What inspired you to create Sophia Kah?
Our SS18 collection is inspired by Lisbon in my native Portugal. Super Heroina was about returning to my roots and being inspired the rich and diverse culture there - the beautiful architecture and daily sunshine. We produce everything we make in Porto and for SS18 have experimented with local embroidery and broderie anglaise-style technics.
How has your previous experience helped you to establish yourself as a fashion designer?
I was born in the middle of all the needles and threads at my grandmother’s factory in Portugal – that was my starting point for this adventure. I used to create my own designs, even as a child. When I moved to London, I realised that it was what I really wanted to do for a living and created Sophia Kah.
You are often inspired by your home country of Portugal. Where else do you find your inspiration?
Mostly Portuguese cultural heritage; it is so rich and inspiring. When we sit down at the beginning of a new season I have so many ideas, but I always end up coming back to my origins, along with the inspiration from my travels and the women that I admire. I have been lucky that many incredible women all around the world have chosen to wear my designs. The way these women individually style the dresses always gives me an idea for how I can reinvent that style the following season.
What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
The fabrics are the most important thing for me. We use the finest French lace and I love putting them together, layering the lace – a process that has become our signature. Secondly, I love combining the colours to mould the silhouette of the dresses into flattering curves that work on women of all shapes and sizes. The architecture of a dress is very special to me.
Do you prefer working on your ready-to-wear line or your made-to-order pieces?
Ready to wear and made to order are so different in their process, both of which I love designing. For ready to wear, I need to have a wide audience in mind, different body types. This is where I get to dig deep into my imagination and create a collection that really tells a story. On the other hand, made-to-order pieces are very enriching, since we are working on one woman’s body and building her a dress to bring out her best attributes.
Does your personal style influence your designs? How would you describe your day-to-day style?
I only design pieces for Sophia Kah that I would like to wear. Like most female designers I try to create dresses that I’ve often tried to shop for but could not find. With Sophia Kah, the ethos was about designing a collection which included feminine but sultry dresses and separates that you can wear from day-to-night, contrasted with glamorous evening wear. I’ll wear our leather trousers and a lace blouse, then switch into a cocktail dress for dinner.
What’s your biggest accomplishment since you founded your brand?
We have had many little accomplishments. However, the most special moment was when we caught the attention of the best stores in the world – Harrods and Barneys.
And your biggest struggle?
Innovating every four months. The fashion cycle is so fast and you constantly need an idea, then have to interpret it in the Sophia Kah way. To keep the loyalty of your clients, season after season, while bringing newness to the market and staying relevant is by far the toughest part of running a fashion brand.
Which are your favourite restaurants and shops to visit in London?
I love Japanese – I’ma huge fan of Zuma in Knightsbridge. More recently, I’ve been going to the Juan Santa Cruz restaurants: Isabel and Casa Cruz. When it comes to shopping in London, the curation at Joseph on Sloane Street is my favourite – the brand edit covers household names through to new discoveries. For something really special I love Dover Street Market.
If you could go on a shopping trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would definitely choose New York. The flagship stores there are second to none.
Who is your style inspiration?
Bianca Jagger has long been an inspiration – smoulderingly sexy in a very chic way, glamorous but sophisticated, and she really knows how to let her hair down and have fun. That’s the persona I try to capture in the design of every Sophia Kah dress.
What’s next for Sophia Kah?
The fashion industry is moving so fast that it is hard to plan in advance. At the moment we are finishing our AW18 collection and starting to plan SS19.