Libelula dress designer gives an insight on social media, selfies and The Duchess of Cambridge.

She’s not the first mother to say it, and she won’t be the last. Without the internet, designer Sophie Cranston would not be able to run Libelula, her very successful fashion line. Sophie has three young sons and it is only with the advantages of email, websites and social media that she has been able to make her label grow.

Sophie created Libelula in 2002 with the ambition to design clothes that flatter and fit all sizes. She studied fashion design in Savile Row and at Bellville Sassoon. In 1999, she won the Designer of the Year Award at Graduate Fashion Week, which was also won by legends such as John Galliano, Christopher Bailey and Alexander McQueen. Shortly after, Sophie began working for McQueen himself. In 2000 she set up Temperley with Alice Temperley. After two years, Sophie decided to follow her heart and went to Spain. The designer fashion label Libelula began in a small village in Andalucia. The headquarters have since moved to the UK, and the label is now found throughout the world. Libelula’s products are timeless with excellent use of colour, exotic prints, extraordinary cuts and luxurious fabrics. Here, the fashion designer offers an insight into her online life.

My favourite website... Pinterest for visual inspiration in all areas of life. I am in the process of setting up another label with a friend, Cockatoo Boutique and both Pinterest and Instagram have been invaluable for research. Though my husband would say it’s the Daily Mail, but I’m too ashamed to admit that myself. I also love Google Earth.

My favourite apps… Instagram and Google Maps - The latter is a lifesaver as I have the most terrible sense of direction and couldn’t get anywhere or back again without it. I also need an App to help me find my car when I can’t remember where I have parked it.

My blog of choice... I've never really understood the point of blogs and what they are for; maybe I need to be enlightened.

My internet heroes... All the people who have contributed to making the internet to what it has become today. When I was young, there was no internet and since it was invented it has revolutionised the way we live and do things. Without it, it would be almost impossible to run my business with three kids in tow. It has sped up everything so you can achieve a lot more in a shorter space of time and also makes working internationally possible without always having to jump on a plane. I’m in awe of the inventors of Google. They have opened up the world to everyone and now we have almost all the data we need at our fingertips.

My most recent buy online... a grapefruit keyring purse from ASOS, as well as lots of other bits I probably don’t need at all. They are brilliant as if you forget your purse when you run out of the house you have at least a little cash attached to your key. It’s another lifesaver! I love shopping and these days, I do almost all of it online. With three little boys, real life shopping is a rare luxury.

Book just downloaded/ read... I am shamefully not much of a reader. I’m usually busy all day and then asleep the moment my head hits the pillow. The most recent books I have read are 'Awful Auntie' by David Walliams and Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' series that I am reading to two of my boys at bedtime. I think I am enjoying them even more than they are. I keep reading ahead on my own to find out what the next twist in the plot is as I can’t wait till the next bedtime to find out. My husband is the bookworm of our family and is reading 'Homo Deus' by Yuval Noah Harari. I’m wondering if I should give it a go.

Favourite tweeter... I don’t tweet and I don’t read anyone else’s tweets either. I think your opinions are best kept for the people you know and love.

Favourite instagrammer... I love looking at Instagram posts to keep abreast of what friends and family are up to and it makes me so proud to see the wonderful things my friends are achieving too @Barnebygates, @korlahome, @mollymahonblockprinting, @bundlemaclarenmillinery, @oministudio, @Spanishandsisters, @anyahaslemere, @tarifabeachhouses,, @flavourpassioncherie, @katieandjo, @mojoandmccoy, @galapagos_safari_camp, @mirenarzalluz are just some of the amazing things that they are doing. Instagram is a great place for sourcing and discovering different and exciting things for our boutique.

Social media allowed me to meet... No-one really. I meet enough friends in the real world, but it’s a good way to keep in touch with people that you don’t see often enough. It keeps a line of contact open so that when you have the time you can get back in contact with long lost friends.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to... I don't really subscribe to many newsletters, though I do get a little excited when the GAP 30% Off offers come in as they do great quality clothes for boys.

Pet hate about life online... Selfies and how it is too easy to waste your life being online and not living in the real world. I think I need to set rules for myself, like the kids have, about how much I can use it when I’m not working.

Stand out online memory… The first time The Duchess of Cambridge wore one of our pieces and the online orders went through the roof. At the time I had two tiny kids and no help with the business. We had just moved house and so were surrounded by packing boxes and mayhem. I was up till the early hours for weeks packing the orders to send them off. I don’t know how I got through it in one piece.

iPhone or Android? iPhone for me.

August 2017