Q&A with Fashion Illustrator Eleni Sofroniou

To celebrate Fenwick Brent Cross’ official 40th birthday, we enlisted fashion illustrator Eleni Sofroniou to re-imagine the 1970s Fenwick shopper for today. Look out for her fab illustrations in-store and stay tuned to find out how you can meet and greet Eleni, where she’ll be drawing bespoke illustrations in-store soon!

We quizzed the North Londoner on her creative process, how she got into fashion illustration and some of her favourite family memories (involving a certain store beginning with F)…

20160301 bx 40 years illustrations

Thank-you for creating our beautiful illustration! Tell us about your creative process...

The creative process for me really begins with listening to what the client's ideas are - usually as they are speaking the illustration visualises in my mind. The illustration process has three stages; the first being where I draw the piece in pencil and send it over to the client for their feedback on whether they'd like any edits to be made. The second stage is applying the watercolour and ink - which I love! And finally, the illustration is scanned into Photoshop to be cleaned and retouched for the client to use across all channels.

To celebrate 40 fabulous years at Fenwick Brent Cross we wanted our shopper to be inspired by 1970's fashion. What inspired you about this time when creating the illustrations?

There are so many things that I love about that era and I had way too much fun scrolling through Pinterest finding amazing photos for the mood board. Diane Von Furstenberg's wrap dress was definitely an inspiration as were block heels and Farrah Fawcett's hairstyle!

How would you describe the Brent Cross shopper?

Fashion forward, confident and stylish!

20160301 Brent X illustrator2

Tell us a bit about where you’re from and how you discovered your passion for fashion illustration...

I was born in London and have lived here all my life. When I think back to the past, I can't actually remember when or how I began to love fashion and drawing. It's always been there and it's something that my Dad - who was a very good artist - helped to bring out in me as he was always encouraging me to draw and teaching me new techniques.

How would you describe London style and what makes it so unique?

For me, London street style is about individuality without any set rules. People wear what they want and own it and that's what I love seeing when I walk around the city.

Would you visit the Brent Cross store often as a child, and do you have any special memories you could share?

Every year, just before Christmas, my family and I would wake up early and my Dad would drive us to Brent Cross. We'd wait in the car park until it opened and we'd make our way to Lindy's (which is now closed) to eat breakfast and then go shopping. My favourite store was The Disney store, of course! My parents loved Fenwick the most because they loved buying the crystal Swarovski figures. It was always an exciting time and was always decorated beautifully, especially when the huge water fountain turned into Father Christmas' grotto - It felt truly magical. This tradition started when we were very young, when it was just my brother, sister and I, then my sister Lucy joined our tradition when she was born ten years later. Brent Cross holds many lovely memories for me.

Find out more about Brent Cross' 40th birthday and see what exciting activity we have planned to celebrate here.