As I was walking the isles of Bubble back in June, I came across a newer brand or new to me Milk & Rock, now Wolf & Rita. I was taken back by their lovely striped and tropical prints paired with beautiful silhouettes. It's a collection that I would want to see in my daughter's closest. It's easy, eye-catching and a brand you want to support. Unfortunately there were some complications with their originally name but this does not change their purpose and direction of the brand. This name change makes them stronger and makes you want their clothes even more. I had the chance to sit down and chat with Claudia and Sonia, here is what they had to say:
1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF? WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
We are sisters and although we have different professional backgrounds we are working in our father's company, which has been producing shirts for a long time. We decided to create a childrenswear brand specialising in shirts because we have the know-how and because we think there is a place in the market for this type of product.
Claudia- I am a fashion designer and I have worked in Inditex for some years. I have taught in fashion school and I have worked in a another manufacturer for adultwear before joining this adventure. My sister Sonia has a background in science, she has studied psychology and traditional chinese medicine and worked as an acupuncturist for some time. She now deals with all the sales and everything with numbers involved...
2. HOW DID THE IDEA FOR WOLF & RITA COME ABOUT?
We believe that the in the childrenswear market there is a place for quality shirts and we don´t know any other brand that specialises in this. On the other hand, we really wanted to bring some freshness to our father's company, start something from scratch that we could call our own, our project.
3. WHAT DOES MILK AND ROCK / WOLF & RITA MEAN?
Up until yesterday we were Milk & Rock as a homage to our parents. Our mother’s maiden name is Leite (Portuguese for milk) and our father’s surname is Rocha (Portuguese for rock). Unfortunately we had to change the name due to an unhappy similarity with another brand name, so we picked my kids names, their surname is Lobo (Portuguese for wolf) and Rita, my daughter’s name. We also thought of it as a little fairytale…Rita and the Wolf, but the other way around.
We aim to maintain a meaning to the name, as this is important for us.
4. HOW DO YOU SET YOURSELF APART FROM OTHER CHILDRENSWEAR BRANDS?
I believe that what differentiates us the most from other brands is the specialization in one product: we are good at making shirts so we are investing are all in it. We want to appeal both to kids and to parents, create styles for kids that parents want for themselves. We are also trying to create an image that could be recognizable, for example if someone sees one of our shirts, or even one of our lookbook photos and think “oh this is probably from Wolf&Rita…”
5. BEING FROM PORTUGAL, DOES THIS INFLUENCE YOUR DESIGNS?
No not really. Being done in our father’s company does influence our designs because we feel freer to experiment. In general our product doesn’t fit the Portuguese type of product, as what you see here is more the classic type of shirt.
6. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR SS 14 COLLECTION?
After such a long and cold winter we just thought of summer time and the wonderful song "summertime" original by George Gershwin interpreted by Devendra Banhart. Kids playing, birds singing, the sun shining. Fresh fabrics (100% cotton), colourful and vibrant prints.
7. BESIDES YOUR OWN LINE, WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDRENSWEAR DESIGNERS?
Bobo Choses has created a fantastic brand, in our opinion they have the perfect balance between good products, good image, beautiful design and imagery. We also love Soft Gallery, but in the most recent edition of Playtime Paris we made some impressive discoveries like Little Creative Factory.
8. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? DOES THIS INFLUENCE YOUR COLLETION? WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WOMENSWEAR DESIGNERS?
My style is quite particular. I love to put on my 50´s skirts and I really fell well in them. At the same time, I feel perfect in a black t-shirt, jeans and ballerinas. In adult wear I love Celine, Dries Van Noten, Dior Homme, Christian Dior, Acne and Prada.
My style doesn’t influence Milk&Rock collections. I have to think about the kids that are going to wear them and try to imagine clothes that will make them happy.
9. IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD THIS BE?
We have a little surprise as we already have a collaboration settled for our next Winter collection, but a collaboration with Raf Simmons or Hedi Slimane would be more than welcome!
10. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAFÉ, BOOKSHOP, STORE YOU GO TO FOR INSPIRATION?
We live in a small town, unfortunately lacking any nice cafés and bookshops, but a big part of this brand work has been done in Café Vitória(www.cafevitoria.com), in Porto, where we meet with the designer who is doing our website. A beautiful place to hang out and have a glass of Porto Wine.
11. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
We have a very good friend, Fatima Mendes, who runs a successful business (fatimamendes.com). She has been great and kept telling us from the beginning to think big and always believe we could get somewhere. It seems like a cliché but it is so helpful, it makes you do things.
12. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO US?
Be original and faithful to what you believe in. Respect other people. This way you will be raising kids that one day will be beautiful people.
13. ANY EXCITING NEWS OR PLANS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?
The new winter collection is coming out really cool. The still secret collaboration with another designer.
Claudia is getting married in September, this is exciting!
|Claudia and Sonia at Bubble!
|Beautiful collection on Bubble!