When I was introduced to knitting a couple of years ago, the crafter in me couldn't help but fall in love. I purchased a couple of knitting books, but I found that there were very few patterns that I was attracted to. Most patterns appeared to be made for older women. It seemed that knitting wasn't catered to a younger, more modern audience. After discovering the Wool and the Gang, I felt that there was a place in the world of knitting for me. Wool and the Gang is a knitting company that is targeted towards everyone. They produce their own yarn, sell knitting kits, and make seasonal knitwear collections. I had the privilege of interviewing two of the gang's NYC-based knitwear designers, Jade Harwood and Aurélie Nicod Popper.
How did you find Wool and the Gang and what made you want to design for them?
Lisa Sabrier, the founder of WATG, found us! For Lisa the team of WATG is very important, she curated a team of like-minded people who share the same values. We had previously worked together at Balmain, when we were finishing our course at Central Saint Martin's, that's where Lisa found us and brought us on board.
How would you describe your individual styles for knitting designs?
We're inspired by the basic pieces of one's wardrobe, our personal styles...we would say are chic and casual...the styles we aim to create at WATG are basic pieces, that are easy to knit and easy to wear with a stylish twist.
What is one of your favorite pieces that you designed for Wool and the Gang?
The Supremes Sweaters! They're basic key pieces of our summer collection. The kit comes with 3 patterns, 3 knitting levels, 3 styles and 3 stitches.
What knitwear designer's work do you admire?
Jade: Tom Scott - super innovative shapes and textiles. And not to mention he is the nicest guy who works really hard and takes nothing for granted.
Aurélie : Mark Fast - a leader of craftsmanship, his machine knitting skills are mesmerizing!
When did you learn to knit?
Jade: My grandmother taught me to knit at 7 years old, I was obsessed with making little outfits for all my toys.Aurélie: Same for me, my grandmother taught me to knit. Our love for knitting heightened when we both studied textiles and decided to specialize in knit.
Do you wear your own designs?
Yes, we love to rock out the knitwear, especially when they have arrived fresh off the boat from Peru. We've had the incredible experience of going to Peru to work with the artisans, so wearing our designs knitted by them is very special to us. The quality and skill of our Peruvians knitters is incomparable. In general, we're always sporting a piece of knitwear here and there.
What can we look forward to from Wool and the Gang?
The Gang is going global. We envisage a WATG tour bus that will travel around America, stopping in every city where we can host a knitting party. Simultaneously we are developing our new website. The digital world has had a huge impact on the fashion industry. We're developing new social media platforms so that WATG is accessible from wherever you are in the world.
A huge thank you to Jade and Aurélie for participating in the interview, I can't wait to see more of Wool and the Gang in the future. I'd love for the WATG bus to stop in my city! xo Ella
PS: I'll be gone for a month at camp, more blogging to come...