FANCY Content has added a dynamic new voice to its talent roster in the signing of Director Sophy Holland. Launching her career in the UK as an art director, she moved to New York a dozen years ago and segued into working with top photographers and filmmakers, which set the stage for her own career pivot into motion and still shooting.
Her signing with FANCY Content marks her first representation agreement with a US production company. A member of FreeTheBid, she is also the first woman director signed to the company’s roster.
Holland’s work covers a wide range of styles and genres, from pure fashion and beauty to documentary, narrative and portraiture. Her print and film clients include brands like Swarovski, Stella Artois, Pfizer, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder and Tory Burch, and her portfolio also features provocative editorial work for publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ESPN Magazine, Elle, Interview, Diva, Inked and others.
Holland started her career with the global agency Select Worldwide, art directing TV and print campaigns and working on a mix of editorial and advertising projects. From Select she joined the studio of the acclaimed photographer Norman Jean Roy as Creative Director, which is where she began to shoot her own material. She made her directorial debut with the riveting 2014 short film “Brace,” which depicts a harrowing story of gay and trans youth in London resisting gang violence. The film has been shown in dozens of festivals around the world and hailed for its educational value.
“I came across Sophy’s work and I was struck by the its fresh, unique feeling,” says FANCY Content Founder and EP Robert Wherry. “She’s really more of a storyteller than a pure fashion and beauty imagemaker, and that’s where we see her going as a director.
“We’re excited to be able to add a woman of such great talent and impeccable taste to our directorial roster,” Wherry continues. “Her film for Inked, about breast cancer survivors, moved me deeply. And her work on films like ‘Braces’ and ‘Illustrated Man’ shows she’s not afraid to go after controversial stories.”
Since launching her film career, Holland has directed a mixture of advertising and humanitarian-oriented projects. Most notably, she directed a series of promos celebrating Women’s History Month for BET Networks, which was honored with a Gold Promax Awards. And her work for the Tory Burch Foundation’s #EmbraceAmbition PSA, which tackled the negative stigma of the word ‘ambition’ for women, featured over 40 celebrities, ranging from Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon to Jon Hamm, Chris Pine, Billie Jean King, Anna Wintour, Sheryl Sandberg, Melinda Gates and Tina Brown.
She also directed a feature-length documentary, “Illustrated Man,” on the history of tattoo culture and how it has collided with fashion in current day society, as well as “Unravelling the Pink Ribbon,” a short documentary for Estee Lauder on the history of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon campaign.
“I signed with FANCY because Robert shared my passion, tenacity and work ethic,” Holland says. “I liked that it was a relatively compact roster, too, and that my style and aesthetic occupies a unique place. I also like the fact that I’m the first woman to be represented by his company, which is fitting, as he’s a vocal advocate for women’s social projects.”
Holland’s approach to working with women, as evidenced by her films for Tory Burch and Elizabeth Arden, reveals her preference “for projects that celebrate them, that don’t objectify or degrade them. I want every person in front of my camera, whether in still or motion, to feel their most comfortable and beautiful. If they don’t, I’ve failed as an artist. In my beauty work, it’s all about showing the true emotion and confidence exuding behind the face, and in my more raw work, I want to still show these people in a heroic and celebratory light.”
Holland says she’s looking to move beyond fashion at FANCY, and believes she’s got the chops to prove it. “I’ve really got one foot in the fashion world and one foot outside of it,” she notes, referencing her documentary films and editorial print. “I like to think I’m commercial-friendly, but fashion enough, and I believe this is the area of the industry where I’ll shine.”
About Fancy Content:
Fancy Content believes in the power of creativity to connect with audiences on a deeply emotional level. The company partners with agencies and their clients to help brands tell their stories, and is grateful that it gets to collaborate with smart, creative people. Its roster of award-winning filmmakers includes Rob Cohen, John Mastromonaco, RAD-ISH, Ed McCulloch, Hans Emanuel, Paul Laufer, Chris Shimojima and Jason Zada. The company is represented in the East by Minerva Content, in the Midwest by Gay Guthrey + Associates and in the West by All Your Options.