Portuguese brand Wolf & Rita invited me to their design studio and factory, located in the heart of the textile region in North Portugal. A very interesting tour and a great occasion to better know this young and promising brand.

It was a misty day when I reached the historic town of Guimarães, located 60 km north of Porto. The little town of 52,000 habitants is the “cradle city” of Portugal and part of the Unesco heritage. It is also in the heart of the textile industry. I met Claudia and Sonia near the old castle and followed their car up the hills to the factory, a rather new and modern building.

Sisters Sonia and Claudia Rocha launched their childrenswear brand Wolf&Rita less than a year ago, combining their passion for quality and their family heritage. For next season, 30 stores worldwide will sell their products, and it all happened quite suddenly and rather quickly.

With a double degree in psychology and chinese acupuncture, Sonia, the oldest of the two sisters,  was not really thinking she would end up working in the textile industry. But when her father asked for temporary help at his shirt factory, she accepted and just never left the place.

She had lived in London for four years with her husband, photographer Carlos Lobo who was doing a Master in Visual Communication at Goldsmiths University, and they were back to Portugal. Speaking English very well was what interested Sonia’s father, as he wanted to develop his international clientele.

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It’s when Sonia  started to feel totally comfortable in her father’s factory that the idea to start her own brand came to her. By then she had two children and she naturally decided to create a line dedicated to children. Since she was missing an education in design, she decided to convince her sister to join. Claudia, who graduated from fashion school Citex in Porto, was then working for Inditex (Zara) in La Coruna, Spain, as a designer for Uterque, one of the several brands of the Spanish group.

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Claudia didn’t take long before accepting. and the two sister started their children’s shirt brand. Carlos, Sonia’s husband, photographer and teacher at the Universidade Católica in Porto, realised the image campaign. His fresh story of children playing indians were shared at high speed on social media. The beginning of the adventure went well with the “Rising Star” award won at Bubble London, as well of great press coverage.  There was just a “little” problem with the name that Sonia and Claudia had picked up (a combination of Claudia’s nick name and their father’s last name), as it created conflict with an existing brand. A mistake that could have them costed a lot of time, money and energy, wouldn’t they have their own production factory and a father who helped finding very reactive producing sources for new labels, new buttons, new embroideries in only a few days.


After that, Wolf and Rita was born. Wolf is the translation of Portuguese Lobo and Rita for Sonia’s daughter.

Focused on quality and design, Sonia and Claudia are also proud to manufacture their products with an ecological approach. They use recycled products for packaging services, avoiding plastic products whenever possible.  All the fabrics and trimmings (labels, buttons, thread) are bought and produced by companies located within a 25 miles distance. The catalogues are printed by a local charity organisation that gives home and support to children in need.

The first collection was in 100% cotton with also one model, the ceremony white shirt, that adds a little percentage of elasthane.  For their second season, Claudia and Sonia have added more fabrics to the range, that counts about 30 shirts, a skirt and a pair of pants. A wide selection that allows parents to choose a shirt for their children, just as they would do for themselves.

WOLF & RITA SUMMER 14For next season Carlos has shots children in a luxurious nature that echoes the animal prints of the shirts. Another great story in a very Brazilian atmosphere…

Awaiting for the new collection and full list of retailers, you can shop Wolf & Rita’s collection online (own e-store) and at 1965kids.com and fatimamendes.com.

Wolf + RitaWolf + Rita and Me

The family factory, called Mefri, now also produces for other children’s labels, including Bobo Choses.