Her creations seem designed specifically to make us women dream: they’re spectacular and feminine, with a healthy touch of playfulness. Q&A with the incredible shoes designer Sophia Webster.
Her academic career started at the Royal College of Art and saw her graduate from the renowned Cordwainers College. After her studies she became the protégé of Nicholas Kirkwood, who promised to help her launch her own personal line just to have her as his assistant. Even while she was still training, Sophie was hoovering up prizes: the Cordwainers at London College of Fashion Award of Excellence (2008), the Drapers Student Footwear Designer of the Year Award (2009) and the Browns Shoe Designer Award (2010). Immediately after launching her line Sophia Webster she won the Conde Nast Footwear New Emerging Designer of the Year award for 2012 and the New Gen Award from the British Fashion Council for two years running.
What’s distinctive about your creations? The combination of unusual colours, textures and patterns on delicate, dainty heels.
What was the first pair of shoes you bought? Buffalo boots (I wanted to be a Spice Girl).
What were the first shoes you designed? They were pink patent and mint suede heeled high tops. It was my first project at Cordwainers College and the brief was given to us by Gola.
A pair of shoes you would’ve liked to have designed? Prada flame shoes.
Which kind of shoe would you never wear? Crocs.
What kind of shoe don’t you like to see women wearing? I’m not a fan of Uggs but fake Uggs are unforgivable.
Heels are for? Strong, independent, confident women.
Is there an accessories designer you admire? Tom Binns jewellery is divine. I love his use of vibrant colour and the unusual asymmetric detailing.
Do you have an accessory obsession? Tarina Tarantino Hello Kitty jewellery.
What can’t you live without? Mechanical pencils.
Are you fixated on anything? Cute Stationary.
What are you secretly addicted to? Monster Munch and ginger beer.
Do you collect anything? Around the studio I have started collecting oversized animals, for example upstairs in my office there are various fake flamingos, a huge polystyreneKeith Haring dog and a 6ft topiary unicorn, whereas downstairs there is a life-size purple felt pig and some more colourful felt flamingo props from my AW LFW presentation.
Tell us one of your favourite places in London. The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.