Speak On It

Sylvia Lancaster awarded an OBE

Through a truly heart breaking story, came a truly incredible cause. The Sophie Foundation is a charity supporting, educating and changing attitudes towards subcultures, such as Goths.


Seven years ago, Sophie Lancaster was a victim of hate crime. Sophie and her boyfriend Rob were attacked in a Lancashire park; kicked and beaten for no other reason that for what they looked like. Sophie never regained consciousness after the attack, and sadly died two weeks later.

Mother of Sophie, Sylvia Lancaster, was recently awarded an OBE for her work to Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere (S.O.P.H.I.E). In memory of her daughter, Sylvia’s work has been supported and recognised by many – including the Queen herself. As a brand that promotes the right to experiment and self-express, Illamasqua has also been a proud supporter of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and its commitment to changing attitudes towards subcultures.  In tribute to Sophie, Illamasqua commissioned ‘Dark Angel’ in 2009 – a short film by award-winning French director, Fursy Teyssier, that’s a haunting rendition of Sophie’s story, featuring the music of iconic British band, Portishead. Please show your support and watch the film below:


With the key aim of changing the mind-set and mentality of society, The Sophie Foundation works with with younger individuals in schools around the nation to create a greater understanding and awareness of subcultures. Sylvia and the S.O.P.H.I.E campaign do this in support of teachers across the UK in educating a more tolerant and broad-minded generation of young people. We hope to further this acceptance in self-expression and creativity here at Illamasqua, promoting all forms of unique beauty.

Thus, we could not be more delighted for Sylvia and her well-deserved OBE award! Showing recognition of the hard work and determination: Sylvia and her S.O.P.H.I.E campaign were honoured for her services to community cohesion and particularly in reducing hate crime.



Sylvia with Boy George in Selfridges, Oxford St Jan 2011

Sylvia said the award was bittersweet, because it came as a result of her daughter’s name. Nonetheless, she did also state “It’s a real honour –  but its not just about me, I could not have done the work we have done if it was not for other people I have worked with and the alternative sub-culture community who have given their support both emotionally and financially.”

In promoting the campaign nationwide, we could not think of someone who deserves the Queens Birthday Honour award more. Well done for the hard work Sylvia!

The next initiative that we, at Illamasqua, shall be delivering for the foundation will be a single entitled ‘invincible girl’ written and performed by the band Bad Pollyanna. Watch this space.

If you would like to further help Stand Up For Sophie – act now and buy an Illamasqua Sophie Pencil, wristband or make a donation. £3 from the Sophie Pencil purchased and all proceeds from the wristband sales go directly to the Foundation. Help them spread their message of tolerance and acceptance throughout our society. 

Carry on supporting, follow the S.O.P.H.I.E Facebook and Twitter

S.O.P.H.I.E.    Stamp. Out. Prejudice. Hatred and Intolerance. Everywhere.

Tracey x
(Social Media Intern)


Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert