1. When did you first become aware of Wolford?
Well, it must have been the famous marketing campaign with the iconic photographer Helmut Newton in the 1990s. At about the same time, I saw a big article in the London Evening Standard newspaper about Wolford's tights for men and that really got my interest. From that time on I was interested in Wolford hosiery and soon after I acquired my first pair of Wolford tights from the shop in Bond Street, London.
2. How many products have you reviewed for Wolford to date?
Since I started the Hosiery For Men blog in 2011, I have reviewed over 20 Wolford styles. Mainly tights, but also leggings and mens socks. More recently I have started to review Wolford clothing and skinwear such as the new Aurora Pullover.
3. Do you have any favourite Wolford tights?
It's hard to pick just one favourite. As a classic basic I think the Velvet de Luxe 66 Tights are superb. The fit is excellent and if you look after them they last for a long time.
For leg support I am a big fan of the Velvet 66 Leg Support Tights. They are fully opaque and amazingly comfortable.
4. How do you feel when wearing Wolford items?
Firstly I am always aware of the quality of the item, whatever style or garment it is.
Wolford, for me, provides a wonderful wearing experience. It is a great feeling when you get a great fit but Wolford tights also feel so good on the skin and move with you.
5. How does Wolford compare to other brands?
On the Hosiery For Men blog I conducted a survey last year and Wolford was by far and away the leading brand for men buying tights. Two styles, the Neon 40 and Satin Touch 20 Tights, were identified as the favourites of blog readers.
There are several other very good hosiery brands, and we have featured and reviewed them on the blog. But Wolford definitely stands out for consistent quality, continued innovation, and an inclusive ethos. More than anything else, from a male point of view, Wolford tights are guaranteed to fit well and the sizing information provided is always accurate.
6. Any style tips you can share?
Wolford tights and legwear are really versatile and you can make them work anyway you like. One of the things that stands out in fashion nowadays is the absence of rules, alongside the emergence of a gender neutral and unisex sensibility. Wolford tights and leggings look great under shorts - that look is pretty much becoming a mainstream style for men these days. This works best with completely opaque tights or leggings. The Velvet 66 Leg Support Tights work really well this way.
7. You recently visited the Wolford HQ in Bregenz. Tell us about your experience. What did you learn?
That was a great experience and I would like to say thank you again to Wolford for inviting me to the HQ. The welcome I received was so great and I was also happy to know that the work I do on the blog is appreciated at Wolford. It was very interesting to get a long and detailed tour of the HQ and see all the stages of design and production. I have blogged about the visit (Part One and Part Two), where I share my thoughts in detail. But here are a few thoughts and reflections.
Although Wolford legwear is knitted on very sophisticated modern machines, at nearly every stage of production there are inputs from highly-skilled workers. This includes sewing, finishing and checking.
I was really surprised at how much checking and quality control there is. Literally at every stage, from the arrival of the yarns, to dying, to finishing and packing, there are checks to make sure that the garment meets exacting quality standards. When you buy a pair of Wolford tights you don't see all this, but it is all an integral part of what makes the product you buy so good.
I was also impressed with the continual aim for innovation and improvement. And this doesn't just apply to new styles that are released, it also means that classic parts of the Wolford collection are reviewed and updated. For example, I learnt that both the Satin Touch 20 Tights and Velvet de Luxe 66 Tights are going to be improved with a better and more comfortable waistband in the near future.
Finally I learnt that Wolford really does value their male customers and aims to further enhance how they communicate and market to them.
8. If you were to design a Wolford item, what item would you choose and how would it look?
This is a tough question! But I think I would think about designing a legwear garment that combines the great yarns and materials that Wolford uses with functionality for leisure and sport. So perhaps a unisex legging with leg compression, no seam in the brief/body, and a high waist and comfortable waistband. I would incorporate the Wolford logo on the outside (not too large).
9. What would you say to guys thinking of trying Wolford tights and leggings?
My advice is go ahead. Whether you want something for warmth or insulation or for sports and activities, you will find something in the Wolford range. The modern yarns combined with Wolford's design expertise will provide a perfect fit. If you are unsure of what to buy, you can contact Wolford for advice. Wolford shops, which you can find all over the world, also have very knowledgeable staff who will be able to talk about what is available and make recommendations.
10. Describe Wolford in one word.