"I wish some really new outrageous fashion trend came along–something truly new and fresh."
[Ed. Note: Sophie Aschauer is the founder of Serpent Sea, a company that produces mats from recycled sailing rope. She is originally from Austria and lives in New York.]
"I grew up in Austria, in a small town. I think I was always dreaming of the big city. I had a very happy childhood, with my parents and family. I was always into art and fashion. My father is very interested in art and my mum she always wore these amazing clothes. She always had these Yves Saint Laurent catalogs that I would draw from. Then, I moved to London to study Fine Arts, but I thought it would be completely different. Then when I moved to New York after London, and it was love at first sight.
I started my own company, Serpent Sea not so long ago. It started when I saw an illustration of a rope design in a book. My boyfriend is really into sailing, so I went to a store with him and I bought some rope. I started trying the pattern that I saw and I really liked it. Later on, a boat yard in Connecticut gave me a lot of recycled rope and I started making more mats and researched more patterns. I started to become more serious about it, I started my website and I invested some money to have a bigger stock and it has grown from there. Initially when I first saw that illustration it just had such a strong visual quality to it and that’s what I like about them.
I like the idea of making something new out of something that is seen as being waste, and turning it into something beautiful. I don’t want to be someone who contributes more waste to this world. The rope I use is still usable but not for its original intended purpose. I don’t want to make more crap. Even if people think my stuff is crap, it was made from material that was going to be thrown away anyway. I like things that have a bit of history and have some meaning and story.
I have different wardrobes for each season. At the moment I am mixing between Summer and Fall. I buy all my clothes on eBay. I will type in whatever I am most keen on like, Sonia Rykiel and then look for things. If you only buy designer things then at least you know it will be a good quality. Sometimes things look different from what one imagines, but that’s what I like–the surprise' factor. I only buy things below $100 preferably around $50.
I wish some really new outrageous fashion trend came along–something truly
new and fresh; the kind of thing that when you look back on photographs in 20 years and you think 'what was everyone thinking?' I feel like everything is very safe at the
moment. In New York it’s not so much crazy dressing – It’s more status dressing, and it’s more practical." -- Sophie Aschauer to Shop Ghost
Sophie Aschauer photographed in New York by Steff Yotka.
Sophie's Must Haves:
"I never had long nails but now I really like it – it makes my hands look longer. I love getting a manicure from Soho nails."
"If I had to wear one thing for the rest of my life, I think it would be striped shirts. I just love them."
"I never used to wear jewelery, but I’ve just started to appreciate it. I got a ring from my grandmother, and a necklace and a ring from my parents. I feel like these are things that will last. This ring from my grandmother she had it remade for me from an old brooch of hers, and I have a necklace that was made from some earrings."
Men's Lacoste Shirts
"Everyday on the way to work I walk past this horrible looking vintage store. One day I decided it go in and I found this vest that was exactly what I wanted! So I bought it, and now I feel like the perfect thing for it would be a long sleeved men's Lacoste shirt. I haven’t worn a collared shirt in a long time so that’s where I’m headed next."