Style expert, influencer, fashion consultant and brand communication manager, Sofia Johansson specialises not only in how fashion makes us look good but also in how it can convey ideas and make a statement. After many years working in communications, she is now the founder of The Blixen Studio, a communication platform focusing on fashion brands. The Lottusse Magazine talked to her about her projects and we discussed her views on the future of the sector, changes in consumer habits and many other issues.
Who is Sofia? How would you define yourself?
I could define myself as a hard-working family person and someone who is very normal! I’m 26 years old and I’m Spanish, with Swedish and Danish roots.
Both professionally and personally, if I get involved in a project, it’s because I know I’m going to be able to dedicate all my time and effort to it. I like to do things well, without rushing or losing focus.
How did your connection with the fashion world begin? Did In2ition Style have anything to do with it?
Yes! A lot. It was my first project working with a magazine, one I had with my sister. We began to have a lot of contact with fashion brands, collection presentations, events, store openings, etc.
What led you to found The Blixen Studio? What do you do in your day-to-day life?
It came from the need to express my ideas and put them into practice. The project for building a communication platform has emerged gradually, as I’ve been working with different brands. The website is being developed now and I can’t wait to share it with you! My day-to-day work consists in defining the image and identity of different brands. We help brands to distinguish themselves, position themselves and stay in touch with consumers through high-quality content and digital communication strategies.
Who or what helped you create The Blixen Studio?
The simple fact that I don’t think about success and I’m not scared of failing, combined with my enthusiasm and ability to tackle work day by day. I think these are the things that have helped me to build this project little by little. Who? My family. Always.
Who are the team behind the scenes? Would you say that you feel as if they’re part of your family? What does the word ‘family’ mean to you?
We’ve been working together for a very short time, but I’d say we are a small family! The team is everything, I’d be nowhere without them!
For me, the word ‘family’ means: ‘please’, ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’. It’s home, union, values, sharing, learning, trust…
What does the trust of customers mean for you in your work? How do you think you can achieve that trust?
Trust is fundamental. The brands we work with rely on our judgement and professionalism, and that trust is the basis of good teamwork. I think that trust is earned through transparency, being natural and being seriously committed.
Where do your ideas for creating content come from?
The brands themselves. I try to express the essence of each brand to the fullest, so my starting point is always their roots.
How did you become an image for fashion campaigns as well?
For one reason or another I’ve always been linked to certain brands, and it was primarily these relationships that led to different projects.
They’ve always been projects that both the brand and I could identify with, with total agreement about image and philosophy. I think that’s the main thing.
What is the most important thing for you when you’re working?
For me, it’s enjoying what I do and being surrounded by great people.
What’s the most satisfying part of what you do? What does it give you?
My greatest satisfaction is the trust that brands have in my judgment and advice. And also seeing that customers and consumers have a very positive perception of these brands. It motivates me to keep working hard.
Is there any part of your work you are particularly proud of?
My day-to-day work and this professional project are an achievement in themselves.
Have you encountered any difficulties that have marked your career? If so, how did you manage to overcome them? Did you learn anything from it?
Yes. Every day has its difficulties and things that don’t go as you expected, and the way you handle them marks your career. I think you learn most when there are difficulties. You have to remember that, even if you encounter problems, they are never the end of the journey. After these problems there will be more, but there’s always a reason to keep going.
What would you say was the key to your success? Do you think there has been a key ingredient, something innovative or revolutionary that had something to do with it?
I don’t know if I consider it a success, but I certainly appreciate the opportunity to launch this project and work on it.
I don’t think there is a key ingredient. The only ‘magic’ behind everything is effort, hard work and plenty of enthusiasm! And also patience, the desire to do better and learning new things every day.
Where do you see The Blixen Studio and yourself 10 years from now?
I see The Blixen as constantly evolving and adapting to each moment, but always looking forward and thinking of new projects that may arise. I see a well-defined, solid firm, where the important thing is people, both those who make up the team and those who are behind the brands that work with us or are helping with the project in question.
I prefer to think about our day to day work and not dream about ambitious plans.
Do you think that this crisis is punishing the fashion world particularly badly?
I don’t think its ‘punishing’ us but it’s teaching us to reconsider our strategy and take a new approach to the way we do things. We need to adapt. In recent years, the fashion industry has been a free for all. I think there will be fewer brands but better.
Which of the new precautions in place do you think will affect your work the most?
Undoubtedly, the limited capacity of spaces for events and communication activities. Luckily, as our work is almost 100% digital, we can still continue to make progress.
When (roughly) do you think there will be some sort of ‘normality’ in terms of work?
I think we’re already immersed in that ‘new stage’. We are moving forward every day, and perhaps we’ll have a clearer picture of ‘new normal’ by September. But work must continue and, even with certain restrictions, I trust that it will.
Do you consider that this situation is changing consumer behaviour?
Yes, without a doubt. It has slowed down consumption. People are less inclined to consume and feel that they can have and do everything whenever they like.
Have you embarked on any special digital project or alternative work method during the lockdown?
I did a ‘photo session’ on Facetime! Something that was unthinkable until now. Apart from that, nothing in particular. As we have always worked entirely online, we have continued to communicate with the same call and conference platforms as usual.
Have you thought about any kind of initiative to play a part in combating this crisis? If so, what?
Through the brands we work with, we have launched several initiatives for fundraising, auctions and donations jointly with different associations. On a personal level, I’ve done the same. I felt that I should commit to everything that was within my power, where I could help in some way.
What positive aspects do you see in this situation?
Thankfully I think there are a lot, but above all I’ve realised how many things I have that I don’t need, and the few things that are truly important in our lives.