Name: Sofia Elias
Residence: Guadalajara, Mexico
Currently lives: In a 1920s two-story brick building in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood.
Claim to fame: Ms. Elias is an artist, architect and designer best known for her jewelry line, Blobb, a collection of candy-colored rings and bracelets inspired by childhood objects. Evoking ’90s nostalgia with names like “Jolly Rancher”, “Lucky Charm” and “Twizzler”, the playful pieces have been worn by Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid and other young celebrities.
Breakthrough: In 2019, Suea Cho, buyer for trendsetting store Opening Ceremony, went to Mexico to source brands for the “Year of Mexico” campaign, an initiative to showcase designers from outside the United States. During a dinner, Ms. Cho noticed Ms. Elias’s jewelry and placed an order for 80 rings. It was a daunting first order – the ring has six layers of resin, each taking about 16 hours to dry – but it would introduce her work to an international audience.
Latest project: Ms. Elias, who describes her practice as “an exploration of different materials,” ventured into household items inspired by everyday Mexican objects. Her Wobble vases are made by colorful plastic buckets sold by street vendors to melt and look like “an object in motion,” she said.
Next thing: Later this month, Ms. Elias will create a line of unique rubber chairs that she calls “soft sculptures.” The blob-shaped chairs are designed to collapse under the weight of the sitter and return to their original form, blurring the lines between functional object, practical joke and art. “I’m currently working on a chair that will have no function, which will be its function,” she said.
Breaking the mold: During her senior year at Anahuac University in Mexico, Ms. Elias experimented with spontaneous and playful materials such as spaghetti, bubble gum and glitter to build architectural models. The playful materials offered freedom from the rigid boundaries of traditional architecture. “I started to accept that it’s okay for things to be different,” she said. “I make things that are imperfect. That makes them perfect.”