Anna Martino is the brains behind the stylish weatherwear label Wet & Wendy. We are very proud that Wet & Wendy hails (pun intended) from Melbourne and the products are perfect for wet weather fun, whether on or off the bike.
We chat with Anna in her Collingwood studio as she gets ready to launch her Spring/Summer 2011 range which is in store now.
Anna, tell me a bit more about your background and how you came to start your weatherwear fashion line Wet & Wendy?
I’ve been working as a designer for over ten years, back and forth between London and Melbourne. It’s wonderful to have worked for so many brands and it really gave me a clear direction for my business.
Living in London meant that the weather became a big part of my life and after moving back to Melbourne and feeling a change was happening with even more unpredictable weather than ever before, starting my own weatherwear label just felt like the right thing to do.
I also wanted to do something which brought a smile to peoples faces and that’s how Wet & Wendy came about!
Where do you turn for design inspiration?
My inspiration comes from days gone by. Traditional weather products and the feeling of nostalgia. I love the way remembering a time in the past gives you that warm feeling.
Wet & Wendy is inspired by old films and advertising, photographs, stories and the fact that in the days of old you (or my grandmother!) purchased things out of necessity.
Mixing a traditional raincoat silhouette with a modern fabric in a fresh colour captures the perfect mix of old and new and a stylish take on necessity dressing.
What has been the most challenging thing you’ve faced in starting up your own business? What advice would you give to a small business owner?
Going out on my own is the most challenging thing I have ever done by far.
It is important to be ambitious and realistic at the same time. The right thing for me was to start small and to grow the brand slowly and in the right direction.
There are a lot of challenges but one of the biggest has probably been getting the product right, and getting it here. For people not familiar, the processes that happen behind the scenes to get products to store is overwhelming and being organised and working with the right people is key. Planning is the most important element, even in a creative environment, a clear plan and knowing what/ when/ who/why/ how is the only way.
What are your next plans for Wet & Wendy?
So many exciting things going on! We have designed a bike cart, like an old fashioned ice cream bike with Peter from PS Bikes. Its going to be riding around the Harvest Festival selling Wet & Wendy. We also have a new Pop-Up shoppe opening next month, especially for our Summer ‘Love The Sun’ collection and the Mens collection ‘Westerly by W&W’ is about to launch with Summer too. I am so excited to be working on next Winter, designing weatherwear is the most fun design work I’ve ever done! It’s hard work but someone’s got to do it!