British accessories designer Sophie Hulme knows what makes a beautifully British bag. Her clean, architectural designs come from a place of modernist references, but functionality reigns supreme

Opening her design studio in 2008 – straight out of university, natch – Hulme brought her idiosyncratic perspective to the world with immediate cult status success. You could shake a stick at the number of (then burgeoning) street style stars sporting her rectangular bag with gold-plated hardware during fashion week. With an award for Emerging Talent from the British Fashion Award under her belt, Hulme was dreaming up bags wholly engineered to feel new but natural. Hulme's bags are timeless – and an antidote to fast fashion culture. With a flagship store that opened last year on buzzy Chiltern Street, Hulme is going strong.

To learn more about the designer's daily duties, we put to her our #8Q's...



What's the mantra you tell yourself first thing in the morning?

I’d like to say I have an inspirational mantra that I say each morning, but it’s usually “where is breakfast?” 

How do you take your coffee?
I wouldn’t call myself a coffee fan, but I always have a cup of English Breakfast tea in the morning.

If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing instead?
When I was little, I always used to make stuff: boxes, sweet machines, all kinds of things. I was always interested in objects and how things were made. I originally wanted to be a fine artist as I always loved drawing and painting, so I did a foundation year at Kingston to study fine art. I still aspire to do this alongside my work but struggle to find the time at the moment!



If you could only keep one outfit in your wardrobe, which would it be? 
I often wear a Breton stripe top, jeans and either ballet pumps or my Robert Clergerie trainers.

Who's one person you'd love to have dinner with and why? 
Fernando Duarte and Robert Brozin – the founders of Nandos – everyone loves a cheeky Nandos.   



What's the main thing you would like to achieve this year?
One of the exciting things about the Sophie Hulme brand is that it’s constantly evolving. I have an amazing team around me, and we have so many ideas about where we want to take the brand, things we’d like to do in the future like collaborations, initiatives and design directions.

Who would you want to record your audio autobiography, voice-wise? 
Morgan Freeman – he has the best voice of all time!

Why did you end up doing what you do?
Because during my final year at college my graduate collection was really well received with a lot of interest from press and stores, which was amazing and gave me the confidence to try it. I then piloted a small sample collection – a really nice, finished version of the things I’d already made at Kingston to see what the response would be – I took it to a trade show and it got picked up by Selfridges! I had to start producing it straight away and it all started from there.





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+ Rosh Mahtani of Alighieri brought Dante's Inferno into the 21st Century.

+ Our Fashion Assistant Carmen sports style by the bucketload, care of COS.

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Tags: Sophie Hulme, 8Qs