Everybody freak out. Sophia Webster™ for J.Crew is here.

the shoes we’ve had our eye on since our spring/summer ’14 presentation are finally here. we take a look back at how the outrageously cool collection came together (and begin the impossible task of picking a favorite)…

If there’s a period that most inspires Sophia Webster’s aesthetic, it is certainly her teenage years in the ’90s. From classic films like “Clueless” and “Edward Scissorhands” to musicians like Aaliyah, Gwen Stefani and Destiny’s Child (whose record hangs on her studio wall), pop culture from that era informs her eye-catching designs. With a penchant for pink, polka dots and hearts, she’s a fan of girly charm—but she always adds an edgy element. “I like the shoes to have a bit of attitude and character,” she says. “It would be boring if everything was overly feminine.”

One of Webster’s biggest fans? Our creative director, Jenna. After falling in love with Webster’s quirky heels, Jenna approached the designer about doing an exclusive collection for J.Crew. “It’s a collaboration in the truest sense,” explains Webster. “Jenna and the team selected their favorite looks, then I was let loose with J.Crew’s entire spring/summer 2014 materials and color palette. I was like a girl in a sweet shop!” The result is a unique combination of J.Crew colors with Webster’s signature embroidered details and tassels. Needless to say, we’re head over heels.
To shop the Sophia Webster for J.Crew collection, click here.

To see how our collaboration with Sophia Webster came about, click here.

Studio Tour: Sophia Webster
we spent an afternoon hanging out with the British footwear designer (and newest J.Crew collaborator) in her newly minted ’90s-themed studio (replete with a Destiny’s Child record cover and hot-pink acrylic accents) and talked inspiration, the movie Clueless and what it was like to work with J.Crew…
Sophia, photographed sketching at her desk, wears a Mary Katrantzou blouse and vintage jean.

Hometown & current home
I grew up in Kent and currently live in North East London.

Shoe designer.

When did your love affair with shoes begin?
One of my earliest memories is of trying on my older sister’s shoes, but my mum also had many pairs, so I’ve always felt the strong relationship that women have with their shoes. When I was attending Camberwell College of Arts, I remember doing a class in still-life fashion illustration. I really enjoyed drawing and sketching shoes and taking sculpture classes, so it was a natural progression.
Clockwise from top left: Sophia Webster Penelope, Loren and Riko styles.

Before you started your own line, you worked with Nicholas Kirkwood. Tell us a little bit about that experience.
Working alongside Nicholas Kirkwood was a great experience. Every day was different, and it was just as much about learning how the business works as it was about designing. Nicholas taught me to trust my own instincts and vision and how to create something beautiful from my ideas.

Tell us about the inspiration for your own fall/winter 2013 collection.
Some pieces in the collection have been inspired by one of my favorite films from the ’90s, Clueless, and its main character, Cher Horowitz. Her yellow plaid outfit in the beginning of the film was the main inspiration for the Amber 1 and Dulcie 2 (shown below) styles. One of the things I enjoy most about designing my collections is bringing fantasies to life through my shoes and accessories.
The Dulcie 2 from Sophia Webster’s fall/winter 2013 collection is inspired by the movie Clueless.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I love color (I’ve always been drawn to pink) and print. I tend to be pretty casual in the way I dress, but I always have an extra pair of my shoes in my bag.

Do you have a homegrown style crush?
Fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell. Her style really reflects what, I believe, London fashion is. She’s unafraid to mix up her look and has her finger on the pulse of young brands and trends.

What makes this an exciting moment to be a creative person working in London?
I feel really lucky because new designers are so supported here. It’s unparalleled. London breeds freethinkers, and enterprising activity is encouraged. I’m constantly inspired by the people and culture that surround me here.
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

For more on our spring/summer 2014 presentation, which includes shoes designed by Sophia Webster, click here.

Up Close: Sophia Webster for J.Crew
at our New York Fashion Week presentation earlier this week, we excitedly debuted our collaboration with the up-and-coming British shoe designer. here’s a closer look at the shoes we can’t stop talking (and dreaming) about wearing next spring…
Sophia, wearing the Riko (shoes of her own design), joins the lineup of models during our 2014 spring/summer presentation.

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

Stay tuned next week as we visit Sophia Webster’s new studio in London and learn more about how she got her start designing.

Escape Artists
in the spirit of our men’s and women’s collections (inspired by American national parks, Big Sur and Venice, Italy), we asked a few friends in the crowd of our spring/summer 2014 presentation where they’d like to escape to now…
[In unison] “Round Hill, Jamaica.”
Byron and Dexter Pert, designers, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie™
Sophia Webster, shoe designer and new J.Crew collaborator
“My favorite place to escape to is my head, but I want to be well dressed while I’m there.”
Nick Wooster, consultant
“San Francisco.”
Spencer Lyons, field advocacy director, American Cancer Society (and sometimes J.Crew model)
“Food is the best escape for me.”
Joseph Altuzarra, fashion designer
“The Maldives. I mean, who doesn’t want to go there?”
Yasmin Sewell, fashion consultant
“I live in Milan, so Sicily is the most exotic place nearby.” J.J. Martin, writer
“Anywhere there’s a beach and no Wi-Fi.”
Eugene Tong, style director, Details
“Extra Fancy in Williamsburg. It’s a surf shack that has lobster rolls and it’s right down the block from my apartment.”
Kurt Soller, fashion features editor, The Cut

For more on what we’ve been up to for Fashion Week, click here.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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