Sophia Webster

SOCIALIZING WITH SOPHIA: Harrods is getting social for spring with a storewide campaign called “Social Butterfly” that celebrates the British social season known for its garden parties and horse racing events.

British footwear designer Sophia Webster, who is best known for her whimsical butterfly-appliquéd shoes, felt right at home with the new season theme and teamed with the retailer to create a special afternoon tea menu where she re-created her signature butterfly shoe designs into sweet treats. She also designed an exclusive Swarovski-encrusted butterfly sandal which will be available for Harrods customers on a made-to-order basis.

“Some of my most iconic shoes are all butterfly-themed so it was great for us to be involved, especially because they have never had a designer takeover their afternoon tea in the past,” Webster said.

Sophia Webster's Social Butterflies afternoon tea Harrods

Sophia Webster’s “Social Butterflies” afternoon tea at Harrods.  Courtesy

She had multiple tastings to perfect the menu, which focuses on fruity, fresh tastes and plenty of color, to be in line with the designer’s cheerful aesthetic.

“We tried really hard to match the colors to the collection,” said the designer pointing to a biscuit shaped like her popular “Chiara” butterfly sandals, with bright pink, blue and yellow icing mirroring the latest color combinations she introduced for spring.

Webster also added personal touches in the form of a tiered mint chocolate cake inspired by the birthday cake she had been asking her grandmother to make for her birthday since the age of eight.

“I was obsessed with mint chocolate ice cream when I was young, so I would ask my grandmother to create a cake with layers of chocolate sponge and mint icing. The cake in the menu was definitely inspired by that, she made it for me until I was 25,” Webster said.

She added that such projects are all a way of letting customers into her world. “I’ve always been about creating a world of experience and I think it is expected these days. You can’t just put something out there and expect customers to understand it, you have to entice them and invite them to be a part of your brand.”

As part of her commitment to create experiences, Webster is also heading to New York next week where she plans on hosting a series of events in a showroom on Wooster Street, including a dance class, where followers will be able to book a place via social media.

The “Social Butterflies” tea will be served at Harrods’ Georgian restaurant on the fourth floor until June 23.

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