Since her launch barely four years ago, Sophia Webster’s unfaltering dedication to a joyful, colourful and playful aesthetic has burned bright in a sea of athleisure and minimalism. This season, she’s taken it up a notch, amplifying her signature aesthetic with an intoxicating jungle-icious colour palette that’s straight out of the rainforest. Block colours, more metallics and heaps of embellishment... Webster has basically managed to accessorise her accessories with a jewelled, intricate detail that will set this apart as a standout collection for her. The 31-year old’s SS17 offering, which caters for every heel-preference – high, low and chunky – was served up in a characteristically delightful fashion in the heart of London’s Soho, with models swinging in bird cages to the sound of '60s classics. “We’re very agile, as a design company” says Webster when we catch her at this, her ninth London Fashion Week presentation. “I think there’s definitely a real need for flats and sneakers in the collection. We have a really broad collection now.” This broad collection consists of perspex heels, muled slides, mid heights and chunky curved platforms, all on show in exquisite gilded cages. Fans of Webster's will know that the designer has a taste for the fantastical (last season she took inspiration from Tim Burton) and this collection is no exception.
“I love Dreamgirls” Webster told Refinery29. “I’ve watched it quite a few times. Then I was watching [Alfred Hithcock’s] The Birds randomly, and I thought that would be quite cool to merge that. And I was thinking of Birds of Paradise anyway, for colour and the plants. And then I got more into the' 60s and I thought it would be cool to do... Dolly Birds of Paradise!” The poster girl for British shoe design had another spin in the limelight last week, taking a trip to 10 Downing St alongside fellow industry leaders Christopher Bailey and Dame Natalie Massanet to meet its new occupant. “She’s lovely” says Webster of our new Prime Minister, “and she has a really good understanding of the British Fashion Industry.” Theresa May, who proved at the industry meetup that she had an eye for fashion herself in a Palmer/Harding shirt, is keen to champion British design. But the real sartorial test for our PM is does she own a pair of Sophia Webster’s? “Not yet” says Webster, “but I think my Boss Lady shoes could be quite apt for her!”
Webster’s own success is thanks as much to her keen eye for eye-popping design as it is to her sharp business mind. Growing her social media presence from 100 to nearly a million with no social media strategy, the designer is beating the older fashion houses who are currently struggling to find a way to reach their consumers directly. And this isn’t just about numbers, Webster has a fond relationship with her fans too, including her very own super fans. “I know the accounts, I know who they are, I know what shoes they’ve bought” she says. “They think they stalk me, but actually I stalk them!” If you follow Webster on Snapchat as avidly as we do, you’ll probably have one other really, really important question for her: what is the secret to that luscious long blonde hair? “Do you know what, when I was pregnant, it got really long” she laughs. “So maybe you just need to get knocked up.”