Most of the world's leading fashion designers got their start working under industry giants--Derek Lam assisted Michael Kors in the '90s, Jean-Paul Gaultier hired Sophie Theallet straight out of college, and Stella McCartney interned for Christian Lacroix. Sophia Webster, the noteworthy British designer in today's spotlight, followed a similar career path, working as Nicholas Kirkwood's first-ever assistant designer for two and half years. Now off on her own, Webster's debut S/S 13 collection is an instant success, featuring architecturally modern footwear and clutches in a mix of splashy neon and pastel shades. Each piece is fashion-forward, fun, and completely unique--perfect for spring days and summer nights alike. Read on for our exclusive Q&A with the designer, and be sure to check out more of her first collection online here.
**Sophia Webster Daria Leather and PVC Slingbacks** ($395, 310.550.5900)
Sophisticated in shape, yet wonderfully quirky in design, these beg for a night out with the girls. We love their striped heels and splatter paint front; the combo feels truly unique.
Sophia Webster Azealia Striped Python Clutch ($995)
Thanks to bright rainbow stripes, this python clutch is both luxurious and artfully playful. It's just the piece you need to energize your summer neutrals.
**Designer Q& A with Sophia Webster**
**When did you start your line?**
I launched my first collection for Pre-Spring/Summer 2013.
**Describe the Sophia Webster muse.**
Someone who is both playful and confident. She's free-spirited and gravitates towards colour.
**What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?**
For S/S 13, I referenced both art and people, which is reflective in my designs. I was particularly inspired by the tropical Palm Beach style of the '60s, the work of Yayoi Kusama, and the Hmong people of China.
**What's one pair of shoes you can't live without?**
From my S/S 13 collection, I love slipping into the Rio Sunset. When I wear them, I am instantly transported back to Ipanema Beach, which served as the inspiration.
**Who would you love to see wearing your shoes and why?**
Miroslava Duma. She infuses each outfit she wears with a sense of confidence and quirkiness that makes it her own.