24 Hours With… Sophie Bille Brahe
Morning dips in the ocean, designing with fresh flowers on hand and long walks in the local forests with her dog Snoopy - it’s no wonder Danish designer Sophie Bille Brahe’s creations are such works of art. With an eye for elegant-yet-contemporary heirloom pieces, we asked Sophie to tell us more about life behind her eponymous label.
“Early morning coffee…”
“Waking up early with my children
and my mother’s dog, Rufus.”
“Going for a dip in the sea near our home.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I have one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, so I’m up very early every morning around 6am.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I always start with coffee and kissing my children good morning.
Where are you usually based?
In a house we bought a few years ago in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen.
What does your average day look like?
I wake up early with my children and take them to school and day care. We enjoy our morning walks by the sea; my daughter Beate in the stroller and our dog Snoopy running next to it. When I have time, I love to go for a little dip in the ocean before starting work. I pick up the children again in the afternoon and prepare dinner for my family. Quite often my closest friends stop by to join us.
Do you have any rituals?
I really love to start my day with a swim in the ocean - I try to go during both summer and winter months. It is the best way to wake up both body and mind.
Where is your studio located and how do you get there?
Our showroom and head office are located in the centre of Copenhagen, so I usually walk with my dog on the days I don’t work from home.
“Enjoying the beautiful view.”
“Going for a quick coffee at Atelier September with
my brother Frederik and his wife Caroline.”
How would you describe what you do?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always created things with my hands as a way to express myself. I knew already back then that I wanted to be a jewellery designer.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
I come from a very old family and grew up listening to stories about our history. We had many treasures of nobility in our childhood home and I was raised with a deep respect for craft and storytelling.
How did you get your start in fashion?
I have never really thought about it like that, as I didn’t aim to be part of fashion. It just happened naturally.
What was the impetus behind starting your label?
I have always created jewellery from something I would want to wear myself. For example, I love pearls but never really liked the look of classic pearl jewellery, so I wanted to recreate pearls in my own expression. I created the Peggy necklace with pearls strung on a white silk thread, cultivated freshwater pearls graduating in size from big to small with a 14K gold lock. Now I never go anywhere without it.
“Working on my next collection…”
“Picking out the seasonal bouquet
for my showroom.”
What are the most important factors for the brand?
It’s very important for me to use high quality materials. I want to create jewellery that can be treasured and passed down through generations to come. I want the diamonds and pearls to stand out as much as possible, so each piece can tell its own story.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
I always make sure that there are clean surfaces and fresh flowers in my surroundings before I can start a creative process. I also find inspiration and peace in a walk by the sea.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
I go for a long walk in the forest with my dog, Snoopy. It clears my head and renews my energy.
Do you have a favourite piece from your collection?
The Grand Ocean Ensemble ring that I got from my boyfriend Jeppe after the birth of our daughter, Beate. It is an 18K gold ring set with 1.71ct TW.VVS diamonds graduating in size from big to small. One day I hope to pass it on to Beate.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
I never design for any specific type of person, rather I see my jewellery as something worn with elegance and self-confidence.
“A family dinner at my mother’s house.”
“Picking up my son Johan from school and heading to my mother’s house with some flowers for her.”
“Reading bedtime stories to my daughter Beate before putting her to sleep.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
With two children I hardly find time to read at the moment, but I love Seven Gothic Tales, 1934 by Karen Blixen. I re-read it over and over again.
What do you usually do for dinner?
I usually cook something simple and green with good ingredients from recipes by my brother, Frederik Bille Brahe, who is the Head Chef at Copenhagen’s Atelier September.
What time do you go to bed?
I am neither an “a” nor “b” person - I have very much my own rhythm. If I’m in the middle of creating a new collection, I often stay up very late and wake up early again the next morning, so I never really have a fixed habit.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
I gather my thoughts and prepare for a new day tomorrow.
What do you dream about?
Personally - for my two children, Beate and Johan, to grow up with the freedom and confidence to do what they want to do. Professionally - I hope the business will continue its healthy growth. We’re expanding the showroom in November, and I dream about creating the most beautiful space that can add to our universe.
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