Who: Lisa Sabrier and Carolyn Main
What did you do before launching your own line/what is your fashion background?
Since graduating in Textile Design at London’s Central St. Martins College, we work for established names in the world of design such as Alexander McQueen and Balmain, our time at St.Martins gave us the confidence and skills to pursue a career in fashion; it brought us our friendship, and it brought us to WATG. It’s really the best thing to work with your friend everyday. It sounds cheesy but it’s really true.
Our passion for knitting tricks on sticks was a hand-me-down straight from our Grandma’s, we still enjoy the startled looks on people face’s when they realize we’re professional knitters.
How did the line come to be?
Unlike other fashion brand – we have the challenge to design pieces that are not only easy to wear but easy to knit. The whole creative process inspires us, but more specifically the textiles and craftsmanship behind design. The early stages of designing for WATG are the most exciting. We discuss and brainstorm, sketch and paint, and make a big creative mess. Then from the sketches we develop the textiles and knitting samples with different yarns and stitches, all while remembering to keep our designs easy to knit and easy to wear. Then it’s off to Peru, where we work with an incredible team of Peruvian knitters. They are the most inspiring women we’ve ever met, not only for their mind-blowing skills but their whole attitude to life and their warmth and generosity. Every step of the design process is so rewarding. Once we receive the samples the pattern – writing process begins – to write a perfect pattern we must knit the product at least 4-6 times to make sure every step of the pattern is correct. One out of place stitch can ruin a project for our knitters and for us it’s our responsibility to write the patterns in easy to follow manner.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge thus far was opening the Wool and the Gang studio/shop – we gave ourselves 4 weeks. It was a real intense and incredibly fun time. We worked day and night, building and painting, running around the city, we put all our love, sweat and tears to build the store. As soon as the first customers started to come in, it was the most rewarding moment to see people getting inspired to be creative.
What’s the ballsiest thing you’ve had to do to for your business?
We feel everyday you have to be ballsy in this fashion business.
Where do you see Wool and the Gang five years from now?
As Lisa Sabrier, our founder said, “Wool And The Gang is a school.” We don’t only offer DIY kits, but we also teach people skills; we have video tutorials online, and we organize knitting parties around the world. We aim to build our wool school and continue to promote creative approaches to sustainable living by providing chic and individual alternatives to disposable fashion.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Entering the fashion world is daunting but we don’t think anyone should be put off. If you work hard, and you’re good at what you do, there is hope. It takes being creative and having fun with your work, even under pressure. At the end of the day it is a business. Don’t be scared, be excited!