Living and working in a converted Islington toy studio, surrounded by robots, fashion and accessories designer Sophie Hulme takes us back to our childhood in The Wise Up Issue, and here shares an exclusive playlist for i-D of her favourite music.
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Sophie Hulme is the prêt-à-porter princess of her very own toy story. With a penchant for turning things gold and plating them in metallic armour Miss Hulme has turned her Midas touch on whistles, lolly-sticks, chip-forks and, next under her pretty little spell, the unassuming ice-cream spoon, “like you get in the theatre,” she says with a smile. Born and bred in London, Sophie has taken subtle British references, gilded them and tied them like a charm to each piece in her collection. On a roll from the get-go in 2009, when she graduated from Kingston University with Student of the Year and Best Collection awards under her flawlessly crafted belt, the utility-influenced tomboy started her own label two months later and has been enchanting the fashion scene ever since. Explaining her androgynous style, Sophie tells i-D, “When I started a few years ago there was a bit of a gap for the military thing and I think girls like to dress like that realistically, girls like stuff that’s a bit boyish and feels a bit cooler.” Training in ready-to-wear, she fell seamlessly into accessory design following a stint shadowing leather-makers and giving bags of all shapes and sizes a distinctive make-under. With a ten-foot golden dinosaur guarding her ex-toy factory studio and a collection obsession that’s spanned silver comb holders, old matchboxes and robots she’s scoured eBay for, it’s not hard to see where she gets her inspiration from, “I find lots of weird little things quite fascinating. I’ve got a collection of Japanese robots that all fold down into little gold boxes. You open them up and the mechanisms are amazing, they’re just beautifully made.” Her advice to the rest of us is just as in sync with her aesthetic, simply: “Work hard and be nice to people.” Wise words, as she swiftly cements her place in the fashion elite gaining a following like magpies drawn to the shiny golden spoons.