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Sophie Ashby and Fiona Blanchot

Dezeen Awards 2021 judges Sophie Ashby and Fiona Blanchot

Sophie Ashby grew up between Cape Town and the UK. She studied History of Art at Leeds and Interior Design at Parsons, and then founded her interior design and creative direction practice, Studio Ashby Ltd.

Drawing on experience from her time at contrasting studios Victoria Fairfax and Spring and Mercer, she developed her own strong sense of style and quickly started gaining a client base whilst running Studio Ashby from her laptop in various cafes.

Today, Ashby is the co-founder of United in Design, a charitable initiative working to address the lack of diversity in the profession. She also recently launched her first interior range, Sister by Studio Ashby. She is a Young Patron of the Royal Academy of Arts, a Decorex Ambassador and guest speaker at Central St Martins.

The studio will celebrate its seventh birthday this month and now has a dedicated team of fourteen, of which includes Fiona Blanchot, co-director.

Blanchot has worked with Ashby since 2015 and has helped the business grow and thrive, supporting the team from both a creative and managerial standpoint.

Studio Ashby was shortlisted for the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and most recently was listed in the House & Gardens top 100 Interior Designers, Country & Town’s 50 Best Interior Designers and named as a Rising Star in The English Home’s Hot 150 2018/19.

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