I could listen to Sophie Theallet forever. An accent that transports you to Paris in a heart beat with all the remarkable glossy stories of another time in fashion. The kind of stories and images that we all still love to write about and these days Instagram endlessly.
There are two people involved here: Sophie and Steve, her friend/lover/husband/business partner. Both have had an intensive and extensive graduation in fashion; Sophie, the right hand to Azzedine Alaia for one decade and Steve a very successful model in the ’90s.
“It has always been very organic for us,” she explains. Sophie followed her heart in pursuit of the man she fell in love with in Paris, having decamped to New York with Steve, together they lived at the Chelsea Hotel devouring the bohemian life of the new wave ’90s in New York. Then traveling around the States before knuckling down and working hard again, but this time together, creating a label and designing a collection called SF, Sophie Theallet. At the same time, Leon who is now seven years old, was just born.
“A woman should have a secret so that it leaves one guessing and questioning,” Sophie says while tapping the table with her electronic smoke stick. She admires women who have an air of nonchalance and who are free, “to be able to express sensuality in other ways other than what they wear. To also know their bodies and to be clever with it, that’s freedom.”
Both explain that living in New York has given them a sense of freedom. “In some ways you are disconnected from your cocoon. We are still very French with our roots and history of education but one can invent newness in New York without any inhibitions. New York is unique to this.”
Steve is the realist, the social media modernist, and Sophie is the fantasist that conjures up emotions of endless ideas to drape her women and create stories. They work together having the best of both worlds, blending and molding perfectly to design a stellar collection one after another. This is testament that fantasy can indeed work very well with reality.
How do you work at being a mother, designer and wife?
Sophie: Actually, I don’t work at any of them. I love my son, my husband, my work. I don’t separate myself into categories or roles… It’s a whole.
Name three women who you admire and why?
Steve: Simone de Beauvior- I admire her intellectual strength, her memoires are living changing. Martine Barrat- she is a great friend of ours, her photography is transporting, unique and full of humanity. As a person she is an inspiration, a real modern, courageous and free thinking woman. Carlyne Cerf de Dudzelle- for me she embodies Fashion. She has a strength, opinion and realness which is hard to find these days.
Featured images by James Mooney.