“If you have the chance to come from an eccentric family – and my father was really eccentric – then you can be yourself. Who I am, I try to translate in the clothes that I’m doing today.”
Whether or not Sophie Theallet’s eccentricity actually shines through in the clothes the New York-based designer creates, it’s not necessarily the defining trait which has made her name in the USA’s fashion industry.
Instead, the French born designer Sophie Theallet creates clothes that stand alone in today's fashion world. The only path she follows is her own, as each new collection is an evolution of the last, built around Sophie's singular vision and mastery of craft. Her signature is a panache of femininity and ease, sensuality and craftsmanship that is instantly recognisable. And, like Sophie herself, the collections have an undeniably French accent, but also exude a freedom of spirit that transcends all borders - luxury clothing whose universal appeal lies in its unique point of view.
It is this universal appeal which was noticed at the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize (IWP) USA regional final by iconic industry figures, including: Council of Fashion Designers of America CEO Steven Kolb, designer Narciso Rodriguez, SVP Fashion Office and Store Presentation at Bergdorf Goodman Linda Fargo, Editor in Chief at T Magazine Sally Singer and EVP of Global Communications at Calvin Klein Malcolm Carfrae.
When asked what made Sophie stand out in the competition, Narciso Rodriguez answered, "Sophie's unique vision, her skill and apparent craftsmanship".
Before launching her eponymous label in 2007 in New York, Sophie Theallet learned from the best. After graduating early from Studio Berçot in Paris after winning the National Young Design Award, she was hired by Jean-Paul Gaultier, to whom she credits teaching her how to work with colours, how to develop the narrative of a collection and, most importantly, how to be fearless and to trust her own instincts.
“I’m going to try and move forward also with woolmark,” Sophie Theallet
Sophie Theallet's growing clientele responds intimately to her ability to create a sense of discovery about each garment. From a simple T-shirt to an elaborately constructed evening gown, Theallet's clothes invite the woman's personality to come through. It is this philosophy about subtle sexiness, beauty, substance and style that continues to draw converts worldwide. And her win at the 2012/13 IWP USA regional award will only see her international profile grow even wider.
“Every dress that I’m going to do I push the barrier,”Theallet says of her IWP capsule collection. “But everything that I’m doing is a continuation of the collections that I always do.”
For Theallet, winning this prestigious award and being presented with the opportunity to represent the USA on the world stage is something which rests very close to her heart.
“The first memories that I have of wool was me as a little girl going to the factory of my grandfather, and I remember everything.
“When I compete in IWP I think this is a homage to my grandfather. For me it’s something that is really dear to my heart and really emotional.”
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