THE LONDON DIARIES


VOL.5

SOJO

THE LONDON

DIARIES


VOL.5

SOJO

Spotlight on:

JOSEPHINE PHILIPS


We sat down with Josephine Philips, the founder and powerhouse behind SOJO, the bespoke tailoring app to discover how she is changing the game for circular fashion and her approach to curating a wardrobe that stands the test of time.


Photographer: Nicole M Gomes @nicolemgomes

Spotlight on:

Josephine Philips




We sat down with Josephine Philips, the founder and powerhouse behind SOJO, the bespoke tailoring app to discover how she is changing the game for circular fashion and her approach to curating a wardrobe that stands the test of time.


Photographer: Nicole M Gomes @nicolemgomes


Q&A

How was Hackney Hooker born?

I was first taught how to make a granny square at a seniors coffee morning I volunteered at years ago, that’s the actual origin I suppose. But it was only in the last couple of years that I started making stuff for more than just immediate family and friends. TikTok coming along and making crochet popular again deffo played a part, and then it naturally evolved from there with people reaching out for bits I’d been sharing first on my personal insta and then on the Hackney Hooker one.

Where did the name come from? 

It was a joke, I had a craft club at my flat every Monday night - everyone brought their own thing, painting, crochet, knitting, sewing, very East London - and one of the girls was laughing at the concept of stitch and bitch because she’d never heard it before. Then I threw out the idea of being called The Hackney Hooker, and it just stuck, there was no other name I could use after that, it still makes me laugh. 

What do you take into consideration when

selecting  your yarns?

Ultimately, it’s about what the product is being used for, how breathable it needs to be, how sturdy, how malleable etc, and that largely dictates my choices.


Like most things handmade, it’s tough when you try to be more mindful of the materials you use, as this often comes at a cost, and when people can buy a crochet dress on ASOS for £15 or less... it’s hard convincing people to spend that on raw materials alone.


What’s next in the pipeline? 

Project wise? So many things! I’m getting married in a couple of months which has absolutely inspired me to put together some playful bridal pieces.

I’m working to get stocked in a local shop which is mad and fab in equal measure.

In terms of dreaming big, I’d love to collaborate with some of my favourite brands or host some fun event in one of the many wine bars around this way. 

Tell us about the ALIGNE pieces you’re wearing and how you’ve styled them?

I like clothing items that are fuss free, so I chose pieces that I feel are chic, are easy, are versatile. Then I can inject some more playfulness with the accessories if I want.


There are some days I love getting ready, and others where I just need to thrown on a uniform without thinking. Incorporating pieces like these into my wardrobe means no matter how I wake up feeling, I’m able to feign a bit of effort.


Where do you go for outfit inspiration?

People on the street, social media also plays a part, consciously or unconsciously. 


What's your approach to curating a wardrobe? 

Slow and steady. I used to be way more impulsive, but I feel like it’s only now I’m in my late 20s that I actually get what I like in a way that lasts beyond a season.


I also love second hand/consignment shopping, so living East means I’m spoiled for choice.


How was Hackney Hooker born?

I was first taught how to make a granny square at a seniors coffee morning I volunteered at years ago, that’s the actual origin I suppose. But it was only in the last couple of years that I started making stuff for more than just immediate family and friends. TikTok coming along and making crochet popular again deffo played a part, and then it naturally evolved from there with people reaching out for bits I’d been sharing first on my personal insta and then on the Hackney Hooker one.

Where did the name come from? 

It was a joke, I had a craft club at my flat every Monday night - everyone brought their own thing, painting, crochet, knitting, sewing, very East London - and one of the girls was laughing at the concept of stitch and bitch because she’d never heard it before. Then I threw out the idea of being called The Hackney Hooker, and it just stuck, there was no other name I could use after that, it still makes me laugh. 

What do you take into consideration when

selecting  your yarns?

Ultimately, it’s about what the product is being used for, how breathable it needs to be, how sturdy, how malleable etc, and that largely dictates my choices.


Like most things handmade, it’s tough when you try to be more mindful of the materials you use, as this often comes at a cost, and when people can buy a crochet dress on ASOS for £15 or less... it’s hard convincing people to spend that on raw materials alone.


What’s next in the pipeline? 

Project wise? So many things! I’m getting married in a couple of months which has absolutely inspired me to put together some playful bridal pieces.

I’m working to get stocked in a local shop which is mad and fab in equal measure.

In terms of dreaming big, I’d love to collaborate with some of my favourite brands or host some fun event in one of the many wine bars around this way. 

Tell us about the ALIGNE pieces you’re wearing and how you’ve styled them?

I like clothing items that are fuss free, so I chose pieces that I feel are chic, are easy, are versatile. Then I can inject some more playfulness with the accessories if I want.


There are some days I love getting ready, and others where I just need to thrown on a uniform without thinking. Incorporating pieces like these into my wardrobe means no matter how I wake up feeling, I’m able to feign a bit of effort.


Where do you go for outfit inspiration?

People on the street, social media also plays a part, consciously or unconsciously. 


What's your approach to curating a wardrobe? 

Slow and steady. I used to be way more impulsive, but I feel like it’s only now I’m in my late 20s that I actually get what I like in a way that lasts beyond a season.


I also love second hand/consignment shopping, so living East means I’m spoiled for choice.


How was SOJO born?

SOJO was born quite a few years ago now, I found that I was constantly finding clothes that I liked that didn't quite fit me. I had no idea where to go to get them tailored and I had no idea how to sew myself. As part of a Gen Z tech-driven generation I thought it would be so useful if I could book to get a waist taken in or a hem taken up all on an app and have it taken care of for me! SOJO was the answer!

What does tailoring mean to you?

Tailoring means understanding that clothes should be made to work for you - not the other way around. It’s about realising that when clothes fit better, they last longer and are loved more. Tailoring is about accepting that the ‘perfect fit’ is achievable for all your clothes and for everyone. 

What do you take into consideration when collaborating with companies at SOJO?

Shared values are a big one. There’s no brand that can truly be perfect, as long as there’s a foundational value that believes in a better future for fashion and wants to be a part of the change, that is at the core of being excited about collaborating together. Having said that at SOJO we’re really passionate about bringing our solution of tailoring and repair to all! In order to do that it’s really important that we don’t make the offer of getting your clothes repaired or tailored to fit exclusive or inaccessible. We do hope to convert as much of the industry as possible to offering repairs to their customers.

How are you hoping SOJO will impact the fashion industry?

At SOJO we really hope that by bringing practices like repair and tailoring into the mainstream we can help slow things down. We’re currently in a fashion culture in which we buy too much and throw too much away. We hope that SOJO will move the needle in shifting the culture in fashion to one of value, quality, longevity and care.

How was Hackney Hooker born?

I was first taught how to make a granny square at a seniors coffee morning I volunteered at years ago, that’s the actual origin I suppose. But it was only in the last couple of years that I started making stuff for more than just immediate family and friends. TikTok coming along and making crochet popular again deffo played a part, and then it naturally evolved from there with people reaching out for bits I’d been sharing first on my personal insta and then on the Hackney Hooker one.

Where did the name come from? 

It was a joke, I had a craft club at my flat every Monday night - everyone brought their own thing, painting, crochet, knitting, sewing, very East London - and one of the girls was laughing at the concept of stitch and bitch because she’d never heard it before. Then I threw out the idea of being called The Hackney Hooker, and it just stuck, there was no other name I could use after that, it still makes me laugh. 

What do you take into consideration when

selecting  your yarns?

Ultimately, it’s about what the product is being used for, how breathable it needs to be, how sturdy, how malleable etc, and that largely dictates my choices.


Like most things handmade, it’s tough when you try to be more mindful of the materials you use, as this often comes at a cost, and when people can buy a crochet dress on ASOS for £15 or less... it’s hard convincing people to spend that on raw materials alone.


What’s next in the pipeline? 

Project wise? So many things! I’m getting married in a couple of months which has absolutely inspired me to put together some playful bridal pieces.

I’m working to get stocked in a local shop which is mad and fab in equal measure.

In terms of dreaming big, I’d love to collaborate with some of my favourite brands or host some fun event in one of the many wine bars around this way. 

Tell us about the ALIGNE pieces you’re wearing and how you’ve styled them?

I like clothing items that are fuss free, so I chose pieces that I feel are chic, are easy, are versatile. Then I can inject some more playfulness with the accessories if I want.


There are some days I love getting ready, and others where I just need to thrown on a uniform without thinking. Incorporating pieces like these into my wardrobe means no matter how I wake up feeling, I’m able to feign a bit of effort.


Where do you go for outfit inspiration?

People on the street, social media also plays a part, consciously or unconsciously. 


What's your approach to curating a wardrobe? 

Slow and steady. I used to be way more impulsive, but I feel like it’s only now I’m in my late 20s that I actually get what I like in a way that lasts beyond a season.


I also love second hand/consignment shopping, so living East means I’m spoiled for choice.


How was SOJO born?

SOJO was born quite a few years ago now, I found that I was constantly finding clothes that I liked that didn't quite fit me. I had no idea where to go to get them tailored and I had no idea how to sew myself. As part of a Gen Z tech-driven generation I thought it would be so useful if I could book to get a waist taken in or a hem taken up all on an app and have it taken care of for me! SOJO was the answer!

What does tailoring mean to you?

Tailoring means understanding that clothes should be made to work for you - not the other way around. It’s about realising that when clothes fit better, they last longer and are loved more. Tailoring is about accepting that the ‘perfect fit’ is achievable for all your clothes and for everyone. 

What do you take into consideration when collaborating with companies at SOJO?

Shared values are a big one. There’s no brand that can truly be perfect, as long as there’s a foundational value that believes in a better future for fashion and wants to be a part of the change, that is at the core of being excited about collaborating together. Having said that at SOJO we’re really passionate about bringing our solution of tailoring and repair to all! In order to do that it’s really important that we don’t make the offer of getting your clothes repaired or tailored to fit exclusive or inaccessible. We do hope to convert as much of the industry as possible to offering repairs to their customers.

What's your approach to curating a wardrobe?

The most crucial aspect of curating a wardrobe in my opinion is understanding your personal style. If you’re not in tune with what colours, shapes, materials and styles you’re constantly drawn back to to wear over and over again you’ll naturally be swayed by trends and the hardcore marketing that brands do and it’ll mean you have a wardrobe full of things that aren’t right for you that you don’t wear. Knowing what you like is the first step to being able to curate. 

How are you hoping SOJO will impact the fashion industry?

At SOJO we really hope that by bringing practices like repair and tailoring into the mainstream we can help slow things down. We’re currently in a fashion culture in which we buy too much and throw too much away. We hope that SOJO will move the needle in shifting the culture in fashion to one of value, quality, longevity and care.

Where do you go for outfit inspiration?

I don’t usually look to get inspired by others that much when it comes to clothing because sometimes that takes you away from the path of what truly works for you but if I am looking at people for something that could inspire a new purchase, I try and look for outfit inspiration from people who have similar body shapes to me because I think that plays such a key part in what styles you should go for. 

Tell us about the ALIGNE pieces you’ve selected and how you’ve

styled them?

I’ve picked the Kendra dress, it’s this perfect mix of business and fashion, As a CEO within the fashion space it’s really important to combine those two things so I think it’s the perfect moment for that and I also love how much it hugs my figure. I also chose the Kyle vest that is absolutely timeless! It can be worn by 70-year-olds or 17-year-olds this is always something I look for when buying clothing - is this piece something I can see myself wearing in 20 years’ time? Lastly, I picked the Mustang Gilda - I think this is going to be such an autumnal moment and I can’t wait to wear it. Autumn happens to be one of my favourite seasons and browns really work well with my skin tone.

Wardrobe staple?

A black polo neck + high-waisted wide-leg trouser combo. 

Tell us about the ALIGNE pieces you’ve selected and how you’ve styled them ?

I’ve picked the Kendra dress, it’s this perfect mix of business and fashion, As a CEO within the fashion space it’s really important to combine those two things so I think it’s the perfect moment for that and I also love how much it hugs my figure. 


I also chose the Kyle vest that is absolutely timeless! It can be worn by 70-year-olds or 17-year-olds this is always something I look for when buying clothing - is this piece something I can see myself wearing in 20 years’ time?


Lastly, I picked the Mustang Gilda - I think this is going to be such an autumnal moment and I can’t wait to wear it. Autumn happens to be one of my favourite seasons and browns really work well with my skin tone.

Wardrobe staple?

A black polo neck + high-waisted wide-leg trouser combo. 

Where do you go for outfit inspiration?

I don’t usually look to get inspired by others that much when it comes to clothing because sometimes that takes you away from the path of what truly works for you but if I am looking at people for something that could inspire a new purchase, I try and look for outfit inspiration from people who have similar body shapes to me because I think that plays such a key part in what styles you should go for. 

What's your approach to curating a wardrobe? 

The most crucial aspect of curating a wardrobe in my opinion is understanding your personal style. If you’re not in tune with what colours, shapes, materials and styles you’re constantly drawn back to to wear over and over again you’ll naturally be swayed by trends and the hardcore marketing that brands do and it’ll mean you have a wardrobe full of things that aren’t right for you that you don’t wear. Knowing what you like is the first step to being able to curate. 

JOSEPHINE'S PICKS

Sale Off
Kyle Knitted Vest
$79.99
Sale Off
Gilda Maxi Trench Coat
$295.00