MW x PORTLAND: WILDFANG
Wildfang, an irresistible German word that celebrates both tomboy fashion and spirit. I've long adored their tomboy ways but once I stepped into the Grand Avenue store, I knew I was home. Pulling from the best of menswear but with fits for a woman. Founded by Emma McIlroy and Julia Parsley, Wildfang launched their webstore in March of 2013 featuring a campaign with one of our favorite tomboys, Nadia Sarwar. Following their explosive online success, a Portland brick and mortar was soon opened.
Emma McIlroy and Julia Parsley
Wildfang, which means "tomboy" in German, Jules, Cassondra, and Luke gave Ruthie and I the grand Wildfang tour and quickly we were swooning over it all. Electric green railing and laser cut wood fixtures highlighted goods from folks like Modern Vice and Courtshop. A lifelong tomboy myself, I reveled not only in my surroundings, but in the people themselves. We arrived in Portland and pointed our car straight at Wildfang. After nearly 2 hours of shopping we headed out the door, exchanging numbers and feeling like old friends. It's like belonging to a club; a really bad-ass club. You just know you are going to be friends for keeps.
JUST TWO GIRLS, FASHIONING A REBELLION. This is a story of two girls. And though they were born on opposite sides of the Atlantic, their childhoods were not so very opposite. Like many girls, they were tomboys—they built forts, scraped their knees, chased boys and were chased back. But like all girls, it wasn’t long before they grew up, and grew their own senses of adventure. As fate would have it, they both headed west.
This is a story of two friends. They found each other in Portland, Oregon, and it was there that they also found themselves—Irish, in her blazers and stilettos, and Fox, in her button-downs and sneakers. A friendship formed, swift and strong—they brought out the best in each other. They collected tattoos, ticket stubs, and vintage clothing, but one thing remained out of their grasp.
This is a story of two business partners. With little more than the money in their pockets and the shirts on their backs, they set out to find what was missing: all the best men’s styles, but for women—an answer to the prayers of tomboys everywhere. And so they quit their day jobs and resolved to pursue one of fashion’s holiest grails. They would liberate menswear, and they would do it one bowtie at a time.
WE’RE LIBERATING MENSWEAR, ONE BOWTIE AT A TIME. We are modern-day female Robin Hoods, raiding men’s closets and dispensing the styles we love through a single destination. From wingtips and blazers to exclusive content and inspiration, Wildfang aims to bring out the best in you by serving both your tomboy fashion sense and your tomboy spirit, 24/7/365. Because, while it’s true that fashions change with the seasons, badass incidentally never goes out of style.
WILDFANG MEANS TOMBOY. (But that’s not all it means.) Leave it to the Germans to originate a word so packed with meaning. Sure, the literal translation is tomboy, but Wildfang is a much better word for tomboy. It also means “wild child,” “rascal,” “animal caught in the wild.” See, it’s not just one thing—it’s a little bit ornery, and it changes from one day to the next. Just like us.
WE ARE A FAMILY. The Wildfang family is currently comprised of 20+ part-timers, full-timers and double-timers, who eat, sleep and breathe tomboy fashion and culture. And what we lack in old age, we make up for in talent, hard work and good old-fashioned chutzpah.