Introducing Cardiff duo and best friends Luna and Wenda, AKA Soul Sisters. Lockdown 2020 inspired the Welsh duo to create a fashion brand initially with the intention of supporting each other. This soon developed into a dream to empower people with their eye-catching, graphic tees and sweatshirts.
Female empowerment and sisterhood are a huge influence on the ladies and their collection which includes bold designs such as luscious lips, cheeky cheetahs and the icon, Iris Apfel herself.
The designers were able to bring their years of experience together to create Soul Sisters. With part of her childhood spent in Iran, Luna uses her Persian heritage as an influence in her career as a designer. This includes her own handbag label and a wealth of experience designing for the High Street. Wenda is an experienced stylist and body positive advocate, with many years of experience in the fashion industry.
With sustainability at the heart of their business, all their creations are UK made and printed with 100% eco-friendly dyes. The announcement of the upcoming launch of their equally bold and fun, handmade jewellery line was a perfect time for us to catch up with Luna and Wenda to talk to the women behind this sassy brand.
Where does the name Soul Sisters come from and how does it inform and influence your creative process?
The name came very naturally from the relationship between Wenda and Luna. We are best friends who feel and have a bond like that of sisters. We wanted our name to reflect our close relationship and also to empower fellow women. For us it is all about the Sisterhood and women supporting women. This is core in our creative process and the designs we create
How would you describe the Soul Sisters aesthetic and how do you want the woman who wears one of your designs to feel when they put it on?
The Soul Sisters aesthetic is edgy, sassy and empowering. We want the woman who wears our designs to feel that she can express her individuality and an extension of her personality. We want her to feel fabulous in the clothes she is wearing and this is very important to us.
You’ve launched a new jewellery line which compliments the clothes beautifully. What motivated you to diversify into jewellery and what was the inspiration behind the range?
We both love statement earrings and are passionate about accessories and helping women to outfit build. It was a natural progression for us to design an earring range, as earrings are certainly having their moment. The inspiration behind the range came from our NEW Disco Diva design which we created for International Women’s Day and the lip design is signature to Soul Sisters. Wenda loves Angel Wings so we decided to add this as a new design.
How did you both meet and what was the catalyst for creating the brand?
Well, there is an interesting story to this. Wenda is a Stylist and was doing some Retail Consultancy for a major High Street retailer at their HO in Cardiff. Luna was a Designer for the same brand at the time. One day Wenda was at HO and Luna was like “Who is that very colourful lady “She then proceeded to stalk her a little and they met for coffee a few weeks later and have been great friends ever since. We have both admired each other's creativity and style and had spoken for many years about creating a brand. Lockdown just seemed the perfect time for us both.
Launching during the pandemic we wondered what particular challenges, if any, that posed and how you navigated them?
We really didn’t find any challenges as such during the pandemic. We chose to work with local sustainable printers Visible Art, which certainly made the process more straightforward. Our first collection was designed and developed in India and once again the process went extremely smoothly. The world is now a small place with regards to technology and communication links and had to adapt quickly with the restraints of the pandemic.
Working as a duo, how does your day-to-day creative design process work and in the wider business sense do you take responsibility for different elements of Soul Sisters?
As a duo we are both creative but have different strengths. So we quickly identified and established our roles within the brand. We are certainly both ideas people and we work very well together in the development of a concept from start to finish. Luna is a great designer and has fantastic attention to detail, while Wenda has a way with words and a good business head. This has resulted in great team work, where we complement each other
The garments are made using organic cotton, eco-dyes and sustainable printing techniques. Are there any difficulties as emerging designers in maintaining both an environmentally sustainable footprint and a financially sustainable business?
We both feel it is our responsibility as brand developers that any new clothing company to the market as practicing sustainability, and this is at our core. We have been fortunate to developed a very good supply chain in the UK and in India. Sourcing factories that offer small quantities can be very challenging to new designers. Luna has worked for 20 years in the commercial design industry, designing for the UK high street and through this experience has learnt how to tackle challenges and source new contacts in manufacturing. How we found our Indian factory was a chase of the right place, right time and right people. Most people are very guarded about their contacts but Future Moda was recommended by an employee who was happy to share. They provide small designers the opportunity to manufacture using sustainable fabrics and manufacturing process. They also work with a network of women who work in their own homes and feel empowered through earning their own money. The SoulSisters message is happening globally and we are proud to be part of that.
You support a number of women's organizations through a donation from your sales. How important to you is it to give something back to the community and to also promote an ethos of supportive sisterhood?
Both Wenda and Luna are very passionate about giving back to the community, it is so rewarding to be able to support local charities and make a difference. On a wider scale we also wanted to help and support the Ukraine community following the mass devastation of the country. Our brand values are all about women supporting women, promoting kindness and growing a supportive sisterhood community locally and globally.
Having launched your new jewellery line what can we expect next from Soul Sisters and what are your goals and aspirations for the brand in the longer term?
Ah well, we have many ideas which we hope will soon become reality. It is our objective to grow the clothing side of the brand with a new collection of robe/kimonos. We would also like to diversify and grow as a lifestyle brand offering a range of art and luxury goods. Our signature cheetah will always be at the core of the brand. So, watch this space to see her fabulous return.
Huge thanks to our very own disco divas, Luna and Wenda for giving us an insight into your brand, its origins and exciting future plans for development.
With individuality at the heart of the brand, the girls are riding the wave of global sisterhood and Soul Sisters is fast becoming a movement in itself. Their perfect combination of business prowess and expressive, bold designs means we are likely to see more of those signature lips and bespectacled cheetahs coming to a kimono, living room and even a gallery near you.
Certainly, we are in awe of their sister-like bond and penchant for an eye-catching aesthetic. Don’t worry if you’re late to the Soul Sisters party, their inclusive outlook means everyone is welcome and we feel there is so much more to see from Wenda and Luna.
Instagram: @soul.sisters_official Website: www.wearesoulsisters.com
Article By Dolly Devally and Brian James
Photography : Rhiannon Holland @mefusphotography
Model: Sarah De Garnham @_its_sdg_ ( Disco Diva collection )