This week Sam’s Dream Blog features Sophie Buhai, one half of the Vena Cava design team (Lisa Mayock is the other half.) Vena Cava creates so-called "future heirlooms," clothing that can be passed down through family and friends. Buhai has been featured on Fast Company’s "The 100 Most Creative People in Business" list, and the brand has twice been nominated for a "Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award."
Sam’s Dream Blog: How does one find his or her personal style and authentic self?
Sophie Buhai: I think your style should fit your daily life or interests. The best style I have seen on people usually comes from years of defining what they feel most comfortable in. I'm a fan of wearing things that have stories behind them- hand me-downs from a grandparent, or treasures found while traveling. But, my father wears head-to-toe Costco and he looks great, so I don't think you need to spend much money or care about brands.
SDB: Fast Company had this to say about you and your co-founder: Their witty personal touch with fans has also spurred Vena Cava's growth. How does someone effectively put his or her distinct personality into a brand?
Sophie Buhai: I think you need to stay true to who you are and know your customer. You can't design for someone you don't know. Lisa and I are designing for our friends and our peer group. It's easy to keep things personal when you yourself are the customer. We just have fun, we never take ourselves too seriously about fashion.
SDB: How have you decided who to include and exclude in your target market?
Sophie Buhai: We don't aim to exclude anyone! We've gone up to a size 16, dressed 80-year-olds, and even men. Anyone who appreciates our clothing should wear it. We accept all!