How did the idea for Wiino come about?
The idea for Wiino stemmed from the need I had for a product that could fit my necessities. When I shop, I take into consideration many factors such as the fabric quality, originality of design, what that ‘brand’ represents to me and the attention to the small details. I want products that meet my expectations as a customer and Wiino represents that for me. From luxuriously soft fabrics with subtle sophisticated designs, to a t-shirt that does not need to be ironed. Every detail is taken into consideration.
I previously worked selling shares of British companies, dealing closely with the companies and the people associated. It had always been a dream of mine to work in fashion and start my own line. My previous job gave me insight into what I would like my company to be like and the knowledge of how to go about achieving it.
Have you always been interested in fashion?
Yes always. Fashion is present in our everyday and helps us to describe and differentiate ourselves. When we are consuming fashion, we are consuming identity.
What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
There have been many high points, notably when we received our first pre-production samples. The feeling of seeing something you have put so much heart into come to life was incredible. Also, making our first sales was fun for sure, seeing people respond very positively to the brand, after all they are the people who gave Wiino the opportunity to exist.
The lowest point would be the starting off with little to no public awareness. It takes time to build a special relationship with our customers.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Rio de Janeiro, the city that is sunny the whole year round. It hasn’t just inspired the design side of our new range out this June, but also the direction. Along with new t-shirt designs, we are expanding the ranges we offer, introducing, shirts, swimwear, smart/casual shorts and a line of leather accessories.
Do you ever struggle to stay inspired?
I think inspiration comes when you are in an environment that you feel happy in, often when you don't expect it. During our day to day life, we are lucky to be in contact with what we love, good food, fashion, people, nature...the inspiration comes naturally.
Where is your go-to meeting spot?
Being from Cape Town myself, and my partner from Rio de Janeiro, we like to be outdoors. In this latest range, the beach was our part time office.
How would you describe your customer base?
Our customer base is a reflection of the content we produce and the ways we manifest ourselves. Wiino is a brand for the cosmopolitan man, that strikes a balance between the metropolis and nature. A man with a young mind, who preserves their attention for small details and original design, in a minimalist setting.
What are the morals you run your brand by?
We have many strong ethical principles and we incorporated them from day one. Firstly, all our factories are ISO certified and located in the EU.
Secondly, we ensure the design originality and garment quality is always premium. The environment has always been important for me being from such a naturally beautiful city.
Do you have a mentor?
No not really, but if I ever need some advice I call close friends or family. My older brother especially, has always guided me in the right direction.
What apps keep you sane?
I am not a big app user. Whatsapp is what I would use most from day to day. Even our designs are created the old fashioned way, with pencil and paper. We cut our drawings out, place them and try envisage how they would look best. I find it easier to play around with things that I can touch and move around with my hands.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
The African Ants t-shirt. Tomorrow I will probably have another favourite.
What’s the biggest style mistake you’ve ever made?
Probably at the carnival, but it doesn't count.
Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?
Yohji Yamamoto springs to mind immediately. I admire the fabric quality that he uses as I know it comes at a premium. He frequently makes designs far removed from global trends, with a lot of baggy drapes, very modern cuts, generally in black. His clothes change shape as the person moves, creating an almost over sized silhouette.
It has inspired us to raise the bar and introduce a silk blend into our upcoming range. The fabric reminds me of a t-shirt I used to have of his, the minute you touch it, you know.
Is there anyone you would love to see wearing your designs?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“If you do something that you love, you never work another day in your life”
What drew you to Wolf & Badger?
I knew of them as a customer before I became a designer with them, it felt natural to take the next step. I thought that our brands would be complimentary to each other and that they would help us reach a wider audience. It has allowed us to continue doing what we love.
Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
With a stronger market presence, allowing us to consolidate ourselves in the UK market and expand Wiino into other countries. This will allow us the possibility to produce ecological and recycled garments, delivering the same attractive designs in an even more organic way.