Sophia Webster for Saks

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Fans took pictures with Webster and had the soles of their shoes autographed. In this picture I’m wearingTop: Ann Taylor via T.J. Maxx – SIMILAR/Shorts: T.J. Maxx – SIMILAR/Heels: Steve Madden/Purse: (old) Save, Spend, Splurge

How cute were these Shirley Temples in sprinkle-rimmed glasses for the Sophia Webster’s personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue? Totes adorbs!

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Guests were also treated to delicious flamingo cake-pops compliments of Saks.

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British shoe designer, Sophia Webster, caught her big break when she earned an apprenticeship with footwear legend, Nicholas Kirkwood. Her experience, combined with her wildly original designs and playful use of colors allowed her to launch her debut collection in 2013, which since, has gained rapid success and won quite the following among fashion bloggers, socialites and celebs like, Blake Lively, Katy Perry and Kendall Jenner. Amidst her growing business, remarkably, she’s been able to maintain balance in her life as a wife and mother to her precious daughter. And at 29 years old, she exudes an impressive level of grace and humility.

Impressed yet? I was!

Last week, I sat down with Webster at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boca Raton to chat shoes, the future of her brand and how to get into the fashion world.

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Me: Your shoes are so bold and unique. Where do you find your inspiration?

SW: Art is definitely a big inspiration. I studied Fine Arts before studying shoes so I find inspiration in artists like Jackson Pollock, Henri Rousseau and Henri Matisse. For the Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, I looked at Rousseau’s jungle scenes. Having never been to the jungle, he created what he imagined a jungle would look like. That’s how I put this collection together. It’s inspired by the jungle and by the things I would have in my jungle like watermelons, pineapples, flamingos, wild flowers and leopard prints.

I’m also inspired by East London’s atmosphere because it’s such a diverse area with street art and graffiti. And nature, too! You can find the most amazing patterns hidden in things… like butterfly wings, tropical fish and birds.

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Sophia Webster for Saks

Your use of color is amazing. Do you think that’s something that will continue carry throughout your work?

SW: Yes, it’s an important part of the brand. It’s something women gravitate to if they love color. But there’s also a part of the collection that’s paired back. I’ve started to create more evening styles that are classic and sophisticated because it’s important to have a diverse collection that caters to every aspect of a woman’s personality. One day she might want to make a statement, the next day she might want to be minimal…

Me: Do you design with a specific woman in mind?

SW: When I first started, I had a specific woman in mind but the more I learned about the buying nature of women, the more that’s changed. I didn’t have any shoes to wear when I was pregnant because my feet literally doubled in size. That’s when I realized it wasn’t always practical to wear heels and designed flat sandals and sneakers into my collections. 

I like to think the brand appeals to a woman that understands femininity and sensibility, and appreciate shoes that are creative and sassy… 

Me: And doesn’t take herself too seriously!

SW: Definitely!

My entry for the “Shoefie” contest! Love this pair? Shop it here

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Me: What can we expect to see from you this year?

SW: This has been a big year, but there’s still so much left! I launched a new collection of bridal shoes and baby shoes, inspired by my little one, this year. I’m also working on developing handbags that are more functional. My evening collection is scheduled to debut October/November. I’m also designing sneakers for the first time and turning my most coveted winged heel into a pair of pointy-toe flats. I also hope to have a store open in London later this year.  

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Here’s a preview of Webster’s Autumn/Winter 2015 Collection, which will be in stores at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boca Raton this June.

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Webster designed a shoe exclusively for Saks, named the “Chiara.” It incorporates her signature-winged heel with Saks Fifth Avenue colors, black and white.

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Me: What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?

SW: I honestly don’t think I would do anything differently. You have to make mistakes to learn from them. There are definitely things I regret in my life… like outfits and shoe choices… but I don’t think I would take any of that back. That’s life and that’s part of growing up.

Me: Any advice for young girls who want to get into fashion?

SW: With social media and how well connected the world is, now is the best time to put yourself out there. Start a blog or a website, collect images of things you like and find your voice so you can discover who you are and what you want to do. When I knew it shoes for me, I drew them every single day. I was obsessed…

Know when to take a good opportunity even if it means making cups of tea or sweeping the floors for a designer, it’s important to expose yourself to that kind of environment. You can’t be a creative director over night. You have to start from the very bottom to make it to the top…

Scroll down to check out some of my favorite styles, and shop the collection here.

Xo, Stephanie

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