With her blonde hair and bewitching eyes, Laura Hofmann has the sort of looks that could incite whiplash. But don't confuse this German-born beauty as just another pretty face. At the young age of 23, Hofmann has already staked her claim as a fashion entrepreneur to watch thanks to the recent launch of her style-centric site Likette.com.
Needless to say, we weren't entirely surprised to find a Steve Jobs biography and other assorted business tomes stacked next to a pile of fashion mags in her lavish Knightsbridge home. Her insanely covetable dressing room, complete with a vanity and built-in drawers in the wardrobe to hold her impressive collection of luxury handbags, however, stopped us in our tracks. The same could be said of the budding business guru's stash of new-season designer outfits. Really, who needs a power suit when you've got Prada?
We snapped Hofmann in and around her Knightsbridge digs in four dreamy ensembles that showcase her self-proclaimed "girly and fresh" style. Prepare to be wowed.
Photographed by Michelle Bobb-Parris
Tell us about Likette. What’s the premise? What does it offer?
"Likette is actually a lifestyle brand where you can connect. Likette.com
is the centre of the brand with pop-up shops, store events, parties, and exclusive collections. You can communicate and indulge with like-minded women around the world. With so much information already at your disposal, we like to take a little twist on seeing things differently on matters of lifestyle, trends, and a platform. Likette takes you on a journey. Likettes are strong and compassionate and business-savvy as well as creative, with a desire for life, and an inspiring story to share."
Carven blouse and skirt, Christian Louboutin heels
How would you describe your personal style?
"Elegant and casual, yet sexy with girly and fresh twists. I try to get in as many attributes as possible: flat
loafers for the casual androgynous style, a bow belt for the feminine and girly side, and some skinny,
high-waisted jeans to show off my silhouette. I believe ‘less is more’ and don’t want to look like I’ve tried
too hard. My signature look includes high-waisted flared skirts, Celine accessories, Olympia Le Tan
clutches, Dolce & Gabbana earrings, and little jumpers or blouses."
What are your favourite London stores—both brick-and-mortar and online?
"I shop both online and offline. Joseph and Harvey Nichols are great. For online shopping I use Matches
and Net-a-Porter mostly. If I need something for a special occasion, I go back to my folders of things I
have saved from all over the internet, and then directly purchase the product from the shop."
What designers do you wear again and again?
"I love Kenzo and Carven at the moment."
You’re originally from Germany. Do you dress differently when you’re back home, as opposed to in London?
"Germany, especially Munich, is rather classic, less extravagant, and more casual. I often feel too dressed
up when I am back home, but I do dress the same way. I just don’t accessorize things too much then to
keep the outfit more simple."
What surprised you most about British fashion or the way people dress here?
"They are never cold! And I get used to it as well now, and hardly wear tights in the night, haha."
Christian Louboutin heels
You’ve said that you’re more interested in real-girl style. That said, whose style really inspires you?
"Friends, people I work with, and a few celebrities have great style. People with their own individual taste,
who enhance their personality, and who pick pieces that are very unique really inspire me. Everyone has
their little style identities that make them look special. The Likette style is feminine, girly, yet confident and strong. A woman should focus on her feminine side and, with just a few details, make a big statement. A pair of geeky classes makes you interesting and secretive. A bow or other feminine attributes makes you look girly. Lace and leather are sexy. A pair of loafers gives you the androgynous edge, and so on."
Kenzo top and skirt, Prada boots, Céline bag
What advice would give someone looking to launch a fashion start-up?
"I think for any start-up, you should just do it. Don’t question it. The way is long, and I have a very long
way to go still, but I think that's what makes it so interesting and motivating. We need dreams and goals
to keep going."
What are your go-to pieces for spring '13?
"I can’t wait for spring. I travel a lot, so I will get some comfortable striped pants by Acne and canvas
loafers by Charlotte Olympia. The dresses by Valentino and Balenciaga are amazing for evening events, like the Cannes Film Festival. Other than that, I split my time between the city and at holiday places
in the summer. So, for the city look I can’t wait to get my hands on some Carven and Kenzo skirts and
tops. For the summer holiday season, I have Dolce & Gabbana earrings, Valentino studded sandals and an Isabel Marant dress on my wishlist."
What’s your secret to dressing for Fashion Week?
"During Fashion Week, you have to change quite a lot and you have to make it to many places. So, be
comfortable somehow. I am not a great fan of just wearing the latest things from the catwalk and copying
them. It is nice if you wear something that enhances your personality and makes you look different to
You live in Knightsbridge. What are some of your favourite spots in the neighbourhood?
"I love the Berkeley Hotel for afternoon meetings, or a walk in Hyde Park with my friend’s dog, Nugget, which I take care of a lot. I love Motcomb Street, and Harvey Nichols is very close to my place. I run there for things I need to get last-minute like a lipstick, an outfit for a party, or some food."
Dolce & Gabbana earrings, blouse, and bag, H&M skirt, Valentino heels
Are there any stylish films or books that have inspired you lately?
"I am currently reading
The Beautiful Fall
, which tells the story of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent’s early years in Paris. It is very inspiring, and gives you a great insight into that moment where it was all happening. The outfits in the movie Gone With the Wind
are amazing, too. So much detail to fabrics, colour, cut, and pattern. You won’t find that anymore today, but maybe we will soon. Haute couture is picking up again…"
Dolce & Gabbana bag
What beauty brands or products do you swear by?
"I have used Roche Posay for quite some time now as well as Shiseido. Both are very skin-friendly and they don’t use too much perfume or other chemical ingredients. For makeup I mainly use Chanel and MAC."
Where in London do you get your hair done?
"I get my highlights done with Daniel Galvin, Jr. and my hair is cut and styled by Miguel who works at
Josh Wood Atelier."
Do you have a favourite fragrance?
"My favourite is a mix of Chanel Coco and Yves Saint Laurent Opium."
Are there any wellness secrets that you live by?
"I don’t have any secrets...or, I wouldn’t say I live by regimes that particularly help me. But I guess I have
quite a healthy lifestyle — I don’t drink alcohol or coffee, and apart from my very sweet taste, I eat healthy
and work out regularly. Working out and being aware of your body really helps me to maintain myself
and keep an emotional balance."
Carven top and skirt, Cartier bracelet, Olympia Le Tan clutch
What’s your go-to date night outfit?
"I would dress the way I would usually dress for that location or time of the day. I think a girl should
always look her best. Trying to look different for a date is not who you really are. Sooner or later
your date will figure that out as well."
What fashion trend are you completely over?
"I love Balenciaga, but I couldn’t carry those bags anymore."
Charlotte Olympia heels
Tell us about the collaborations you have coming up.
"One has just been confirmed and I am happy to share it with you. Together with the great jacket designer Pinky Laing, I am designing an exclusive jacket which will only be available via Likette."
Carven skirt and top, Olympia Le Tan cltuch, Charlotte Olympia heels