Fashion / Article @Jthnomad
“Let fashion be a reflection of who you are. Be confident in what you wear” – Sophie Simmons
Between traveling from New York to Los Angeles for her modeling career, Sophie Simmons is fast becoming known as an advocate for a “La Naturale” lifestyle. This is a lifestyle free of cosmetic surgery, working with what you have and creating a positive self image. It’s basically learning to love yourself first, which as Sophie says can be harder then you think in a world with unrealistic body expectations for women. Sophie Simmons is famously known for her role on the hit TV series “Gene Simmons Family Jewels”. Beyond her modeling career, Sophie is a successful fashion designer with several sold out collections under her fabulous frock.
From the archives of Black Chalk, here is an interview with Sophie Simmons.
Made in Hollywood – Sophie Simmons
Justin Howard for Black Chalk – Let’s talk about your modeling career. Define what a model is to you? How do you see yourself fitting into to that role?
Sophie Simmons – I think what models are supposed to be are people who are aspirational. People who you aspire to be, so you want to wear what they are wearing. The whole point to being a model is to sell clothing or a product.
So if people don’t aspire to be you, then it is hard to call yourself a model. What I think the fashion industry doesn’t realize is that we can change what being aspirational means. It doesn’t have to mean being the most beautiful, or the tallest, or the thinnest. We can aspire to be smarter, kinder, and more charitable.
Black Chalk – It sounds like you are talking about being a ‘role model.’
Sophie Simmons – Yes… I am just trying to be the best version of myself that I can be. I do think the modeling industry is really missing the boat on quality people they could be pairing with brands. That they are overlooking because they aren’t a sample size.
Black Chalk – Right now in fashion there is a trend towards using very skinny models. To the point where they are extremely androgynous. A lot of the models we see in advertising and on the runway are tall, slim but they aren’t very feminine. As a model I would say you have a very feminine silhouette. What do you think of this trend?
Sophie Simmons – I understand that the fashion world does what it thinks is going to sell clothing, to do what is on trend and what is cool. Really, I get it. But I think if their goal is show what the clothes look like on women then they need to start hiring ‘real’ women.
Black Chalk – On Instagram you curate your image to range from the glamour of the red carpet to a very chic everyday look.
Sophie Simmons – I am a very casual everyday dresser. I prefer the classics, a good solid color sweater and a straight black pants is kinda my go-to outfit. Dressing up for the red carpet is fun! You know I am a girl. I like getting ready, doing my hair and encapsulating whatever character I want to be for the night. From glamorous to classic, with a dash of tomboy in there for fun.
Black Chalk – Tell me about these characters you like to create for the red carpet. Where do you get your inspiration from, and how do you create them?
Sophie Simmons – If I see something that reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, then I will go for that type of heel. The whole direction of the outfit is themed around my own vision of Marilyn Monroe. I theme my outfits to a feeling then say “This is my style and I am sticking to it.”
Black Chalk – Who are some of the women who have influenced your fashion sense.
Sophie Simmons – The women who have inspired me, it is not about what they wear as much as to what they have done. Just speaking of a “Modern Women”, I love Arianna Huffington. I love what she has done. She is smart and self-made. I think she is gorgeous and classic. She doesn’t compromise on being a smart confident woman. I really love women like Oprah, who have truly built an empire from the ground up. They are fashionable in their own right.
Black Chalk – Can you tell me how being a model taught you how to be a designer?
Sophie Simmons – I fell into both of them at the same time, for the same reason. I was just feed up that there was no one like me in modeling to look up to. They call these girls plus size but they aren’t. There was no clothing for this in-between size that I am. I am not a plus size and I am not a sample size. There is really nothing in the middle and a lot of girls are my size, and they are having the same problem I am.
Black Chalk- What style advice do you like to give people?
Sophie Simmons – Don’t worry about who makes a pieces, or how much it is. Pay attention to how it feels on and how it fits you. It doesn’t matter if a piece is $20 or $200. If you know you are going to wear that piece everyday then that is something that you need to invest in.