Hi Sofia, how are you and what are you up to right now?
I am working on Filosofia “mini line” for kids at the moment and it is keeping me pretty busy! People kept asking me if I would make a kids’ range and it is finally happening. It is great timing for me too as I have a 4 year old daughter.
Where are you from and how did you end up living in Los Angeles?
I am originally from South Korea, moved to Los Angeles when I was in Junior High and lived there since.
Where in Los Angeles do you most like to spend time?
Silver lake is where I get most of my inspiration, so I spend a lot of time there.
What has your path been leading up to the launch of Filosofia? Have you always been interested in sustainable fashion, or fashion in general?
I’ve been into fashion since I was in Elementary school! Then in High School, I subscribed to Seventeen magazine… My friends remember and they often remind me of this :). I studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles after I graduated from High School and then started my career in the fashion industry before my 21st birthday.
My first 15 years in the industry, were spent mostly working for American fast fashion. But when I opened and operated a private label manufacturer aimed at those fast fashion brands, the volume of cancelled orders and returns had a hugely negative impact on my business (and my life). This led me to thinking about my life and what I truly wanted to achieve. I lost everything with my previous business and I thought I was going to die before I could make up for the damages I incurred… But I sat down and asked myself what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My first thought was that I needed to leave the fashion industry forever but then I realised I loved fashion too much to do that, and I also knew I wanted to make clothes for the rest of my life. I watched the movie “True Cost”, and it really opened my eyes about the fast fashion industry, so I decided not to go back to it. I also started to figure out what I really wanted to wear and where I wanted those garments to come from. Basically, at Filosofia I am the muse and the designer, haha! Through the process of launching Filosofia, I learned a lot more about sustainable fashion and how to work with natural fibers too.
I discovered your brand through Instagram, because I loved its pared down aesthetic and what you stand for. I often discover new independent labels in this way. Do you find Instagram has been a good platform for you? Have you met interesting people thanks to it, whether personally or professionally?
Yes, Instagram is a great platform for me. Instagram is actually the only social channel I use! I find a lot of my own inspiration on there and have been lucky enough to meet wonderful and like-minded people on the platform as well! It also helped in making me realise there are many people out there who are interested in a more sustainable lifestyle.
Tell me a little bit about your desire for sustainability. I think a lot of my readers (and myself) all strive to live a more sustainable lifestyle, especially when it comes to the way we consume clothing. What are your tips, which lessons have you learned along the way?
I was the kind of person who followed trends and sought out bargains before I started Filosofia. This habit resulted in a very full closet. Now with Filosofia, I am much more of a minimalist. Instead of buying a lot of cheap stuff, I buy less and focus on quality products. I think there’s a connection between a sustainable lifestyle and a minimalist lifestyle. When I launched my sustainable line, I wasn’t striving to become minimalist but now, the way I think and consume is very much in tune with the minimalistic movement. When you decide to lead a sustainable lifestyle, minimalism comes naturally with it. The biggest advantage of being a minimalist is that you can spend your time more meaningfully. Therefore, I really love owning less as it means I also have less to look after! Most of the time I also like asking my customers “do you really need all of this?” If they do, then of course they will love them and wear them! But if they don’t, then they should simply buy less.
Which are your go-to pieces from Filosofia? And what is your daily uniform?
My favourite piece is the Sam jumpsuit. The loose fit of this jumpsuit is just too comfortable and at the same time, it makes me look pretty cool if I say so myself. My daily uniform generally includesa comfy dress or a pair of trousers topped off with an oversized jacket.
Animal – Tropical fish
Place – Paris
Book – A Resilient Life by Thomas Nelson
Song – Anything by Jason Mraz
Lipstick – Dior Addict Lip Glow
Listening to – Other Side Of The World by KT Tunstall
Reading – The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Doing – Urban farming
Dreaming – Of building a studio/store which would become a space for the local community, with an urban farm in the front and a café inside serving food grown in our own farm!