Sophie, learning the ropes at Pace Gallery in New York must have been an inspiring experience - what did the art world teach you about getting to where you want to be?
Working at Pace Gallery was an incredibly insightful experience. Founded in 1960, it’s an established gallery with a global presence, representing some of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Here I was able to observe how much emphasis the dealers placed on cultivating meaningful relationships with artists and collectors, forging lifelong collaborations and friendships. I was also able to learn the importance of creating a strong foundation by doing small, simple tasks really well.
You would be viewed by many as having a dream job discovering and working with artists at Parlour Projects. Do artists work ever ever influence your style?
I do feel so lucky to be working closely with some of New Zealand’s most exciting emerging and established contemporary artists. Because my job is so visual, I tend to have quite an understated approach to my style, keeping it very simple with a shirt and trousers more often than not.
Do you have a favourite art movement?
Good question! It’s hard to pick one favourite, however abstract expressionism is one that I find myself turning to a lot through books, articles and essays. Abstract expressionism began in 1940s New York, when artists such as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock sought to make paintings that were distinctly abstract while also being expressive, meditative and emotional.
Sophie wears Rodeo Shirt in sage ($439) and Soft Slacks in sage ($599)
What would you usually wear for a gallery opening?
I love that there is no distinction between what I wear to work and what I wear outside of work. I also love clothing that I will wear for years. Therefore I tend to wear shirts by some of my favourite New Zealand designers paired with trousers or jeans.
What’s your favourite Harris Tapper piece from the Pre-Fall collection?
I love the black Soft Slacks, which can be dressed up with heels, dressed down with sneakers, and enjoyed for a long time.
Who’s been a muse or mentor through your career and why?
My family have been instrumental in encouraging me to do my own thing. For day-to-day business advice, I always lean on my partner, Will, who has a design business called George & Willy. Will has an amazing eye for detail, and is always able to impart business and marketing advice. For daily decisions, big and small, I have learnt to follow my instinct.