By Libby Redrup
I had the pleasure of interviewing the designer behind ‘Sophie Nancy’, a new and growing fashion brand by a student in Leeds. Sophies makes a variety of colourful, creative, custom pieces from cute crop tops to velvet loungewear.
She completes the whole process herself; budgeting, designing and even making her own stickers for packaging. A true business wonder woman!
Her clothes are available to buy (in all sizes!) on her website (www.sophienancy.co.uk) or Asos marketplace, go check it out.
‘Wear what you want’.
Sophie has recently come out with a unisex collection; ‘Wear What you Want’. A variety of unique pieces designed to be worn by anyone, anywhere. Sophie told Lippy that when she first started, her creations were inspired by the current ‘female’ trends. However, a surprising interest grew from her male friends, inspiring her unisex collection. Sophie says clothes are just pieces of fabric so shouldn’t have a gender. With her brand she wants to inspire people to wear anything they feel comfortable in, regardless of size, shape or gender.
What’s so bad about fast fashion? Why are small brands like yours so much better?
Fast fashion is having a major negative environmental impact. Landfill is growing with masses of cheap clothes, instantly chucked away after one wear. Copious amounts of water are wated in production and gallons of fuel used to transport mass stock which then likely just gathers dust in warehouses. And don’t forget the frankly horrendous treatment of people who are packed into stuffy factors making the cheap items for next to nothing an hour.
Sophie told Lippy about the growing problem of ‘greenwashing’ where brands claim to be environmentally friendly but underneath the surface, they are far from it! Sophie is transparent with her environmental choices. She tries her best, using recycled and donated fabric but it is difficult for small business (especially those who want to be inclusive of all sizes). Sometimes there must be a balance of green choices and sensible business choices. When this is the case, she is very open and honest about it (which is more than can be said for most big businesses!).
Why did you start making clothes?
Sophies first sewing machine was gifted to her by her grandmother many years ago. Her business journey however began in lockdown with a desire to have clothes that fitted her like a glove. As a tall girl Sophie struggled to find clothes that fitted her perfectly and so took to making her own clothes, custom to her size and shape. People were blown away by her creations and her business grew from there. Now she juggles a Masters in fashion design, a part time job and an ever-expanding business, what a boss!
Why do people want custom pieces?
People want their own identity. Buying clothes from big chain brands makes it hard to stand out from the crowd. Sophie told Lippy she thinks it is especially important for university students to express their individuality. She thinks that when people get to university, they find a new confidence and burning desire to be experimental with their fashion. Custom pieces allow people to show their individuality and personality through their clothes. She says this is even more evident with Leeds students where the fashion mantra seems to say ‘Anything goes.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Sophie loves fashion. During her part time job, she is often distracted by customers outfits and loves complimenting her favourite looks (something we should all do more of). Her style is described by friends ‘as if a toddler had grown up overnight…but in a good way!’. Creativity should not die as we grow up and this is shown in her brand. Bright colours and crazy varied designs. She strongly believes everyone should wear whatever they want; fashion is not just clothes, is an expression of your identity.
Image credit: Sophie Nancy