The enthralling city that is New York inspires the two fabulous women behind Sofi Wolf a contemporary womenswear label emerging on the fashion scene. This dynamic mother daughter duo Liz Wolf and Sophie Blahd launched their label early 2013 to fulfil their dream of becoming co-designers. Once Liz and her husband moved to join daughter Sophie in the big apple in late 2012, Sophie explained “The timing was perfect. Liz had just retired from her career as an illustrator, so instead of letting her enjoy her retirement we started down this crazy path!” With Teen Vogue naming Sofi Wolf as their favourite new design team and their unique vibrant textiles created by Liz on their youthful designs creating a fresh buzz with the launch of their Spring Summer 2014 collection. The Digital Fashion Platform asked the ladies all things New York and spring fashion excitement!
Sophie: New York is such an amazing and vibrant city; we really never fail to find inspiration here. The mix of cultures, foods, architecture, design, and people make it such a unique place. We both spent the majority of our life in Idaho, a place that is beautiful in a different way, but New York is really one of a kind. Our studio is located right on the NYC Highline Park. For this season we gathered a lot of inspiration from just looking outside and seeing people live their lives right in front of us. For Fall 2014 research we took a walk through Chinatown and the Bowery taking pictures of different colors, textures, people, and buildings. You will see some of this in our upcoming prints. New York also has such an amazing collection of art, which really plays a big part in our design process.
Liz: Overdue for a change, we (my husband and I) moved to New York City in July 2012 after 16 years in Idaho. I love the pace of the city and everything it has to offer. It’s really hard not to sound like a cliche.
Describe the Sofi Wolf girl
Liz: When we started the collection we really wanted to create designs that Sophie would be able to wear. I love pieces that are fun, unique, and playful. The Sofi Wolf girl definitely does not take herself too seriously, but wants to wear something that is interesting and stands out. Our collection is an interpretation of the city around us; the Sofi Wolf customer is definitely someone who values all that New York has to offer and thrives in a busy environment.
How does the fashion magic happen with a mother daughter duo?
Sophie: As a career illustrator, Liz is a talented artist and comes up with amazing print ideas. We love color and telling a story with imagery so that our clothes are beautiful but also multi dimensional and make you want to take a closer look. After deciding on prints and colors, we think about silhouette. We strive to create pieces that are fun to wear, but also flattering for most body types.
Liz: We generally come up with an idea and the finished product ends up being very different from where we started, that’s what we enjoy about working together, we are constantly making changes and edits to come up with the best finished product. It’s nice to bounce our ideas off one another, in the end the piece is really a representation of both of us.
Where do all the vibrant textiles seen in your collection come from?
Sophie: We love pairing different textiles together to create varied textures and layers. In Spring we used a lot of performance fabrics like neoprene, netting, and mesh mixed with silks. We really wanted to push the envelope and see how many non-traditional textiles we could use. Some of the combinations are really special. In terms of prints and colors, we love creating bright, graphic designs. Art and illustration play a big part in our design process, so coming up with new and interesting textiles is really important for each collection we design.
What’s the favourite piece in your Spring Summer collection?
Sophie: I really love the Parsley cap sleeve dress. The silhouette has a vintage “Mad Men” feel and the print is bright and vibrant with neon yellow piping. I wear a lot of black in New York (like most people), but sometimes it is fun and exciting to throw in something bright and totally unexpected. I’m also very into the leather color block crop top. I always love a crop and any excuse to wear leather.
Liz: My favourite is the Plaid Tea Dress (look 1) because, for me, this is the one look that ties the entire collection together. For our SS14 collection, Sophie and I designed a plaid print. The silk chiffon was sent out for screen-printing and 6 weeks later, instead of the beautiful blue plaid we were expecting, it was brown. Huge disaster. There was no place for brown in our collection. And, there was no time for a reprint. After two days of what-are-we-going-to-do, I finally began to realize the unlimited possibilities of unexpected combinations of colors and patterns. At this moment, all of the swatches and the sketches and the patterns and the shapes and the textures began to fall into place and, for the first time, I could actually visualize our group of 15 looks becoming a real Sofi Wolf Collection.