More and more I have been trying to focus my energy and attention on smaller brands and shopping at local brick and mortars. I have a better experience in smaller stores and generally because these stores and boutiques specialize in one or a few things only, the quality of the products and the quality of the knowledge you receive while in the stores in better. This is also generally how I am introduced to new product lines and smaller brands. I was in a boutique in DC a few weeks ago when I came across my latest obsession…
Wolf vs Goat is a clothing brand of exceptional quality, fit, and simplistic elegance.
Mimicking its founder and designer Mauro Farinelli, Wolf vs Goat is American born-and-raised but with distinctive European influence and flavor.
I was lucky enough to chat with Mauro himself last week and here is what he had to say about…
- Born & Raised in America, with Italian roots
- Former Marine, MMA fighter, and denim connoisseur
- Apprenticed under an Italian seamstress in ITALY
- Got into fashion to meet “hot chicks”
- Summers in Hungary (his wife & daughter have Hungarian heritage)
The name Wolf vs Goat:
In short, it all stems from playful humor and pet names with an ex-girlfriend…
Mauro had this girlfriend, also a designer, and total bad-ass by his account. At the time they thought they were soul mates. (As you may have guessed by the “ex” prefix, that didn’t work out.) Mocking one-another for a reason I won’t publicize here, he started calling her “goat”, and she called him “wolf.” The pet names stuck as friends and family caught on. While the names started as a joke, they came to symbolize their contrasting design aesthetic and eventually when the company was formed, the names, the animals, became a great marketing and branding tool.
The Wolf vs Goat brand and designs:
The brand is a total blend of American and European fashion. Being born and raised in the states and going on to be a Marine, Mauro is extremely patriotic and wanted to create a clothing company that emulated that. His love of America explains, in large part, his commitment to producing and manufacturing his lines here in the United States. However, not wanting be just, “baseball and apple pie,” Mauro channeled his European roots and love of Italian and British menswear to create a truly hybrid brand. His European influences are reflected in the cut, fit, and quality of the clothes.
Wolf vs Goat Rewards Program:
First off, for those readers who aren’t familiar with the WvG Rewards Program, you won’t believe me when I tell you that by paying $100 once, you get 50% everything…forever. For the many non-believers, here is the proof. This rewards program was created during the recession when stores and retailers just weren’t taking on new lines and the large majority of Wolf vs Goat’s business was coming from direct sales to individuals. Mauro implemented the rewards program to not only thank his loyal customers and encourage their repeat business, but also to lure new customers, expand his customer base, and ultimately grow his brand.
The future of Wolf vs Goat:
While he says he has no anticipation of ever being in Barney’s or Bergdorf’s, Mauro has no doubt that the brand will grow and expand. He wants to be in more stores and in more locations across the country. No matter how small or how large, he maintains his commitment to keeping production and manufacturing stateside. When I probed him as to whether he had any intention of creating a ready-to-wear line for women, he laughed, but then admitted that it has definitely crossed his mind and is something that is foreseeable. The only real hold up, is his commitment to high quality, stylish menswear. He says that he would never want to do anything that takes away from that so finding the balance between menswear and ready-to-wear would be crucial for him. And if/when he develops a women’s line it needs to be something that “complements but doesn’t match” the menswear line.
From the “Made-In America” attitude of the clothes to the bad-ass persona of owner and designer Mauro Farinelli, there is nothing I don’t love about Wolf vs Goat.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces: