Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life. And so we've got your feet covered with our next Designer Spotlight, your very own Fairy Shoemother... Sophia Webster.
Sophia Webster is a young British designer who is turning fashionable heads with her fairytale-like designs and bold colors, putting the fun back into footwear. Below, we'll share an overview of Sophia's career and explain why you should know her name.
Sophia spent her teenage years as a competitive dancer before enrolling at Camberwell College of Arts in London where she studied clay sculpting and woodcarving. During her illustration and drawing classes, Webster excelled at drawing feet and so she found herself attracted to shoes. As she told South China Morning Post,
"Shoes are the ultimate accessory," she says. "They make you look taller, slimmer and they always fit. They change the way you stand - you rely on them. What's not to love?"
So right, don’t you think?
Soon after, Sophia attended Cordwainers' Technical College (now London College of Fashion), where she learned the fundamentals of shoemaking. She also apprenticed with London designer and Alexander McQueen consultant Georgina Goodman. Sophia spent years learning the ins and outs of shoes, applying her sculpting and woodworking studies to shoemaking.
Sophia's Big Break
After college, Sophia studied for her MA at London's Royal College of Art. It was here that she caught the eye of fellow shoe mogul, Nicolas Kirkwood. The pair struck a deal; Sophia would join his studio for two years and in return, he would mentor her and help her launch her first collection.
Her first collection debuted in 2012, for the SS13 season. Its theme was "Welcome to the Dollhouse". Models posed as "dolls" in boxes, similar to giant Barbies, complete with tons of extra shoes for accessorizing. Her shoes themselves were a kaleidoscope of color with fun and quirky design elements including Aztec prints, hearts, polka dots, flamingoes, and prints of colorful houses in Brazil.
Sophia was awarded the Conde Nast Footwear Emerging Designer of the Year in 2012, the British Fashion Award for Emerging Accessories Designer in 2013, and the British Fashion Council’s New Gen Award for her first 3 consecutive seasons. Talk about a running start.
Although SS13 marked her first collection, it wasn't until SS14 when she put her best foot forward - literally - and let her feet take flight! This was the birth of her iconic butterfly shoe, the Chiara. This launched her into fashion superstardom.
Sophia Webster Today
Today, Sophia's shoes are famous. She's known for creating a commercially viable and unique aesthetic, mixing feminine designs with a sophisticated and contemporary approach. In much simpler terms, she makes absolutely fabulous looking shoes. (Hands up if you want a pair, too!)
And its not just the fashion world that's head over heels for Sophia's designs. Her shoes have been worn by many a star, including Lucy Hale, Jennifer Lawrence, and even J.K.Rowling. Yep, you read that right - the Queen of the Wizarding World loves Sophia's shoes!
2016 was a huge year for Webster. She won the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund in March, an accolade which she described to Vogue as "a real boost to her label" AND opened her first official store on London's Mount Street in May.
In the British Vogue piece, Sophia explained,
“I've loved having my own store - it’s been amazing to have direct feedback from our customers, which you can’t really get online,” she told us. “People are vocal on Instagram and Twitter, but it's not the same as being face-to-face, so I'd really like to open more stores..."
Her quest for shoe world domination has only just begun, helping girls conquer the world in gorgeous, unique footwear.
What do you think?
Are you head over heels too? How many pairs are on your wish-list? Let us know in the comments below!