portugal, Wolf & Rita is a kids label with a strong artistic approach and fine quality. Mysterious, fun, surreal, and gorgeous, their latest spring / summer 2017 capsule collection with JC de Castelbajac Paris is a perfect example of their poetic and artistic vision. With a 30-year family business experience in specialized shirt-making, Wolf & Rita’s quality represents one of the finest kids brands available today
I first met the two sisters behind the brand, Cláudia and Sónia, a couple years ago in Paris. I was inspired by their efforts to keep sustainable production local to Portugal, and also by their commitment to supporting their local community. For this interview, we asked the founders how they got started, what it’s like to run a business with a sibling, the types of sustainable measures they have implemented in their day-to-day production, and more.
How did Wolf & Rita begin and where did the name come from?
Wolf & Rita is a family business, created by us (two sisters) in our father's company. The Portuguese word LOBO translates into English as WOLF. We then added Rita, the name of Sonia's younger daughter. We wanted to use both Portuguese and English words to indicate the international representation of the brand.
How do you like working with your sibling every day? What are the unique joys - and how do you tackle the challenges together?
Claudia is the designer, and she is in charge of the creative department. I (Sónia) take care of sales and accounts. We handle quite different parts of the business but we are complementary to each other. We get along well and help each other whenever necessary.
We know it’s important to you that materials are sourced locally. Can you tell us more about that?
We live in Guimaraes, located in the Vale do Ave Region, which is historically known for its textile industry. We have suppliers for fabrics, trim, and accessories - everything manufactured near our company. There is no reason for us to outsource materials anywhere else. The best brands in the world go to Premiere Vision or other fairs to outsource materials. For us, all the materials are just a 10-minute drive away. We want to support the local industry. By creating jobs, we contribute to the economy of our country.
How do your own children influence your approach to kids’ fashion and design?
We design the collections that we want to see our kids love to wear.
If you had to sum up Wolf & Rita’s approach to kids’ fashion in one sentence, how would you describe it?
Wolf & Rita is the opposite of fast fashion, we are passionate about fashion but we are also passionate about our planet. We are an easy-to-wear Haute Couture for kids.
Here are a few sneak peeks of Wolf & Rita’s AW2017 collection - No More Boring Art. Drawing inspiration from the work of artists John Baldessari, Eduardo Matos, and Shoji Ueda, this collection is bold, joyful, and super fun. Launch Thursday 7/20.
Shop here for our curated collection from Wolf & Rita.