Here at Instinct’s, we are great admirers of Wolf & Rita and its accurate arty spirit. During last Playtime Paris, we could have a chat with Claudia and Sonia Rocha, the co-founders of the brand. Warm thanks to them !
Instinct : Could you tell us about the mood of Wolf & Rita SS17 and FW17 collections ? Claudia :For SS17 season, we had a collaboration with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. It was amazing : his team allowed us to look into the archives and make a selection of favorites ! Our SS17 collection pays tribute to Louise Bourgeois and the FW17 collection is inspired by 3 artists : John Baldessari, Shoji Ueda and Eduardo Matos. We are inspired by artist’s works and art of living. We love playing with art references. This is part of our DNA.
Wolf & Rita x J.C. Castelbajac
Instinct : Yes, your themes and prints are always surprising, full of visual inventions. Your colour ranges are very original too ! Claudia :Probably because we are very free when designing our collections : we like to surprise ourselves and create something new out of the creations of these great artists we get inspired!
Instinct : The brand started with a family story. Could you describe the way you work (how is organized the work process between you, is your dad helping… ?) Claudia :I work on the creative part in tandem with Carlos, our photographer. For example, for FW17, I painted some peanuts and Carlos took a picture of them. Then we rearranged it to create an all-over print. Sonia deals with the commercial activity. Our dad continues working in his shirt factory; he doesn’t properly work with us.
Instinct : What is your feeling about fashion industry these times : whereas brands are more and more conscious of the waste caused by fast fashion, few of them seam to really take account of the emergency. Most of the time, greenwashing is the only response. Do you see any rays of hope ? Claudia :Yes, for sure. I have the feeling that more and more brands are concerned with environmental and social issues, and are actually involved in ethical and transparent processes. Hopefully they’ll become drivers for the whole textile industry.
Instinct :New brands (especially for kids) have been blossoming recently in Portugal. There seam to be a new energy here. Claudia :A lot of brands come to Portugal because they are concerned with good work conditions or because they don’t want their production to be done too far. It’s easier to stay close to check all the steps of manufacturing. Even if the prices are a bit higher, Portugal is pretty attractive and there is a genuine savoir-faire here. This can be one of the reasons why new brands set up here.
Wolf & Rita team at Playtime (Carlos, Claudia, Nuno and Sonia). Images from Wolf & Rita SS17 collection
Instinct : Wolf & Rita is fully committed into local economy, it’s one of your main values… Claudia :Yes, indeed. Everything is done the most locally possible. The knits for example are made 10 minutes from our headquarters. It’s a choice : it’s important to us to support work in the area we live; preserving jobs is a key to create a dynamic for all the social life around.
Instinct : Who are the children of your lookbooks ? Claudia :They are the kids of the family. They are the first users of the clothes, so they test their comfort and the wear-resistance of the fabrics !
Instinct :And it’s very nice to see them grow up through your collections ! Last question : You just launched a Man / Woman capsule. New perspectives for Wolf & Rita ? Claudia :The main focus is and will be kidswear. But we want to bring some novelties every season. It could be homewear, Man and Woman. We will try to have news for our customers every season.