Meet the Siblings Behind Lobo Mau, the Philly Apparel Line Mixing High Comfort and Bold Fashion

Nicole and Jordan Haddad on sustainability, growth and running a store during a pandemic.

lobo mau

Nicole and Jordan Haddad of Lobo Mau. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Nicole and Jordan Haddad — sibling owners of local apparel line Lobo Mau — chat sustainability, growth, and running a store during a pandemic.

How we got started: (Nicole) “I launched in 2008, after getting my master’s in fashion design from Drexel. At that time, there was a slow-food movement happening. It was the opposite of fast food. It was inspiring. I wanted to make the opposite of fast fashion.”

On working with your sibling: (Jordan) “I was in the corporate world but helping Nicole grow. Eventually, in 2016, I joined the company. Our parents ran a small business together, so it felt natural. We have a good left brain/right brain thing.”

What we make: (Nicole) “Jackets — which are our best-sellers — dresses, shirts … sportswear. Everything is comfortable. We use a lot of sweatshirt and t-shirt fabrics, but we don’t consider it athleisure.”

About the name: (Nicole) “I spent the first few years of my life in Brazil; it’s where my dad is from. My favorite bedtime story was ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’ ‘Lobo Mau’ means ‘Bad Wolf’ in Portuguese. It’s a symbol of being bold and empowering. Recently, it’s become more personal — it’s about speaking out against fast fashion.”

Our commitment to sustainability: (Nicole) “I make everything in the USA, and I use organic and recycled material or deadstock — unused or scrap fabric. I started learning more about fabrics. Cotton needs so much water to grow; polyester isn’t good for the environment. We’re about to be certified as a zero-waste company.”

On going brick-and-mortar: (Jordan) “We did a Kickstarter to open our flagship store at 6th and Bainbridge in February. It was the best month the company ever had. Shutting our doors one month later was surreal. But we’ve innovated. Now customers can shop from our store windows by scanning a QR code next to anything they see. It’s cool to get a notification that someone bought a handbag at 9 p.m.”

What’s next: (Jordan) “Working from home is going to be a major thing, so we’re elevating everyday clothing. And we’re adding more inclusive sizes and investing in organic inks.”

Published as “Family Ties” in the November 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.