We were kicking around ideas and decided that it would be fun to shoot 10 10-year-olds wearing 10 coats to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” Sophie Hulme tells Vogue. And so, the designer’s plans to celebrate a decade in the business were born.
If it sounds bonkers, it’s actually as straightforward as Hulme, who received fame early on thanks to her boxy bags adorned with gold geometric hardware, explains. She decided to revisit outerwear, a ready-to-wear category she didn’t have time to develop when her bag business started to boom, and thought it would be amusing to have children modelling the collection – “like in cartoons, when kids sit on each other’s shoulders with big coats on!”
Her structured totes were lauded for their accessible price points, but does Hulme believe there is a gap in the market for outerwear? “For me coats and handbags sit hand-in-hand,” she affirms. “They are both investment pieces to be kept and loved, so, in my eyes, they shouldn’t follow trends – they should be made to last in both style and finish.” She used the same starting point – military pieces – to create coats and jackets that have utility sewn into them and the same straightforward-yet-tough features as menswear. The end result is an “outerwear tool kit” comprising five key styles and 15 pieces – “a mix of classic and unusual, as you would want for real life.”
As for the children, they found the whole project hilarious. “We didn’t want to go through a casting process with a model agency as we wanted real kids doing their thing,” she says of finding the youngsters through friends. “We talked about why it’s really awesome to be 10, and did all sorts of camera trickery with fake legs, [which they loved].”
With so much fun to be had, what news of the bags that are synonymous with her namesake brand? “I’m working on some really exciting new styles and hardware at the moment,” she offers. “And we are expanding the sizes and functions that we offer for evening and for work.”
Just like the coats, which range from £695 to £1,095, she is “really excited for people to see” the latest string to her polished bow.