Meet the designer behind a new collection of streetwear for girls
Clondalkin-native Sophie Murphy’s creations are made with the skateboarder in mind
Sophie Murphy: Her new collection of streetwear is making waves
“It’s a girly take on menswear and I try and use pink as much as I can in my fabrics,” says Sophie Murphy, freshly graduated from the Grafton Academy but already armed with a fully fledged 22-piece collection ready for sale. Dressed head to toe in a pink trouser suit with a cascade of curly hair and white Eytys Angel sneakers, the Clondalkin native knows exactly where her focus is – on street and skate wear for girls.
“So many street wear brands are aimed at men and I love the idea of wearing oversize skater clothes, but I don’t want to be dressed in men’s clothing. They go to Carhartt for trousers and Stussy for t-shirts and bucket hats,” she says.
Entirely made by her, this comprehensive collection consists of jeans, trousers, skirts, waistcoats, puffa jackets, dresses, jumpers and tracksuits. A lot of the pieces are multi-functional – the puffa (which she stuffed herself with feathers and quilted) is reversible with removable sleeves. Cardigans and skirts can be worn in four different ways, waistcoats are made with sofa Lino and other ingenious details include sleeve hooks, iPhone and clip-on pockets all designed with the skateboarder in mind.
Her talents have already won recognition. In 2017 in her second year at the Grafton she won DCU Young Designer of the Year with a collection using camouflage material for deck chairs. Last year she got into the final round of designing a runner for Nike – which took her to a London workshop with the English rapper and songwriter Skepta one of the mentors. A self-confessed sneaker head, she cannot count the number of pairs she owns. When her fun tie-dyed shirts called rockanddye embroidered with the slogan Cooler Than You were photographed on the New Balance designer, 23-year-old Oslo native Ida Broen in Norway, Murphy was inundated with orders.
She admits cheerfully that she can’t draw. “I do everything on computer – photoshop and Illustration are my best friends.” The youngest of two, at 15 she had a sewing machine and remembers Simplicity patterns and spending her time trying to machine straight lines.
Initially she planned to do hairdressing, but eventually settled on fashion and the three-year course at the Grafton Academy after a year in Sallynoggin. During this period, she interned with Simone Rocha at Three Moon Design in Ely Place, headquarters of John Rocha, where she polished her craft doing embroidery and finishing and also attending London and Paris fashion weeks. “You learnt how to perfect a finish, but also got to see every area of the business, and the general running of the studio before it closed,” she says.
A one-woman show (with some help from her sister Amy), she does everything herself, working from a little studio in her back garden, has 8,000 followers on Instagram and made her own website – sewphie.ie. “I grew up around clothing as my mam was very cool and the more [fashion] I did, the more I loved it. I was a bit of a tomboy in combats and runners, but now I want to make them look really cool,” she says.