For many Charlestonians, the name “Sokol” recalls Morris Sokol Furniture, the 50,000-square-foot home goods emporium whose tiled façade and neon sign overlooked King Street for nearly a century. But beyond the recently sold storefront lies the legacy of Joe Sokol and his statuesque wife, Freida. They were eminent figures in Charleston retail, yes, but she was also a sought-after model in town, participating in numerous charity fashion shows and posing in countless advertisements for local dress shops. In this circa-1957 photograph, young Freida Sokol and Howard Ozment of WTMA radio station model merchandise from Berlin’s Clothing. Back then, remarks Freida (now 82), there were no “fancy-shmancy” chain clothing stores, only locally owned mom-and-pop retailers. These days, fashion remains a major part of the family lineage through Joe and Freida’s daughter, Pauline Sokol Nakios. The Manhattan-based designer heads two women’s labels: Lilla P, a lifestyle collection centered around the perfect tee and named after her grandmother, and Leo & Sage, an upscale brand focused on luxurious modern silhouettes. Check out Leo & Sage on the Charleston Fashion Week runway this month.
Photograph courtesy of Freida Sokol