FRAME

HOME AGAIN

by Tracey Ingram. Portraits by Andrew Meredith. July/August 2019

SOPHIE HICKS had an ace up her sleeve when developing fashion-forward retail concepts for the likes of Acne Studios, Chloé, Yohji Yamamoto and Paul Smith. Before becoming an architect, the Londoner worked for visionary fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa and as a fashion stylist for British Vogue. ‘Fashion people speak a different language,’ says Hicks, ‘but
I understand that language.’ Interested in architecture from a very young age, she made the switch ‘before becoming tired of fashion. I left on an up.’

Hicks formed SH Ltd Architects in 1990 while studying at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. With a few staff members on board, she juggled refurbishing residences with the responsibilities of motherhood. ‘It’s quite unusual to start a practice while studying, but as a mature student I could cope.’

Tom Hopes joined Sophie Hicks Architects in 2011. Maintaining the ‘unusual’ way of working she established during the days of rapid roll-outs for Chloé, Hicks and Hopes are a two-person show with multiple extras. ‘My main forte is design detailing whereas Tom’s is design for construction, but we work incredibly closely. Any support we need is farmed out to other people.’ And they’ll continue to work in this way as the studio shifts away from the retail realm and dives deeper into residences – back to where it all began.

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