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Wolf by Sofie Claes

Published by Tom Vino on 17-Apr-2013 Conversations, Fashion
Tags: wolf by sofie claes

Very much like art fashion is a medium through which we as individuals are able to express ourselves; with fashion we create dreams, we create the second skin that enhances who we are and often represents what we aspire to be – the humble beginning of the designer in question who continues to build these dreams for us is Sofie Claes whose ateliers and new collection can be found in what once used to be at the epicentre of technological and intellectual exchange– the city of Antwerp. She has been identified as one of the next generation of designers to fashion our future and has since showcased her designs both at London and Paris showrooms.

Sofie Claes is at the heart and soul of her label Wolf. She prides her work for its ‘comfort, wear ability and quality’ – the garments and a range of accessories act as a second skin creating a protective sheath of natural elements, there is a sense of nostalgia and mystery about the woman that wears her designs and her new collection entitled Ag+CaCo3 exudes nothing less than that with its emphasis on quality craftsmanship, functionality and verisimilitude.

The label is not for the faint hearted, it is brave but not bold, her garments do not pop but are instead defined to the very last inch of the fabric she uses from her metal mace jacket to the draped coat from a few seasons back that looks as though it belongs on a sculpture by Claus Sluter. Sofie has not forgotten who she is or why she had started Wolf. and has since not lost a gram of passion despite the difficulties facing young talent like her on a daily basis. The humble girl has found her way through the darkest tracks of our treacherously cruel industry, she is intelligent as she is complicated almost as complicated and ravishing as her designs themselves.  Her ambition and potential is one that would equal if not better our current force of fashion talent – If my intuition serves me right then to say that she could be the next finest export out of Belgium since Ann Demeulemeester may just be an understatement.

Having first discovered her creations at the showrooms of London Fashion Week in 2012 we catch up again to see how things are getting on -

Hi Sofie, tell me a little about the inspiration behind this seasons collection.

The A/W 13 collection is named ‘Ag + CaCo3’. The title is based on the inspiration of the collection: Silver and Chalk. My collections are always starting with the research into fabrics and structures. The inspiration source is more to me than pictures or trend research. All silhouettes again have the wolf signature: very minimal but with strong appearance.

How do you ensure your collections stand out from competition?

My collections don't scream for attention, they are rather introvert; the silhouettes are always rather minimal, I do not tend to the use of bright colours and the quality of the garments is only completely revealed when you look at the details of the pieces.

What does the label Wolf. really mean to you?

My label Wolf. means of course a lot to me. On one hand it’s my job and the other hand it is a real devotion. It is very fascinating but also very hard to combine both. One moment you are following your heart and intuition and second after you are reflecting on your decisions business wise. 

What aspects of growth and development are you finding most challenging?

The biggest challenge is marketing myself... ?I guess it is in the first place staying loyal to myself, to what my brand stands for and to what I want. My vision of Wolf. is pretty clear so the branding comes pretty naturally.?For the economic part:?The Benelux market is rather small and hard to persuade; internationally it is hard to get noticed and get in contact with people when you are working every day from early till late in your atelier designing, producing and doing all the hassle that is involved in having your own company.

Where would you like to see yourself and the label in 3 years?

Alive and kicking!

There is something extraordinary about the label Wolf. and Sofie. There is an excitement in the air about the creations that inhabit her ateliers fashioning an atmosphere that entices the fleeting passers by. If it is talent, drive and soul that we look for from a designer today I would go a long way to recommend that we seek no further than Wolf by Sofie Claes for designs with a truly biting wit.

Our industry is often unkind to new creations and new talent. And new needs friends.

Tom Vino has recently finished his degree in History of Art in London, and has over the past 3 years worked across several fashion buying offices. His new venture has led him to oversee the design and development of a range of men’s accessories for the UK high street market.

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