Today’s iteration of Hicks’s elegantly androgynous look, which bagged her a cameo role in Federico Fellini’s 1986 film Intervista and has made her a style icon on gender-queer media platforms, consists of a plain white T-shirt beneath a chunkily knitted Holland & Holland navy blue sweater and crisply cut wool pants in the same hue. “I remember being very impressed when Sophie turned up for work at Vogue in the 1980s looking fantastically stylish in her pajamas,” says the British fashion designer Paul Smith, who has commissioned her to design several stores, including his London flagship. “Sophie has this way of working with irreverence, avoiding the obvious and celebrating the ordinary.
She began by designing “a tiny house for my children” in the garden of an 18th-century terraced house in the city’s Bloomsbury area, in 2015. “It’s next to a heritage park, which made it really, really difficult to get planning permission,” Hicks says. “Somehow, I got it in the end, and I thought, Well, okay, I’m really quite good at this. ” Her next project was Earls Court Square: another cramped site in a historical area with Byzantine planning restrictions.
On the first floor of her more modest new digs, a galley kitchen is tucked unobtrusively into a corner. “It’s made from a solid slab of stainless steel and white Corian,” she explains. “The idea is for the Corian to look like matte white paintwork. ” Much of the furniture is similarly subtle, but Hicks has livened up the white linen-covered sofa and Jasper Morrison cork stool by pairing them with Eero Saarinen dining chairs upholstered in plummy burgundy velvet and a vibrant oil painting by the British artist Martin Maloney.
Established as a go-to designer for the fashion industry, thanks to her work for brands including Chloé and Yohji Yamamoto, as well as Paul Smith, she was also renowned for her ingenuity at transforming 18th- and 19th-century London buildings into contemporary homes. “But I wanted to construct new buildings that I could be proud of in the city where I was born and have lived for almost all my life,” she explains. “I wasn’t getting those projects for all sorts of reasons, in particular for being a woman.
Architect Sophie Hicks proves she can think outside—and inside—the box. https://t.co/fJq7q9V0Gz— W magazine (@wmag) June 4, 2019