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October 12, 2023

The Wolf Gang comes home

Adelaide based brand, The Wolf Gang, reminisces on how it all began, while celebrating the now globally recognised styles in a long lunch and runway show for ADL Fashion Week.

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  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera

Adelaide based brand, The Wolf Gang, has a built an aesthetic on design elements that truly stand out from its competitors.

Long-term followers of the brand associate colourful knit-wear, and staple accessories with The Wolf Gang.


Hotel Alba X The Wolf Gang present long lunch
226 South Terrace, Adelaide 5000
Sunday, 22 October
12pm ’til 2pm


“When we are building new ranges, we’re like, do these pieces stand out? Is it different? Have we seen this before?” Vanessa Pearce, founder and creative director of The Wolf Gang, says.

“You’ll notice always in our ranges we have bright colours and bold prints. That’s kind of our signature.

“We try not to follow trends so much. We just really focus on the core values of The Wolf Gang, and I think that’s really been so important for us in terms of growth — just to stay true to… what our identify is.”

The campaign. This picture: supplied.


But Vanessa’s journey to the fashion industry began years before she decided to start up her own brand.

“I’ve always loved fashion and always been working in fashion and doing things that were creative,” Vanessa says.

“I started in retail, like most people, but have worked for a few brands [like] Sass and Bide… I actually opened the store on Rundle Street with them back in the day — I think that was 2009.”

It was her husband Sam, as co-owner of Frame Creative, who pushed her to start her own brand while they were travelling.

“He was really encouraging to do it, so while we were in Bali, we just started — I just decided let’s do some sourcing,” Vanessa says.

“We just spent the whole trip riding around on a scooter, looking at different manufacturers and meeting people and that’s how it started.”


Then, in 2016, The Wolf Gang was born in Adelaide.

The distinctive ‘Bedouin Clutch’ fronted the brand’s debut. Teens in high school in the years 2016-18, remember this celebrated clutch having a serious moment.

“It was just the little suede pouch and it had a big colourful tassel on the end,” Vanessa says. “It just became a little bit of a favourite for lots of young girls. [They] were buying it for their formals.

“We got to the point where [American retailer], Anthropologie, reached out to us and it went global, this clutch bag, and that’s kind of how it started.”

Although the brand took off with a jolt, Vanessa says it took years to grow The Wolf Gang into a household name in the Australian fashion industry.

“After having my first child, I had another two children — so one after the other, after the other. I guess the business [and] the brand sort of evolved, but… it wasn’t my number one focus at the time,” Vanessa says.

“It was real slow growth for a good five years.”


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During that time Vanessa carved out The Wolf Gang’s core aesthetic, which is key to it now being a globally recognised brand with stockists across boutiques in North America, New Zealand and Australia.

“In the last 18 months I’ve really been focusing a lot more on growing the brand again, starting with the US market,” Vanessa says.

The new Resort ’23 collection, which is set to hit stores in November, follows the same classic, quirky structure.

“Lots of bold prints, bright colours. A mix of different textures — we’ve got embellishments, we’ve got the wave pattern all through our range, which is heavily inspired by the beach, summer vibes,” Vanessa says.

“We’ve got lots of linens, beautiful knitwear styles that fit a lot of body shapes.

“Lots of dresses, but styles that you can dress up or dress down — beach to bar.”

Part of Resort ’23 from L—R: Kiki knit dress, Beso knit dress, Blanca Wave bag, Merenda crochet skirt and top, Siesta maxi skirt and Ames maxi dress.


Evolving from its roots in 2016, The Wolf Gang of today uses “faraway lands” as inspiration for creating its core magic, evident in the new collection.

“We’re always looking at inspiration from across the globe: travel, different cities, different cultures, art, architecture, design. They’re definitely our fundamentals,” Vanessa says.

“Vintage silhouettes are really key for us as well,” Vanessa says.

“It’s always looking at styles that we’ve seen before, like years and years and years ago, we’re inspired and reinvent those pieces.”

When asked about the specifics of those eras, Vanessa reminisces on the iconic Slim Aarons, and his notable famous figures, and luxurious photography.


The Wolf Gang will launch the Resort ’23 collection at ADL Fashion Week at a long lunch at Hotel Alba on Sunday, 22 October.

Vanessa says taking part in the weekend-long event holds a special place in her heart, as she is able to celebrate The Wolf Gang’s home.

“Even though we’re a global brand now, our home base is Adelaide,” Vanessa says. “We love the industry; we love supporting Adelaide as a city — we think it’s the greatest city in the world.

“There’s so much talent in Adelaide in terms of the fashion industry. It’s awesome. That’s why we love to support Adelaide fashion and the community and want to give the Adelaide people something cool and fun and exciting to attend.”

The Hotel Alba X Wolf Gang long lunch will take place on Sunday, 22 October, from 12pm until 2pm. Hotel Alba is located at 226 South Terrace, Adelaide.

Tickets for the long lunch are on sale now, through the ADL Fashion Week website.

Connect with The Wolf Gang on Instagram or head to the website for more.

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