Arts and Culture, Astoria, Event, Featured
Jan 11, 2016

Astoria Fashion Designer and Photographer On Display This Wednesday at Melrose Ballroom

One of the coolest things about living in Queens is learning about the variety of creative and talented individuals that call our neighborhood home. Astorian Sophie Kempner is the dazzling mastermind behind (…)

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One of the coolest things about living in Queens is learning about the variety of creative and talented individuals that call our neighborhood home. Astorian Sophie Kempner is the dazzling mastermind behind SoSophie,  a fashion label inspired by the sights and sounds of NYC.

Her work will be on display this Wednesday, January 13 at Melrose Ballroom as part of the RAW: NYC present Futures event, an evening of art, fashion, music, film, photography, and performance. Sophie took a moment to share her story with us, and we think you’ll want to keep your eyes on her: big things are coming!


Tell me about your street wear label SoSophie. I love how NYC and Astoria-focused it is. What does “So New York” and “So Astoria” mean to you?

SoSophie is my way of putting my stamp on New York. It’s a visual expression that captures the desired New York attitude in cool and trendy modern street wear. I was born and raised in London, UK and moved to New York in 2012. SoSophie is about capturing real New York people in real New York location. All my designs are printed locally in Astoria, which is very important to me, and the majority of the photo shoots happen in and around Astoria.


Where do you get your inspiration from?

New York inspires me! Living in New York triggered a passion for creating and launching my collection and this is where the So New York line began. Capturing the attitude of the model wearing the t-shirt in the carefully selected setting, it’s that raw image of when it’s all together that is what the brand is about. It’s capturing my “so New York.” All my photos are taken with my iPhone.



How did you get your start in fashion and photography?

I left school early to study fashion design at university in the UK. I did internships in London and Los Angeles , and then moved to New York where I started my So New York line. It was then that I discovered my love for photography after my very first photo shoot, and it was then that i realized I enjoyed the photography part of the process just as much as designing the clothing itself.


When did SoSophie officially launch? Where is your apparel be available for sale?

I created the brand SoSophie back in university and officially launched it here in New York early of last year. This week at the RAW artists event I will be launching my brand new collection called Spectrum. The new line features a collection of multi colored mirror print t-shirts. I will also be launching my brand new line of tote bags. The entire collection of So New York and Spectrum will be available for sale on my website from this week.


Who do you envision as the primary demographic for SoSophie?

Primarily, I want a guy to look good. It’s that simple. My fascination for menswear is about the simplicity, and the finishes.  I want to create an effortless feel when he wears the t-shirt, whether he’s going to hang out with his piers, or to the gym, or the club, the t-shirt can be worn anytime, by anyone.



What can we expect from the RAW: NYC present Futures event on Wednesday?

At RAW artists this Wednesday, I am very excited to launch my brand new line Spectrum. A line of t-shirts with all over multi color and metallic mirror prints, which have already been very popular with close friends getting their orders in early! There will also be an exclusive “So Astoria” t-shirt which is part of the new Spectrum line, that I will be revealing that night. There will be a fashion show of the new line, as well as a presentation of models on pedestals showing off the new pieces. A selection of my photography will be on sale too.


 Where do you live? What are some of your favorite local spots?

I live off the 30th avenue stop in Astoria. I fell in love with the area when I moved here almost three years ago. I think it is a very new and upcoming area that is constantly developing, and there are a lot of young people that live here. One of my favorite spots is The Bonnie, on Ditmars. With its relaxed atmosphere and dim lighting, when i walk in I feel like I could be back in London in a cosy English pub. My roommate works there behind the bar, and most weekends you can probably find me in the back catching up with good friends.



What are your long-term goals for both SoSophie and your photography?

I like to think big. In the near future I hope to expand the brand. Right now I print all the clothing locally here in Astoria, and I hope to soon have my own studio in Queens where I can have everything manufactured and a team of people behind me.
I have a fascination with outerwear, which I must confess – I have a large collection of coats in my wardrobe which is constantly growing.  My father is a cameraman and I grew up being influenced by moving image. I would like to develop video in my next SoSophie presentation. Next, I will design coats and jackets so stay tuned!


Check out her work this Wednesday at Melrose Ballroom, and on her official website!


About Lindsay Goyette

Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.

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