When co-founders and best friends Emma McIlroy and Julia Parsley dreamt up Wildfang, they were filling a void they’d been aware of their whole lives. Fed up of standing in the men’s department salivating over styles that didn’t fit their ladylike frames, they decided to do something about it. And so Wildfang was born.
Jules and Em were born tomboys: building forts, climbing trees and rocking overalls. They grew up on different sides of the Atlantic, but they found themselves and each other in Portland, under the neon light of the White Stag sign. The pair had struggled to find clothes to express who they were and had a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t alone.
“Boys stuff always looked cooler to me. I wanted clothes that were comfortable and allowed me to be me,” says Jules. “We ran the idea past our friends, and friends of friends, and it became clear that the values of ‘tomboy’ resonated with tons of girls.”
Leaving an amazing corporate job isn’t easy. In fact Mcilroy’s parents gave her a two hour lecture. But the pair felt like this was more than a business idea. It was their calling.
“Of course it was hard leaving Nike. But Wildfang became our obsession. We saw more and more people asking for it, and we wanted to do it ourselves because we wanted to make sure it was done right” recalls Ems. “This is a brand built by tomboys, for tomboys.”
After all this talk, we wanted to know what does ‘tomboy’ actually mean to two OG Wildfangs?
“The tomboy is that chick you want to go for a beer with. She isn’t trying to be anything other than herself. She’s confident, strong and knows how to have fun. We just want to create a place where she can hang out and feel like herself,” explains Irish.
TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE.
To get to know a little bit more about these standout wildfangs, we asked them to share 3 facts about themselves. But don’t be fooled. One of these is not like the others. Can you guess which one is a fib?
> Has a tattoo of Bart Simpson on her right ribs. She got it on her 18th birthday.
> Is obsessed with Walt Whitman. Her favorite quote is “I and this mystery, here we stand.”
> Delivered room service to Bjork, who ordered an egg white omelette.
> Has a brother James who ran the 800m for Great Britain in the Sydney Olympics.
> Found the 200 million year old skull of an Ichthyosaurus when she was seven years old.
> Made a brief appearance live on stage with Mick Jagger.
Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet us at @WEAREWILDFANG!