Sophie Hawkins: Designer, tailor and maker of garments for practical people. She was born in Bristol, brought up in Street, Glastonbury as well as the small villages of Pilton and Ashcott in Somerset.
“From about the age of 8 at primary school, we would visit my dad’s best friend in St Tropez and Monaco. From that first summer there and onwards, I spent the next 15 years of school daydreaming about moving abroad. My older and only brother was born in Antibes while our parents were on holiday in the heat wave. I grew up around Dad’s love of art....Cimiez, Matisse."
What makes you feel empowered?
Dancing, fun exercise, surfing. The space to talk and also reading spiritual and philosophical books - feeling aligned with what they say is incredibly empowering. Nurturing others is also key to me: be that friends, strangers, children or elders. Whoever needs it on a day where I can provide it and will receive it!
And, of course, making, creating and seeing the product of my hard work.
What elements of your upbringing do you incorporate into your daily life?
Skateboarding, dancing, sketch booking & keeping a visual diary, cooking for friends, making tea, meditating, bathing, charity shopping are all things I still practice regularly.
How have you carried your heritage with you?
On a social level, I’ve maintained good relationships with old friends from home. When it comes to style, I’ve undoubtedly carried my heritage through the clothes I wear and make. The idea of sustainability is key in this, and all that comes with being empathetic to local and distant environments.
What was the moment when you realised that being a designer was your calling?
Without a doubt, the first time I tried on my god mother’s Vivienne Westwood blouse. I then kept hearing about the same common issue with clothes - from labourers, specifically - and then when I saw the boom in high street fashion 8 years ago. I knew that sustainability needed solutions.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your pieces?
Empowered, comfortable and "treated" to.
What are the sounds, sights, and smells that resonate with you?
The sound of lawn mowers in the summer and the smell of freshly cut grass. Rose oil from Anna’s perfume. Fresh coffee. Bread. The background of bass and live guitar music at festivals. Fresh leather from the seats of my Godfather’s boat. Dawn and dusk on the levels.
How does your heritage/where you are from impact your work as a designer?
Growing up, I moved between my mum’s and my dad’s house on a weekly basis. The skills and habits I gained from this have meant that the nature of being a freelance tailor is natural for me. From adapting to very different surroundings and new clients to effectively living out of a bag, this has encouraged me to design practical things that suit this kind of lifestyle.
How do you define success?
Happiness, inner peace and others admiring my work for the same reasons why I started it.
What have been your biggest learnings in life so far?
My relationships with others have taught me so much and I’ve certainly realised that most of life’s challenges come from within. I’ve also learnt that we can transform through great loss; my older brother died suddenly and unexpectedly, yet I am still here living.
Have you had any pivotal life changing moments? What were they?
Honestly, launching my company and it being well received by all has been one of the biggest and most positive moments of my life.
What is your life manifesto?
Saying no when you want to.
What is your favourite Indoi piece?
The Sham Cotton Wrap Top, without a doubt.