Tuesday 24th March

| BY Dino Bonacic

Bringing Sexy Back (into Menswear): Hardeman’s Sophia Hardeman is one of our 10 Designers to Meet

Instead of asking one person to curate their world for us, for Issue 51 of 10 Men, we presented our own list of designers who we think are making menswear sexy again. While some like the instant reveal and others prefer the more subversive kind of erotica, they’re all giving us hope for a hotter tomorrow. First up – it’s Sophie Hardeman of Euro-American brand Hardeman.

Horny. Alien. Rowdy. Denim. Emo. Millennial. Anti. Normal. These are the words written on one of Sophie Hardeman’s latest designs – a graphic T-shirt that spells out her last name and the name of her label. And they’re definitely the eight words I would use to describe her world, too.

Based in Amsterdam, Sophie has been running her denim-orientated brand since 2015, when she graduated from the city’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie, an art school that has become quite a hub for the next wave of fashion’s avant-garde. One of its leaders is Sophie, who creates a sex positive conversation with her openly eroticised vision of human bodies.

Trucker jackets that are actually high-cut bodysuits, jeans that are cut like chaps from the back and have thongs inserted on top of their waistbands – Sophie’s creativity serves itself to the kind of clothes musicians wear on stage. It comes as no surprise, then, that Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Troye Sivan have all worn Hardeman while doing their thang. But Sophie is also here to provide style opportunities for a community of peers who exist in a universe freed from gender roles and expectations. “Fashion is political – with clothing you can belong or stand out,” she says. Over the past year, Sophie has been working with the sexually fluid dating app Feeld on events that break the limits of traditional speed dating. One of them took place in London’s concept store of the future 50m, in celebration of her collection launching in the UK, while the most recent presented her SS20 line as a prelude to New York Fashion Week in January. Described by Sophie as “college dorms, whore moms and cowboys”, the collection was a natural progression of her bold sensibilities.

In 2018, Sophie’s name appeared on one of those coveted Forbes 30 under 30 lists, yet it somehow feels she’s not paying too much attention to that sort of thing. Instead, she’s looking forward to expanding her business globally, with plans including opening a studio and store in LA, where she previously worked with Bernhard Willhelm. Until then, you can shop her lewd lewks via her internet 1.0-esque website, which also presents a photo diary snapshotting the lives of Hardeman’s hardcore fans – exposed bum cracks and all.

The first garment you ever created?

“I sewed a box of my mom’s buttons onto my T-shirt. I would get stuck in other people’s buttonholes… ”

Which designers inspire you?

“Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Jean-Paul Gaultier… ”

When in life did you feel your sexiest?

“I was high on ecstasy for the first time at a rave in the middle of nowhere.”

What do you wear when you want to feel sexy?

“Jeans and button T-shirts.”

Your perfect date-night scenario?

“I’m at a cattle market and everyone is wearing jeans and then I meet the eco-farmer who sets all the cattle free. Afterwards, we attend the Super Bowl and get to meet all the cheerleaders.”

Top image by Ryan Maxey. Taken from Issue 51 of 10 Men – GENTLE, SENSUAL, FANTASY – is out TODAY.

@hardeman_