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.
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