Did you have many opinions about how Sophie dressed when she was growing
SH: You used to force me to wear horrible dresses with awful starched petticoats!
JH: Well, that was when you were about four or five.
Edie Campbell: And, Mum, you made me wear little dresses too.
SH: Yes, but you liked your little dresses.
EC: No! I wanted cool jeans!
SH: I got you cool jeans from Paul Smith when you were eight or nine. But I had to wear dresses with stiff petticoats and matching knickers and a hat with a floppy brim. The embarrassment! JH: I can promise you, God’s honor, you had no petticoats like that. But we won’t argue. Obviously I was the most appalling mother.
Sophie, you started in the fashion department at Harpers & Queen at 17.
Why so young?
SH: I applied to be an editor of an all-teenage issue in 1978. After I finished school, I hassled them until they gave me a proper job. Going to fashion shows is a very fun thing to do in your late teens and early 20s—a lot more exciting than when you’re 30.
You also worked with some legendary photographers.
SH: Yes, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber…. I liked working with Arthur Elgort very much, and David Bailey. He was grumpy but quite liked it when people brought him interesting things to shoot, as he had gotten stuck slightly in a rut by then, doing an awful lot of German Vogue with models in Escada perched on rocks. I took a trip with him to Peru. Mind you, the model I made him use was ghastly! French and silent, and that was no good, because he likes a jolly person.
How did you feel when your daughter wanted to model?
SH: Modeling will give you confidence, particularly when you’re young. There’s always a lot of competition in school, and some cow thinks she’s the most beautiful person with the biggest tits. If your little girl can just happen to have her picture in an ad, it shuts them up.
JH: I suppose that never really crossed my mind back then. I was just so delighted to get money, a huge amount for those days. And I had a very interesting time. Hermès once took me on a trip to North Africa. Those were the days when the Mamounia hotel in Marrakech was very chic. You would stay there and show the collection, and all these exceedingly rich women would order.
Sophie, did your fashion background help you in designing boutiques?
SH: Definitely. It gave me a context. People think fashion is very superficial, but designers follow what’s in the air. There’s a smell, and they all get it. And they have incredibly strong views about what’s right and what’s wrong.
Do you appreciate fashion more now that you don’t work in the industry?
SH: I’m not interested in clothes. I mean, I am interested in clothes, but I don’t like 99 percent of the clothes that are out there.
EC: You like Comme des Garçons—and Alaïa, but you wouldn’t wear it.
SH: I keep telling him to do classic trousers again and he won’t! I even took my old trousers to him, and he said, “Pfffth!” He’s the best cutter.