[S]ophia Webster knows how to bring the glitz and glam to London Fashion Week: her iconic shoes and vibrant aesthetic are just what we needed to brighten up a grey Monday. From the giant disco balls to the golden podiums, the set alone was enough to bring a smile to even the most sombre of the fashion crowd. And the models were loving every second, even in Sophia Webster’s sky scraper masterpieces of shoes, they danced and laughed, a refreshingly fun vibe which suited the live-drums-mixed-with-Beyonce playful soundtrack. With shoes that make you want to dance the night away and strut your way to the top, Sophia Webster brings the party. We caught up with the designer to find out just what inspired all the fun…
How did you first get into fashion?
I first started getting into fashion whilst I was at art college at Camberwell, I hadn’t really thought much about it and was studying fine art. I was doing some life drawing with a fashion model in a class, and I found myself so drawn to the shoes and just wanted to focus my art on them in that moment. From there I did a bit of sculpture work and decided to start making shoes. I did a degree in shoe designing at a part of London College of Fashion after that and the rest is history!
So fashion was Plan B to the art world?
Yeah to be honest I always thought I would go into art, and was so focused on fine art, but I am so glad I ended up here. But I try to really bring art into what I make now.
What is the key inspiration to your AW18 collection?
The main inspiration is Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom: it’s one of my favourite films of all time. My sister and I used to be competitive dancers when we were younger and we loved that film – we’d watch it over and over again, I love the energy and the attitude. The feathers, the sequins, the glitter: it was the perfect starting point for this collection.
How do you feel the brands evolved over the past few years?
I think it’s really evolved through the different categories that I’ve gone into and built within. I very quickly had to realise that not everyone wants the super elaborate shoes that I love (laughs). I introduced various lower heel heights too: in fact now my best selling shoe is a flat black pointy shoe! I wanted to try and make things that are a bit more wearable but that are still very much in my spirit.
How do you feel like social media has changed fashion?
I started my business 4 or 5 years ago, and Instagram was only just becoming a thing. But back then I thought a lot about it, and now I think it’s such a great place to really express the brand and communicate with my customers. When I first started and I spoke to other designers, I don’t think they really saw how important social media was going to be, especially Instagram. But I really saw it as a great way to communicate how I want my brand to come across.
Whats your favourite Instagram that you follow?
@TheArtOfShade_ is probably my favourite, but I really love following some of my customers. There’s a lady who has loads of my shoes, @bycamelia: she has this incredibly designed house and an amazing sense of style, so I follow her and absolutely love it whenever she posts a pic in my shoes.
Who is your style icon?
Gwen Stefani, always. She was my idol when I was younger.
What’s your 2018 goal?
To travel more, I think. I want to go to visit loads of my stores: I love those because I can go and meet the women who buy my shoes, it’s amazing. It’s so exciting to see how they style my shoes and see what they’re interested in, because they are who I do all this for.