This iD International Emerging Designer Awards finalist now has her own lingerie label and designs accessories for one of Australasia’s largest womenswear brands.
In 2010 Sophie Hardy watched in awe as her 5 outfit graduate collection graced the runway at the iD International Emerging Designer Awards. She describes the event as both “sophisticated and professional”
“The iD awards are amazing, it’s such a great event! It’s cool that something that is so global and involves so many people from all over the world is based in a small town like Dunedin. I found the whole event really well organized and put together, it felt really professional and sophisticated. For someone who’s a recent grad it’s just such an amazing experience to be part of something like that.”
After graduating Otago Polytechnic, Sophie worked at Plume and NOM*d for a year-and-a-half before securing a job as a design assistant for Bendon’s Elle McPherson Intimates in Auckland. Just six months into the role, the company announced they were relocating the design and sampling team to Sydney, and although many lost their jobs, Sophie was one of the lucky few to retain her position.
Approximately a year later Bendon decided to relocate the business again, this time to Hong Kong, however Sophie didn’t move with the company, instead she remained in Sydney and purchased a lot of the plant and fabrics they were selling before the move.
“When they decided to pack up the Sydney office they had all this machinery and a lot of fabric they had to get rid of. I bought a couple of industrial sewing machines and some fabrics and lace, and even though I hadn’t planned on doing my own label at that point, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
A friend and co-worker of Sophie’s at Bendon, Deborah Morrison also bought some of the machines and fabrics, and when the pair decided to move to Melbourne all the lingerie-making equipment and fabrics went too.
“We decided to get a studio space together because we basically needed somewhere to put our stuff. Debra’s dad kindly built us an amazing big cutting table, and even though we still hadn’t planned on doing a label together- it just naturally happened.”
Sophie and Debra have worked on their lingerie label, Liar Liar as a side project for the past four years, with Sophie spending her weekends creating lingerie and her weekdays working as an accessories designer for Witchery. Last year the pair decided to put more focus into developing Liar Liar, and are now stocked in a number of boutiques, including Company Store in Dunedin. Their future plans are to secure more stockists, break into the Asian market and eventually open their own store.
Sophie believes being able to say she was an iD International Emerging Designer Awards finalist was invaluable.
“When you’re starting out your portfolio and your C.V. are so important, it’s such a competitive and tough industry the more of these things you can be a part of the better.”