Sophie Thé is a Wonder Woman.
Avid adventurer and seafaring stylist, French-native Sophie Thé has spent the last 7 years sailing the world on her super yacht.
Raised in Lyon, Sophie is a true citizen of the globe. Living in London, Australia and now on the high seas; Sophie has developed a unique eye for Interior Design, transforming awkward places into phenomenal spaces.
Currently docked in Sydney's Northern Beaches, we were so excited to visit Sophie and her floating home as we discussed her journey from the culinary capital of France to life lived on a yacht. In this garment story we look at pragmatic styling and the challenges of a minimalist ethos.
Photographed and art directed by the always radical SIY Studio, Sophie wears our shearling Saturn Returns, All Seeing True Cheetah and Psychedelicb ooties in this truly radical photo series.
Interview by Alex Birch, Images and layout by SIY Studio
Sophie wears shearling Saturn Returns in Turmeric
You grew up in Lyon, one of Frances fashion-centres. How does your French upbringing inform your sense of style? Do you think it’s had a substantial impact on how you approach styling, both personally and professionally?
Living in such a confined space over such a long period, I imagine that out of necessity you’ve had to adopt a relatively minimalist approach to your wardrobe. Is this true? What sort of checklist do you go through when deciding whether something is worthy of a place on the yacht?
I wish I could say it’s true but I’ve got an office at the marina where I store all my clothes and art etc. I love fashion and getting dressed every day is a creative way of expressing myself. I’m surrounded with books on the boat and few favourite pieces I have collected in my journeying but obviously nothing too big! It’s a luxury not to have to shop many furnishings for the boat. I get my fix on a daily basis at work...or I would be broke!
As I look through your portfolio, it’s evident that you’re heavily influenced by nautical themes. You pick up on and enhance the extraordinary beauty of the unremarkable, of the often-overlooked aspects of the sea and it’s existence as lifeblood to societies around the world. What is it about the ocean and life on the water that inspires your styling?
After living on the water for so many years, salt water runs in my blood! The ocean is so magical and dangerous it makes me feel alive and very humble. This simpler life I've chosen gives me head space to create. I’m not saving life for work, mostly fluffing cushions, so I find it to be a healthy balance.
Despite growing up in France, you’ve actually spent most of your adult life abroad, in London, Australia and now on international waters. Do you see a little bit of these past lives in the garments you collect? How do you think your styling choices reflect these experiences?
Unfortunately, because I’ve moved so much I have had to separate myself from any attachment to my clothes, it's taught me not to be too sentimental about pieces I own. I like fashion, so I always have to make room for new purchases anyway! I often hear that my personality allows me to get away with wearing anything...so I do!
It’s interesting that for someone who has spent such a large portion of time inhabiting such a small space, you were so excited about styling interiors. Do you find that in the face of space restrictions, you have a particularly pragmatic approach to styling? Is that something that seeps into your professional work?
The space restriction made me very practical so that definitely reflects in my work and helped me become a more efficient stylist.
For a day spent on the yacht, what’s your garment of choice? What factors are you considering when getting dressed?
In this season, a pair of high waisted jeans, striped long sleeve tee, a hat and a jacket works a treat. Shoes are actually a main consideration when dressing! Stilettos are a no-no on the boat, so I often leave my shoes in my car before walking back to the boat. Comfort is the key!
Sophie wears All Seeing True Cheetah
Living so close to and being so affected by the daily state of the climate, how (if at all) have you changed in your approach to the environment? Are you conscious of the stories behind the garments you wear? What are your considerations in regards to the sustainability of your clothing?
I’m proud to say all my power is from solar! Although I must admit, I’ve been guilty of buying into fast fashion. In saying that, I do really try to be conscious in my decision making - especially after visiting India recently.
What does being radical mean to you?
If the definition of 'radical' is non-traditional, innovative or progressive, I'm down with that! I consider myself quite radical in my views and opinions about the injustice of the world we live in and about to set my heart towards a cause that I can spend the next 10 years fighting for....let's start a new revolution!! Let's be radical!
Sophie wears our shearling Saturn Returns in Turmeric