Sophie Habsburg, niece to the last Emperor of Austria and closely related to the royal houses of Europe, was born in Paris and educated in England. She was drawn to the world of design at an early age by the awareness of her European heritage and her innate love of style and colour.
She attended the prestigious Ecole Camondo in Paris where she studied interior design and soon found a position at the Paris office of the iconic David Hicks. While in Paris, Sophie made the acquaintance of many stellar fashion figures – notably Valentino, Ungaro, Courreges, Rochas and Versace – which began a modelling career that would coincide with her new design interests. Her experience and friendship with many of these designers greatly enhanced her knowledge of couture and the quality and artistic craftsmanship that are the hallmarks of fine design.
Eager to discover another culture and language, she moved to Madrid where she worked with the noted decorator, Pasquale Ortega. This new life in Spain helped to broaden her design sensibilities as she moved into the world of fashion as a jewellery designer for Suarez while still continuing with her modelling contracts.
While in Spain, Sophie collaborated with Hola Magazine in providing exclusive interviews with noted personalities in the worlds of art, fashion, film and politics. Her command of five languages was an asset as she did the same as a cultural commentator for radio.
In this privileged life, Sophie had an unsettling need to give back. She involved herself in the charitable organisation of SOS Children’s Village, an organisation that her Austrian grandmother was greatly involved with, and continues today with a variety of charities as well as the church.
In 1989, while on a photo shoot for Rafaela Curiel on the Spanish Steps, she reconnected with her first love and shortly thereafter wed Prince Mariano Hugo Windisch-Graetz. They have settled in Rome, where they now live with their son and daughter.
The culmination of these years of design inspiration – both in fashion and in interiors – has led to the creation of Sophie Habsburg Design, a collection of exquisitely designed, richly coloured and beautifully constructed handbags for the most discerning woman.