Just over a month ago the U.S. Women’s National Team took home the ultimate soccer trophy: the World Cup. Thousands took to the streets of New York City to celebrate the team’s incredible feat, but one company showed their enthusiasm well before the tournament had even begun.
Wildfang was founded in 2010 by Emma McIlroy and Julia Parlsey in Portland, Oregon. The two adventurous designers sought to extend the boundaries of women’s fashion and they've done a hell of a good job at it. Many of the new World Champs, including Heather O'Reilley, Sydney Leroux, and Kelly O'Hara, have sported Wildfang looks.
LF correspondent, Bianca Guerrero, recently interviewed Emma about Wildfang, tomboy fashion, and female athletes. #gameface
What inspired Wildfang to “liberate menswear”? More specifically, how is shopping at Wildfang different than simply shopping in the men's section at any retail store?
We work seriously hard to find men’s styles that work on a women's body. We send four buyers and stylists out onto the market to try on items and build outfits. We shoot every product on body and work with brands like Peau de Loup to get the fit exactly right for the female body. In addition we make many of our own styles, which go through numerous fit sessions and are built specifically for the tomboy frame.
The #gameface series beautifully showcased America’s future Rapinoes and Wambaches of soccer. Where did Wildfang find these budding athletes?
We sent the call out to some local Portland soccer coaches, telling them that we needed badass young female soccer players for a new campaign. Every single girl was a soccer player or enthusiast. We did zero casting and zero styling. What you see is 100% real and raw and very, very badass.
The Women’s World Cup was wildly popular, but female athletes are still facing tough hurdles. They are paid much less than their male counterparts and were forced to play on artificial (instead of natural) turf. What is Wildfang’s take on the inequalities female athletes currently face?
First off, we prefer to just call them 'athletes.' That's what they are. World class athletes who work their butts off and provide hope and entertainment for millions of others - young and old - around the world. From the stats we read it seems like more Americans watched the Women's World Cup final than the Men's World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina, or the NBA Finals or the Stanley Cup. If they can generate the television audience, then they should share in revenues of that. Those women are the reason people watched and adverts were sold. They should, without question, be compensated appropriately.
Wildfang flaunts the tomboy label with pride and confidence. However, not everyone looks at the word so positively: for some, it is considered an insult. Is part of Wildfang’s fashion revolution reclaiming the word as one of strength?
For us, it has never meant anything else. Myself and Julia, Wildfang’s other co-founder, grew up with grandmothers who were tomboys and as kids, we both had best friends who were guys. Our inspirations – Janet Jackson, Abby Wambach, Agnes Deyn, Cara Delevingne to name a few – all self-describe as tomboys. For us, it's not a trend. It's an attitude and a set of values and we wildly encourage it.
Official Site: http://www.wildfang.com