Interview With: Sophia Webster
Sophia Webster’s shoes are fun, daring, full of imagination and super-feminine, so it’s no wonder her shoes are adored by A-listers including Diane Kruger, Solange Knowles and Cara Delevingne, to name a few. We talk to the designer about her inspirations, her eclectic style and which shoe she’d like to be and why...
Why shoes - how did you decide to be a footwear designer?
I first decided to go into shoes when I was studying Foundation at Camberwell College of Arts. We were doing a day of still life fashion illustration and I really enjoyed drawing the shoes. I was really into sculpture at the time too, so learning how to make shoes was a natural progression.
"This season I was really inspired by Henri Rousseau's jungle scenes, and also jungle raves of the ‘90s."
Was there a designer when you were just starting out that you aspired to be like?
I’ve always admired a multitude of designers and have been lucky enough to assist Nicholas Kirkwood and intern with Georgina Goodman which were both great experiences.
What is your design process - how do you get your inspiration?
I usually like to start by sketching and letting my imagination run away with me.
Who is the Sophia Webster woman?
I like that the Sophia Webster woman is actually so many different women. My collection is really versatile and caters for women who are fashion forward and excited to wear lace-up flamingos on their feet, as well as women who are perhaps a little more classic and want to wear a simple pump with an interesting detail.
Are there any celebs or tastemakers you'd love to see in your shoes?
So many incredible women have worn my shoes already, it's always such a humbling experience to see any women - famous or not - wearing my designs!
You won over the fashion crowd very early on in your career with your stunning style, what advice would you offer any budding shoe designers in a crowded industry?
Stay true to your own vision. I am often working out prototypes with my factory in Brazil and they try to tell me that some of my more elaborate and intricate designs aren't feasible to be put into production, but we have ended up working together to find new techniques and create a beautiful product. It's all about finding a way to make things work without compromising what you believe in.
Can you talk us through your SS15 collection – what are your favourite pieces?
This season I was really inspired by Henri Rousseau's jungle scenes, and also jungle raves of the ‘90s. In the collection there are a lot of hyperreal foliage and fruit elements, as well as pared-down shapes still utilising that rich palette.
How would you define your own personal style and if you could only pick five items to wear forever, which would they be and why?
My style is quite eclectic and colourful. I usually like to wear jeans and a printed jumper over a fun t-shirt, and of course every girl needs one pair of great flats that you can wear all day, and one pair of to-die-for heels you can change into for the evening.
What's your ultimate beauty can't-leave-home-without?
A good red lipstick.