Sarah Sophie Flicker is the ultimate Jane of all trades in the creative world. The multi hyphenate is both a co-founder of (and a trapeze artist for) the social awareness cabaret group The Citizens Band, an artist, producer and director out of the production company The Belles of Black Diamond Field, an editor-at-large at fashion magazine Lula, and an oft-photographed street style subject.
You’re from Denmark, how did you find your way to New York?
I was born in Denmark. My mother is Danish and my father is a good New Jersey Jew! Two very different worlds which we’ve managed to straddle and embrace my whole life. I left Denmark when I was quite young but spent a lot of time there throughout. We moved to Palo Alto, then onto San Francisco. I spent two aimless years in Los Angeles, then fell in love with my husband and moved to New York… then proceeded to fall in love with the city too!
How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t have real language for it… it’s just me. It’s as me as me can be! I wear what inspires me– what tells a story of how I’m feeling or what character I want to be.
You and women like Michelle Harper, Joanna Hillman and Hanneli Mustaparta are consistently photographed for various street style editions. How would you compare your fashion worldviews?
I don’t know that I’m photographed so much! But what a bevy of babes to be in company with! I don’t take fashion super seriously; it is something that I love because it brings me joy. I love it because I imagine, or hope, that it says something about me and the kind of person that I am. I know that, at times, fashion is a way to express myself and at other times, something to hide behind. I’m very good friends with Michelle Harper and I would say we both just have a lot of fun with fashion. We are both busy ladies doing lots of other things, so it’s just one component of who we are. I imagine most women would say so!
Are you still a part of the British magazine Lula? Do you and Leith Clark have a similar philosophy toward fashion?
Yes! I am the editor-at-large for Lula magazine… very proudly so! Leith and I share so many philosophy’s that it was a relief to meet her. You know the feeling? When you meet someone from your tribe it’s a relief because a language already exists. Beyond fashion we share a lot of political, social, personal beliefs. It makes working at Lula seamless, easy and fun.
You recently directed the Fall ’12 video for Wren featuring Tavi Gevinson. Can you describe that creative process? How does Tavi embody the essence of that brand?
I direct fashion, music and short films with Maximilla Lukacs. Our partnership is one of the things I am most grateful for. We’ve worked together for 12 years now so our process is shorthand at this point. We joke about our “mental faxes”, often times we don’t have to speak, we just send an image, or a word, or a song. In this case, it all centered around Melissa Coker’s beautiful clothing and the Dory Previn song “Beware Of Young Girls.” The title alone says so much. I am grateful as a dyed in the wool feminist to see the upsurge in feminism and empowered young women. “Beware Of Young Girls” suggests that they are taking over, beware, because here they come and they are empowered and not backing down. Tavi embodies the essence of this sentiment. She is one of the more incredible women I’ve met. I love working with her. Leith styled the video so it was an all in the family affair!
Fashion seems to be a big part of your life; does it impact your professional life as a performer in your cabaret group, The Citizens Band, in which you create social awareness around issues that may conflict with the “fashion lifestyle?”
Hmm, I’ve never thought of it that way. I am aware of the companies I support and work for, so in that sense I make conscious decisions of who I align myself with. But more than that, I really believe in the cross pollination of all artistic disciplines. If you look at The Ballet Russes for example (a big inspiration to me), the collaborative element crossed over to all disciplines in the arts. The Citizens Band tries to do the same thing. Jeffrey Deitch and I have talked about this a lot, how there is power in theater, music, film, fashion, visual artists, circus arts, dance, all joining forces to create something more powerful than they could on their own. The Citizens Band have collaborated with so many exciting fashion designers including Zaldy, Electric Feathers, Geminola, Boudoir Queen, Eden… the list goes on. So, no, I don’t see any conflict. Fashion gets a bad rap! There are so many designers empowering and doing wonderful things, social things, and political things!
Who are your favorite designers?
I love to wear designers that I know. I’m lucky to live in NYC, it just makes it all more meaningful! Electric Feathers, Wren, Sea, Zac Posen, Geminola, Jerome Rousseau, Lulu Frost, Makie Oh, Erin Fetherston, Rachel Antonoff, Jane Mayle, Cynthia Rowley, Vena Cava, Anna Sui, the list goes on.
How has New York Fashion Week changed in the last ten years?
Geez, I don’t really know! It seems to be more of a party, doesn’t it? I tend to go to things that are friend related or work related and don’t go too much outside of that. I’ve noticed that there are more parties and less “serious” big fashion shows. On the one hand, that makes it more inclusive, which is great. On the other hand, some of the specialness or artistry seems to be missing. But those are just my laypersons observations!
You’re in the second season of HBO’s hit show, Girls. Can you describe what it’s like being on set with Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow?
I’m so proud to be even marginally associated! I’ve known Lena for some time and she is just a special, deeply intelligent, magical human! I was in Tiny Furniture briefly and was thrilled to be asked to do a small, small role on Girls. My husband, Jesse, directs Girls so, again, it is a family affair. The one thing I can say about Lena is that she is one of the most intuitive people I know. Her ability to take experiences and understand them and quickly turn what she’s learned into art is incredible to behold. Her talent is deep, deep, deep. She is a gifted and wonderful person.
You have many different roles professionally and personally, as a wife and mother. How do you define success?
Yes, I wear lots and lots of hats, which is confusing to people at times. But all the hats make sense to me and somehow relate. I don’t have any real definition of success other than the definition keeps changing. I don’t think there will ever be a time that I feel “successful”. This is hard sometimes but also good because it keeps me striving, reaching and learning. Life is just a bunch of stages and once you’ve mastered one stage, a new challenge lies ahead. I’ve felt this most strongly with motherhood. It’s the thing that I’m definitely the most proud of, and grappling with all the time. The challenges never end and this is beautiful!
Have you ever considered designing your own collection?
Oh, I’d love to! I am doing a few collaborations now, but dream of one day creating a collection. It exists in my head already!
What would you title your memoir?
“I Don’t Know, and That’s a Good Thing.” I think saying, “I don’t know” is totally underrated. I say it to my kids everyday because I usually don’t really know the answer to what they are asking, but also because I want the insane pressure to “know” everything or always have an answer to be lifted from them for as long as possible. Not a great memoir title… I haven’t really thought of it. I have titles for lots of the people I’m close to, but never my own!