Sophie Buhai isn’t an unrecognizable name in the fashion world. It is a name that is attached to a high-profile designer known for her unique style and whimsical choices in fashion. No wonder the brand Vena Cava, a clothing brand which she is a co-founder of, had rose to fame in just a short span of time, even though it eventually discontinued operations after 10 years.
But we aren’t here to talk about Vena Cava nor clothing designs, we’re here for the name Sophie Buhai—a name that has also recently entered and charmed the jewelry business for its delicately beautiful collection, all thanks to its fashion-oriented and highly unorthodox founder and designer.
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Story of an unorthodox designer
“Orthodox” is a word that would never be associated with the designer. Sophie has quite an artistic blood running in her veins: he grandfather was a colorblind Abstract Expressionist and a comedy writer father. Mix that with her shrink mother, you’ve got the balance of creative and perceptive, often able to properly be expressive of certain inspiration and influences.
Her journey through the fashion scene started in Parsons, where she studied and got equipped to launch her own brand right after graduation. She created Vena Cava with Lisa Mayock, a friend with whom she shared recognition with when the brand escalated to New York Fashion Week level. She eventually went back to her city, LA, after the business ended a decade later.
It was during her one-year break that she started tinkering with jewelry-making. While it was something she really enjoyed, she instantly though of turning it into her career and business. Just like that, the Sophie Buhai brand was born in 2015.
The whimsical style
Specialty boutiques were the first ones to receive the pieces made by Sophie Buhai, consisting of what the designer calls “old art lady style.” Aside from that, the whimsical vibe in the brand’s jewelry gets inspiration from works of artists like Les Lalanne and Diego Giacometti.
Pieces from the brand’s collection are intriguing enough to evoke questions and emotions. Rings, earrings and collars contain orbs of tiger’s-eye enclosed inside paisley-shaped loops, while some chains are adorned with perfume flasks that actually work. The brand also offers “chokers not for the millennials,” which are neck wraps that are dramatically decorated with silver tassels. Another interesting piece is a sexy little brooch that was cleverly cast to take the form and shape of a derriere. All these fun pieces came straight from the imaginative head of Sophie, a testament to the whimsical theme of her brand.
True to life lookbook
After her pregnancy, Sophie admitted to have a deeper appreciation of reality and the idea of being present. Hence, it has been part of her creative expression to incorporate reality bites into her projects, just like the brand’s lookbook.
The designers’ friends from New York—all in mid 30s and above—were casted for the “real life” lookbook of the label. The cast included artists Mirabelle Marden and Erin Falls, designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh, multi-hyphenate Eliza Wexelman, editor Amy Sall, and one exception to the age bracket, Hailey Gates in her 20s. The brand’s idea was to show what really goes in the lives of adult, career women, who are at the glorious are of 30s. It is a personal note for the designer too, as she herself, is in her mid-30s.
It is the perfect depiction needed to highlight the sophistication of the label’s pieces as well, because even the whimsical pieces denotes sophistication and class. Having real, empowered and successful women wear them completed the aura of beauty that each piece brings out from its wearer. The turned timber bracelet elongates the arms and the silver neck cuff add an authoritative air—almost striking in a seductive manner, oozing with creative complexity even with the simplest of silhouettes.
Organic and timeless beauty
The timeless look and quality of Sophie Buhai’s pieces are here to stay. Their controlled forms have a classic impact that feeds on simplicity and honesty—because with Sophie Buhai, what you see is what you get: straightforward classy jewelry. That organic appeal is what elevated the brand into an esteemed status in the jewelry industry and it is what will make it stay up there.