STAXX Muse Sophie Floyd on the Inspiration & Creative Journey Behind Her Collection.
by STAXX TEAM·
By now, you’re probably familiar with our MUSE collection, made in collaboration with the amazing Sophie Floyd, a Brighton-based tattoo artist and influencer. Sophie is the first creative to team up with STAXX on a collection — we reached out to Sophie over a year ago because she represents everything we stand for. She’s super creative — her floral and botanical tattoo designs are incredible — and she’s authentic, something we and her almost 387k (!!) combined followers on Instagram love about her.
Sophie bought all of her unique style and individuality to this collaboration, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results. Together, we created a 19 piece collection that includes everything from fine 14k gold cartilage jewellery to hoops, rings & necklaces. We launched the collection in September and it’s been incredibly well received — it sold out 3 times and was so popular, we even released it in silver!
Sophie is no stranger to creativity and knows how important it is for design — whether tattoos or jewellery — to sit perfectly on the body. As well as an intuitive understanding of movement, shape and proportions, Sophie brought incredible design ideas to the table and worked closely with the STAXX team to create pieces that were timeless, contemporary and allow for limitless wearability. Sophie and her style were obviously the core inspiration for the collection, but you’ll learn below that she also counts the likes of Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch and others as her muses!
Read on to learn all about Sophie’s design process, jewellery research and style muses that went into making the MUSE collection.
How did you first feel about designing a jewellery collection with STAXX?
Anna [the founder of STAXX] approached me last Christmas, so it’s been a good year in the making, this collection! It’s something I've always wanted to do, but I didn’t want to do it on my own because there’s so much that goes into making jewellery. It’s one of my favourite things in the world so when Anna approached me about it, I was so excited!
Anna is so lovely and easy to get along with. She wanted me to have a lot of creative control of the process, which was amazing. A lot of our timelines got pushed back because of COVID so we didn’t get the collection out until September, but in the end, it gave us more time to perfect everything!
What was the initial creative research process like for you?
Anna had asked me to come up with as many ideas as possible and she did the same. When we first sat down together and got all these ideas out, that was when I realised that this was going to be amazing. We were on the exact same page without even talking about it before. We bought up so many of the same ideas and we loved the same vibe of jewellery, so we knew it would be a match made in heaven! We designed about 50 pieces and narrowed it down to our 19 favourites.
You must have seen hundreds of pieces of jewellery in your research. What makes a perfect piece of jewellery in your eyes?
I love gold, which is why the first collection we went for was all gold. It felt more personal to me and it was everything I loved in a collection. I love really classic pieces like classic hoops you can wear with everything and obviously I look for good quality and long lasting pieces.
You’ve got such eclectic style, especially when it comes to jewellery. Tell us a bit about your own jewellery collection!
I have a lot of vintage stuff. A couple of the rings I wear are my nan’s wedding ring and my mum’s engagement ring, I love them. I like the contrast of really fine gold jewellery and quite punky, hard silver stuff. I think that’s a cool combination. The thought of pairing silver and gold together is always a bit weird, but I think it looks really cool.
The collection includes 19 pieces — do you have any favourites?
It’s so hard to choose! The Florence hoops, the biggest hoops in the collection, are always my go-to earrings. I also wear the Amy rings pretty much every day. The Thalia necklace is probably my favourite, it’s so dainty.
We love the Rosa ring, it’s such a unique design. How did that come about?
That was a really cool one to create! We were playing around with the idea of mixing my tattoo designs with the jewellery design. The rose was a really easy way of doing that — it’s not too elaborate and you can simplify it quite a lot. We were going to do a stamped signet ring but it’s been done a few times, so we went with a mauve coloured resin so it has a bit more of a gothic, vintage feel to it. We weren’t really sure if it was going to work out — it could have been a disaster — but when we got the samples it was so beautiful. It’s another of my favourite pieces! I love the fact that it looks different in different light, in the sun you can see the rose so clearly, it’s amazing.
STAXX is all about inspiring individuality and creativity through jewellery. What message did you want to communicate through this collection?
I wanted to communicate the idea that you don’t have to be stuck in one style — you can wear a bit of everything. So many of the pieces are a bit chunkier and grungier, especially when we bought the silver in. But a few of the pieces are daintier, the 14k gold cartilage ones are really delicate. So I want people to wear whatever they want to, whatever feels good. I really love that dainty feminine vibe with the grungy element.
What’s the significance of the jewellery names? There’s the Amy ring, Florence hoops, Stevie bracelet…
A few of them are named after people that I find influential. The Florence hoops are for the singer Florence Welch, the Amy ring is for Amy Winehouse. Because the collection is called MUSE, we wanted it to be all about our icons. It’s a mix of personal icons and names we really loved!
Are there many similarities between designing tattoos and jewellery?
There are definitely a few similarities! When you start to think about how the pieces are going to look on the body, that’s when the similarities between jewellery and tattoos become obvious. You can draw the most amazing tattoo design, but if it doesn’t fit on a body well and make someone feel amazing, there’s no point. It’s the same with jewellery, we had a few necklaces designed that when we got the samples, they didn’t sit right or flow with the body. You’re thinking about body flow, what sits nicely and what flatters the shape the best. It’s quite intuitive, I do it without thinking about it.
In terms of inspiration, so many things inspire me. With jewellery, I’m always really drawn to the chunky Parisian style of jewellery, which I think is so beautiful. With my tattoo designs, I do mainly floral designs so botanical illustrations are always what I look to when I’m in a bit of a rut!
Now that you’ve had a few months to play around with styling the collection, how do you wear your STAXX pieces?
I have all my cartilage piercings filled with pieces from the collection, they’re all 14 karat gold so they can be left in which is great. They’re too fiddly to change out all the time, I don't know how people do it! I change up the hoops, earrings and necklaces day to day depending on what sort of mood I'm in. I wear the small huggie hoops on a normal day at home and if I want something more dramatic I’ll go for the Florence hoops. But the amazing thing is, they all work so nicely together.
We’re so excited to share that you’re currently working on your second collection for STAXX! What lessons have you learned from designing the first collection that you’ll take into the second?
You have to put your personal tastes aside a little bit. Obviously, it has to reflect what you love, but there were certain pieces that I had drawn up and thought “Hmm I don’t really love them that much” but they were the ones that people loved the most! You have to put all of your preferences aside and think about what people are going to want to wear every day and what will suit more people, so with the next collection we’ve tried to include something for everybody, hopefully that comes across!
Stay tuned for the next Sophie Floyd X STAXX collection, dropping in December.
Follow Sophie on Instagram HERE!