When I first moved back to L.A., one of my first freelance gigs was interviewing Aussie stunner Sophia Coloma and her terminally cool design partner Marissa Ribisi of Whitley Kros. A few hours over coffee and I was hooked. These designers just understood what girls like me wanted (and needed) out of clothes--not to mention the fact that I wanted to be their best friends. Fast forward a few years and I can still count Sophia (and Marissa) as two of the coolest girls L.A. has to offer. I've amassed more than a few of their designs for Whitley Kros and I wait each season to see what new design they're going to have--and I'm going to want. They're just that good. So I caught up with Sophia to see what this stylista has in her closet, what she's lusting after, and how she's developed her line into a must-have.
(photo: courtesy of Sophia Coloma)
Q) What's your official role/job?
A) I am the head designer with Marissa Ribisi of Whitley Kros. I am also a freelance fashion consultant and stylist.
Q) Your favorite designers?
A) Rick Owens, Comme des garçon, Givenchy, Roland Mouret, rue de mail, the row, Obakki, Celine, Yigal Azrouel, Manning Cartel, Elise Overland, and Carven. (I'll admit most of these are eye candy, but def worth taking a look at.)
Q) Your favorite trends/pieces of the season?
A) My Rick owens black jacket with my Whitley Kros tshirt and jeans. Wearing The Row pants and tshirts.
Carven dresses - I have a few
This Obakki leather sweater mix thing (check this cool line out)
A Dana Rebecca tiny necklace
The three Celine bags I bought in Paris (swoon!)
Anything Vanessa Bruno (goes without saying, she's French!)
Stella McCartney resort white tux with black collar
Wearing one color head to toe- I have literally been dying things at home to match
Q) How did you start designing? How did you come up with the idea for Whitley Kros?
A) I started designing in Australia and then for a company called Mcginn when I moved here.
Then Marissa and I got together and created this fictional character called Whitley Kros - Whitley is the name of a street in Sydney and Kros a street in Australia and we decided to mesh our to worlds.
Q) How do you find inspiration for Whitley Kros?
A) Firstly from music, just because that is the company roots--with Beck (as in the singer and Marissa's husband) doing some of the artwork and with Whitley kros really that urban girl whose life had a soundtrack to it. Then whatever we are feeling - we do the artwork ourselves so we use whatever inspires us - art, music, people, life and travel. We then decide where Whitley Kros is traveling and what she is listening to and that's where we end up.
Q) What goes into the collection each season?
A) Lots and lots of research. I am always researching trends and looking at art, music, and the street. So we start with that and then we just meet. Beck and Marissa will paint and draw for days in Malibu. It is truly a very artistic evolution. Beck will show us new music and then Marissa and I will collect our own ideas and it sort of evolves from there.
Q) How do you bring parts of your own personal style into the line?
A) I bring a lot of Sydney with me. I have always been a wild dresser. At 17 I remember wearing a full length white fur coat to a party- I mean really out there. And Marissa is very indie, avant guard and also rocks a bit of the Japanese style thing.
Q) Your most definitive fashion moment?
A) Oh god so many, maybe my wedding dress just because I dreamt of it for so long and it was so beautiful.
Q) What would you consider your signature "look"?
A) I don't have one - I love changing. For years I would never buy anything that did not have print and color, and then all of a sudden I am into wearing black red and white , preferably only one color at once. I love trying something different. If I feel to fashionable I feel manufactured - I like my style to be my own, not something I took of a runway. (Are you listening ladies?)
Q) And advice for young women trying to develop their own sense of style?
A) Have fun and take risks. After all it's only clothes!!