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Hi! Expectation Designer Sofi Sugasti Is a 'Teenager At Heart'

Image via Sofi Sugasti
Image via Sofi Sugasti

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Dallas-based designer Sofi Sugasti is quietly making waves with her determinedly flashy young contemporary line, Hi! Expectation. Now, with her label available in fashion-forward outlets such as V.O.D. and Shop September, Sugasti's on a roll. We recently caught up with the Argentinian-born beauty, a lover of among other things, crazy prints, Dallas and Pilates.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I lived with a very big family of five sisters and one brother. School was always fun since I got to spend all day with my best friends (whom I still keep [in touch with] today) and finish the day with sports. I was part of the track team and loved to compete! We spent the summers in Punta del Este, Uruguay, a place I beg you to check it out. Beautiful beaches and the best food! Winter was all about skiing, holidays where spent in Bariloche down south in Argentina. Amazing times! After college I moved to America, first to Aspen, where I got to experience a couple of winters working and skiing, and then to Dallas where I worked for a very nice family, being the right-hand of a mom which I still help, and she is truly amazing!

How did you go about launching your career in fashion?
I always loved fashion since I was a little girl. I used to collect fashion magazines from all over the world and be obsessed watching MTV to check the latest fashion trends in music videos. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to organize two fashion shows all by myself. This experience gave me a quick sense that fashion was a world I will always be comfortable and excited with. When I started college, I interned for a friend of mine who was a top model in Argentina and helped her with her schedule and went everywhere she needed to be, from photo shoots, fashion shows, TV appearances, everything. It was so much fun! Once I arrived in the U.S., I started working as a personal shopper for a very fashionable lady, which I continue to do today. It gave me a great sense of reality on how retail works. A couple years ago I decided to start my line since I thought I was totally ready for this new adventure after so many different experiences that gave me the base I needed to front this amazing and challenging business.

Your new collection: First, why young contemporary? What is it about that segment that appeals to you?
I might be on my mid-30s, but I do consider I am still a teenager in my heart. I love to watch shows, listen to music and purchase items that appeal to a younger market. My whole studio is surrounded by Sanrio characters and everything I liked when I was in high school. I feel it is a moment of your life where you are absolutely free to start experiencing with new things. Everything you try first will always be in your memory forever. I remember the first time I dyed my hair (like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites!) and even getting my first dress from prom. Those are moments you will cherish forever in your heart and memories. Forever young!

Describe the collection. Is it representative of your work in general, or will your future vision be different in any way?
With this fall collection, I took a trip back to the '90s where I was a teen. That is the reason why I decided to call the collection Teen Spirit. I was inspired by the grunge aesthetic of that era, creating prints with daisies and brining neon with the camouflage print. The candy print is in reference of the stickers we used to collect and be obsessed with. I had a ton of fun going back down memory lane on how everything was so crazy and intense.
My collection will be different every time since my inspiration will always come from different places. I am always trying to connect with things like a piece of art, a song, a movie, a model, a city or anything random that catches my attention. I also try to bring the most comfortable pieces, while staying on trend on what's going to happen in the future. My goal is to keep the line as unique as possible. That is why we work very hard on creating one-of-a-kind prints, and production is done in the U.S. to keep the quality the best possible.

How did you find stores to sell your line?
I am working with a showroom that handles all [the] sales. I have a very nice work team that allows me to focus on the creative aspect of the company. They are amazing and sales are getting better and better every year! We also show the line at Capsule in NYC and Pool in Las Vegas. We get to meet a ton of new stores there.

What's your go-to daily outfit?
It really depends how the day goes. I could be running around town, so I would try to find something comfortable but still make sure that it all makes sense. It could even be some sweat pants, but make them look good with a nice pair of Air Max shoes and a cool leather jacket! The summer in Texas is very hot, so I try to mix shorts with cool tees and summer dresses that are fun. Now, if I am traveling, let's say to Buenos Aires, I try to be more stylish and wear things that appeal more about being in a glamorous city, and wear heels and a nice dress. It also really depends on the mood. There are days were you feel you need to wear lots of color and days where it's just black. I love color myself. The more the merrier!

Describe a day in your life.
I love to workout. I am all into indoor cycling and Pilates at the moment. I try to squeeze as much work as possible in the morning, that is why I try to workout very early and have as much time possible to make everything happen. I am a morning person so I have tons of energy in the A.M. I love catching up with friends for lunch. We always try to find new spots and try new food. Dallas gets to open a ton of new restaurants, so that is always easy. I like to spend the afternoon running errands for the line and having meetings so it's more of being on the go, that part of the day. I love to have dinner with friends and go out for a drink or check out a new gallery or new exhibit. Some nights, I just stay home with my husband and relax with a healthy home meal.