By Mitch Hurst
By Mitch Hurst
In 2018, Lake Forest resident and native of Portugal Sonia Afonso founded her lifestyle label, Hoshi Collective, inspired by her love of travel, culture, and fashion. Alfonso is a citizen of the world, having lived in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and Japan, and those experiences influence her designs. Cultural preservation and sustainability are values infused into the business, which she runs with her business partner, Rute Ribeiro Martins, who is also from Portugal. Products include hats, scarves, kimonos, and accessories designed with inspiration from countries such as Cuba, Portugal, Japan, and Ecuador. More recently, Afonso formed a collaboration with her Lake Forest neighbor, designer Dalia Lerner, whose Arte Materia features handmade products influenced by Lerner’s Mexican heritage. “The Hoshi Collective & Arte Materia collaboration was born of the connection between two brands that exalt the significance of artisan handmade goods, the intricacies of their technique, sustainability, timeless beauty, and richness in Mexican culture,” Afonso says. “It allows me to apply my design and creative philosophy to a culture new to me, while collaborating with another Lake Forest entrepreneur.” This month, Afonso shares a few of her favorite things.
What do you consider your biggest business success related to Hoshi Collective? The entire experience of starting a business from scratch. What do you consider to be the toughest lesson you learned on the way to building your business? To be flexible to change and demand but not compromise my vision or expression. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Fortune favors the brave. You’ve traveled all over the world and have said Japan is one of your favorite places. Where did you have your favorite meal and what was it? In Japan it is difficult not to have a good meal, but I will choose a tempura meal at Tempura Fukamachi in Tokyo. As a fun fact, the tempura technique was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese 400 years ago. If you could describe yourself in one sentence, what would it be? A creative, adaptable person that seeks continuous learning and ways to express her creativity. You speak a number of different languages. What’s your favorite language and why? My mother tongue, Portuguese, to make sure my kids remain connected to my cultural heritage. What’s your favorite leisure time activity? Spending time in front of the fireplace with a good book and a meal with friends and family. Where is your favorite spot in Lake Forest? The lake. I love to register with my camera the impact that the seasons have on the landscape, like the amazing sunrises or the frozen waters. Beach, mountains, or city for vacation? One of each, every year. This year we have done New York City, we will do Jackson Hole for spring break, Lisbon and Comporta, Portugal, during summer. Favorite color? Black. Favorite music? Jazz, classical, and good disco music, like Studio 54. Favorite beauty product? A perfume, I have a really nice collection (a weakness). Last Netflix series you watched? Yellowstone, The Makanai. Paper planner or digital? Paper. Greatest source of inspiration? People from places I have lived, museums, and galleries. 3 people you would like to have over for dinner? Pablo Picasso, Steven Spielberg, Cristiano Ronaldo. Two things on your bucket list? A trip on board the Venice Simplon Orient Express and a safari. Latest book? The Bohemians, by Jasmin Darznik. Top 3 favorite things in Lake Forest or Lake Bluff? Gorton Community Center, where I take art classes, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Bluff Farmers Market. Favorite designers? Maria Grazia Chiuri from Dior, Amy Smilovic from Tibi, Elin Kling from Toteme. Favorite workout? Strength.