Brought together by their dogs in a chance meeting on London Fields in 2011, Amy Fleuriot and Bee Friedmann launched hip new designer dog label, Hiro + Wolf in February this year. Inspired by their love of far flung destinations like Kenya, and with a focus on ethical and Fair Trade products, Hiro + Wolf brings together Amy’s background in accessories design with Bee’s experience in craft development and retail. The result is a collection that fuses bold geometric prints with subtle ethnic influences, making this the ultimate in designer gear for the modern mutt.
The cool new collection features designer dog collars, leads and poo pouches, all handmade in their Columbia Road studio using their signature bright geometric prints in royal blue, coral pink and emerald green. Each is finished with gorgeous leathers and luxurious hardware – plus for you growing number of proud hound owners (there are many!) the collection also includes designer collars created specifically for sleek Greyhounds, Lurchers and Whippets…..rejoice!
With clever designs like the Cafe Lead which comes with and extra trigger hook for tying around fixed posts (no more wrapping yourself up in a tangle!), as well as their Hands Free Dog Lead which slings across the body so you can manage the phone, shopping, dog and a coffee, there’s nothing not to love about this label!
How did the idea for Hiro + Wolf first come about?
After meeting on London Fields with our dogs Hiro and Wolf, we ended up travelling to Kenya, spending five weeks working with different artisans and Fair Trade groups. We saw so much potential to design our own products using traditional craft skills. There was plenty of nights sat out on the porch of our banda in the Kasigau Mountains, with no electricity or phone reception so there was plenty of head space to come up with the concept.
How would you describe the Hiro + Wolf aesthetic?
Our style is contemporary, clean and modern with an ethnic slant. We draw some inspiration from Kenya and during our trip there, we also discovered that we shared a love of bright contemporary design and pattern.
You source your unique fabrics from Africa – what do you love about the textiles and prints you find there?
We love the use of colour and print in African fabrics. We are always on the hunt for bold, geometric designs that look very modern when teamed with the right leather and fittings, whilst retaining an exotic feel. The Masai blankets (launching for Autumn Winter) are perfect for winter – they are durable acrylic and therefore washable and easy to care for. The Scottish missionaries bought the fabric with them in the mid 19th Century and we love this connection to the past.
Which is your favourite piece in the current collection?
Our hands-free lead has definitely become a studio essential. Wolf likes to walk off the lead when he can, whereas Hiro’s boundless energy needs to be tamed when walking on the roads so it’s great to have a lead that can be used for both dogs. It’s also very handy when we are on the move and juggling business calls, luggage and dogs!
Tell us about your canine muses – Hiro and Wolf
Although they’re an unlikely pair, Hiro and Wolf are forever friends. Wolf is definitely the thinker and does a lot of sitting, whilst Hiro chases his tail and leaps through long grass.Wolf loves steak whereas Hiro is partial to sushi for supper.
We are also looking forward to January 2014 when Hiro + Wolf will be joined by ‘Sir Hopsalot’ an Egyptian street hound we have adopted and are bringing to London. He’s best described as a giant Jack Russell. Coming to the British winter from the Egyptian summer will be quite a shock, so we will have a lovely warm Hiro + Wolf coat ready for him when he arrives off the plane.
Can you give us a sneak peak at the exciting pieces you have planned for your next collection?
Our Autumn Winter collection will feature tartan Masai blankets in Autumnal reds and blues, sourced from our trips to Kenya. These are also going to be used in our new collection of handbags, made in Kenya by Bombolulu, a Fair Trade factory. We are also very excited about the addition of some super-cosy Masai dog coats and travel blankets to our pet collection.