“I’m telling my kids this is the royal wedding.” — TikTok user89984382348
Sofia Richie Grainge is the internet’s new princess. The 24-year-old has been in the public eye since she was a teenager, but this past April, she hit an inflection point when she got married at the iconic Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France and took the whole internet with her. The result was a newly crowned It girl. Group chats lit up. “Wedding of the century.” Over 400 million TikTok views later, the Sofia Grainge effect is in full swing. Women overhauled their wardrobes in favour of Grainge–inspired sophistication, trendy styles were suddenly rendered distasteful, and influencer-marketing companies started offering branding lessons based on the wedding. At a moment in time when catchphrases like “quiet luxury” and “stealth wealth” have burrowed into our collective cultural consciousness, Grainge checks the boxes. In an AI-obsessed era, people have never been more aware of authenticity vs. artifice (raise your hand if you downloaded the BeReal app), but the lavish wedding studded with celebrities somehow resonated as relatable and real. She found her moment, and she is the moment. And as I learned in our hour-long conversation, she has big fashion-industry plans for her next moment.
Jonny Marlow; Styling: Ferragamo sweater set, tights, and shoes; Free People headband; Cartier Panthière De Cartier Bracelet; Mason and Books earrings
First, let’s go back to where it all began: falling in love with her now husband, Elliot Grainge. “We started off just as friends. I would always tell him, ‘Whoever you end up with is the luckiest girl.’ I thought that person is going to be really loved, appreciated, and worshipped. And then I realised one day… Why can’t that lucky girl be me?” Grainge tells me over the phone. Her past relationships were heavily documented in the celebrity news world, yet her partnership with Grainge flew relatively under the paparazzi radar—perhaps a hint of the quiet luxury of it all to come. Post-wedding, the couple came to symbolise the #relationshipgoals many hope to manifest in their own lives. It wasn’t just a pretty, Vogue-approved wedding. It was proof to all the internet girlies to never settle and hold out for the relationship you deserve. To hear Grainge talk about their love, it’s easy to become enamoured with the fairytale of it all. “When we started being romantic, he just gave me a different feeling,” Grainge shares. “It was a feeling of safety. It was the feeling of really being appreciated. I knew when we started dating that he was my husband. It wasn’t a ‘Do you think one day he’ll propose?’ It was like, ‘This is my husband—100%.’ I felt this love for him that I never felt ever in my life.” Royal-wedding material indeed.
With a levelled-up romantic life, the internet loves to point out that Grainge also upgraded her style. Grainge cites Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as her ultimate style muse, and after a wedding weekend replete with Chanel, cream linen, and sleek buns, she cemented her status as the poster girl for the quiet-luxury trend. But it turns out she doesn’t completely identify with the buzzword of 2023. “Quiet luxury, the term, it sounds really nice, so I’m not knocking it,” she says. “But [my stylist] Liat Baruch and I started working together properly about three and a half years ago, and when we met, our word was ‘timeless.’” For Grainge and Baruch, it isn’t about chasing a trend or aligning with the zeitgeist of a moment. Rather, they’re tapping into clothing as a source of strength and confidence. “I feel powerful in what I wear. I really tuned into myself and asked, What am I wearing when I feel my most powerful self? And that was in more sophisticated, timeless attire,” she adds.
It turns out there is immense power in what Sofia Grainge chooses to wear. Google searches for “Chanel wedding dress” saw a 500% increase the day after the L.A. native got married in three custom Chanel looks. So how did the wedding-weekend outfits seen round the world come together? Grainge chose to work with Baruch, a close family friend and stylist, to dream up her library of French Riviera looks. “Liat is a genius at what she does,” Grainge tells me. Once they got the work, the curation process came naturally: “It was like two friends sitting on a couch. It was so easy and laid-back, and we just started making mood boards together,” she explains.
Jonny Marlow; Styling: Versace dress and shoes; Free People headband; Octavia Elizabeth Pink Spinel and Pink Pearl Drop Earrings
Grainge says Chanel has been her favourite designer her entire life, so naturally, the house was her first choice to design her wedding dress. “When I heard that they were open to working with me for the wedding, I immediately hopped on a plane and met with their head of couture in New York City,” she says. Grainge admits to being a bit intimidated at the start. Chanel is, well, Chanel, and she didn’t want to step on the toes of people who clearly know what they’re doing. Despite initial nerves, “they really made me feel comfortable to have an opinion and put in my two cents. They were so hands-on, lovely, and attentive,” she recalls. The couture-level attention to detail stood out to Grainge. “They would say, ‘The buttons are a little bit too white. We’d love to dye them to make them a bit more cream,’ and I’d fly to Paris to make sure the hem was hitting just right,” she adds. “It was honestly one of the most amazing, fascinating experiences of my entire life.”
Initially, the plan was just for the ceremony gown, but after months of trying to figure out the rehearsal-dinner and after-party looks, she realised nothing goes with Chanel but… more Chanel. “That’s when I went back, and I asked, ‘Would you guys be open to doing two more dresses for me?’ And they were so kind to take it on,” Grainge shares. Nine months and seven flights to Paris later, the dresses were finally ready: a beaded rehearsal-dinner outfit inspired by a look from Chanel’s A/W ’97 couture collection worn by Stella Tennant, a lace wedding gown with a halter neckline and a resin water droplet–adorned veil, and a double-layer minidress with a signature 3D camellia flower inspired by an A/W ’93 look worn by Claudia Schiffer for the after-party.
The looks were so stunning, in fact, that Anna Wintour herself decided to upend Vogue’s content plans for the wedding. Grainge recounted the experience of being with her sister Nicole Richie in Paris at the Chanel atelier for a fitting when the house’s creative director, Virginie Viard, told them, “We just had a wild experience. Anna Wintour was just here, and we gave her a quick preview of your dresses. She would really love if her team could cover your final fitting.” Naturally, the sisters were on board: “Nicole and I gave each other a sister look like we’re freaking out.” Wintour and the Vogue crew materialised in Paris four days before the wedding to capture the final fitting, a moment Grainge describes as “surreal.” The original arrangement was to do the standard after-the-fact wedding feature, but now, the Vogue team would edit the fitting footage in just a few days and make a splash by dropping all the behind-the-scenes dress details as the bride walked down the aisle. The anecdote highlights Wintour’s foresight. She knows a “new royal wedding” when she sees one.
While Vogue’s content plans were highly orchestrated, Grainge’s were the exact opposite. The launch of her TikTok came about more organically that weekend. “My friends were like, ‘How cool would it be if you started a TikTok and showed people in real time what was happening?’ I thought, ‘You know what? That’s so refreshing, and that’s a great idea.’” Grainge posted her first-ever TikTok from France two days before her wedding, a GRWM (that’s “get ready with me” in internet speak) for a pre-rehearsal dinner. Perhaps being a newcomer to the space had its own charm. “I actually feel like a grandma on TikTok. Fun fact: I don’t even know how to edit a video,” she admits. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t intention behind her videos. “I feel like a lot of content around large events is so planned, and they’re so calculated. The content that I created around my wedding was organic, and I wasn’t pushing anything or hiding anything waiting for a magazine to publish. I was just being myself and letting people live through it with me in real time,” she says. As for why she felt the need to share, Grainge seems as geeked out on the fantasy aspect of an A-list French Riviera wedding as the rest of us: “I really wanted to take people along with me because I felt like holy crap—this is a fairy-tale moment. I need to share this with people.”
Jonny Marlow; Styling: Chanel jacket, dress, necklace, earrings, and shoes; Free People headband worn as ponytail cover
And a fairy tale it was. A buyout of an iconic hotel that’s hosted everyone from Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso to Jane Birkin and Jackie O. A guest list dotted with notable names like Cameron Diaz and Paris Hilton. A mountain of white and cream roses. Those Chanel dresses. Musical performances by Lionel Richie, Stephen Sanchez, and Good Charlotte. Fireworks over the Mediterranean Sea.
This event was the stunning result of a year’s worth of planning, and Grainge had a hand in everything. “There was not one thing with my party planner that I didn’t want to be involved in. I wanted to pick the flowers. I wanted to pick the colour of the linen. Every single thing about my wedding had Virgo written all over it,” she jokes. As for the moment she’ll tell her children about? “Standing under the chuppah, we would squeeze each other’s hands and look out into the crowd and take in the faces that travelled to be with us, our families and our close friends. When are we ever going to have every single person we love the most together? It was magic,” she says.
It wasn’t until several days into their honeymoon when Grainge realised the rest of the world felt the magic too. “My husband looks at me, and he says, ‘I think people are freaking out over this,’ and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” The newlyweds were on a deserted island in the middle of the Maldives with no service, and when they finally got home, that’s when she felt it. “I left my house, and tonnes of people were coming up to me. I was being stopped right, left, and centre,” she says. “It was so sweet, but it was also like, ‘Oh my god, I forgot that people tuned in and loved and saw my wedding. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, you did?’ It was a very surreal and kind of a wow moment for me, and I was really flattered. The amount of love I felt also from people on the internet filled my heart and made me really happy.”
Even though Grainge may have been the last to know, it’s clear she has captured the world’s attention. Her fortuitous wedding of the century and unassuming social strategy have made her essentially synonymous with good taste and elevated style. As for what’s next, like any Virgo worth her planner, she is a few steps ahead and is deep into preparing for an exciting launch: her own clothing line—not a collaboration or a capsule but a full-fledged brand helmed by Richie Grainge.
“The aesthetic is very my vibe,” she tells me of the line. “I made sure, trying on every single sample, that it embodies the aesthetic that I’ve been wearing. It’s 100% me.” Even though the brand will encapsulate Grainge’s style, she doesn’t have plans to be the face of the line, taking a page from her sister’s playbook: “I’ve watched Nicole design for years with House of Harlow, and it has definitely been inspiring for me. I’ve taken notes, and I’ve learned a lot. We don’t need to be people that just throw our names on things. We can be passionate and be involved.” Her aim is to focus more on the design, and she’s taking her time to make sure it comes out exactly how she envisions.
“I’m co-designing with our designer named Cass. She’s brilliant, and it was kind of the same vibe as when I started putting together wedding looks with Liat,” she says. “I had Cass come to my house, and we sat in my backyard in sweatpants. We started with things in life that inspire us. For me, it was art and music. We built this whole story based on things that inspire us.” When pressed to share her dreams for the line, Grainge hesitates. I suggest milestones like showing at New York Fashion Week or a dream celebrity wearing the line, and in true Grainge fashion, she remains humble. “I want whoever buys it to feel good in it. I hope that people connect with it. I hope people love it,” she says. If it’s anything like her wedding, it’s sure to have a more significant impact than anyone could have anticipated.
Photographer: Jonny Marlow
Stylist: Lauren Eggertsen
Hairstylist: Jenny Cho
Makeup Artist: Kara Yoshimoto Bua
Manicurist: Thuy Nguyen
Video Director: Stephanie Romero
Cinematographer: Amusement Productions
Video Editor: Collin Hughart
Sound Mixer: Jason Flaster
Creative Director: Alexa Wiley
Entertainment Director: Jessica Baker
This post originally appeared on Who What Wear US.