i remember the first time i saw the high 70's heels from suzanne rae....i had to have them and tracked the brand down in hopes for having for my new boutique in charleston. suzanne's shoes are stunning, cool, unique, playful and for the modern human. the collection is both feminine and tough. i am in love and feel a kindred spirit. and, my feet are in heaven! to find a new shoe collection that hits all the sides of my fashion personality is a true win. i can't wait for you to get to know suzanne and her shoes. i trust you're going to love her even more than her shoes which seems impossible but with the answers below i know i'm right. lmk what you think
1) why & when did you decide to open your business? does the original concept still hold true to the reality of now being in the business?
when i started suzanne rae, i did so as an artistic endeavor, not a business endeavor. fashion was the vehicle through which i celebrated individuality, challened the status quo, and shared my discoveries along the way. in the beginning i wanted to create a brand where i could study the quotidian process of dressing - it's social implications and influences, which include those of systemic biases to gender, class and race. despite a perhaps unconventional approach - which at first seemed more of a liability rather than a crowning virture - i do still maintain m original study, but with more consideration now to my actual audience, to whom i have an obligation to offer not only empowerment but also joy with the designs.
2) please describe a typical day in the life for you.
i snooze for a half hour and then i get up to get the girls ready for school with a cup of coffee in hand. once they're out the door, i pop a load of laundry in, let the dog out, and then sit at my kitchen table to catch up on my emails and get my work-from-home day started. i don't eat breakfast so by 10am i'm starving and usually have a brunch that is pretty much a filipino breakfast - last nights dinner with an egg. i usually work until 3:30 pm when the girls get home from school, having had virtually juggled design, sales, banking and marketing with my small yet wonderful team. the rest of the afternoon is typically spent at the barn with horseback riding and a couple days a week with dance. i also started teaching the advanced ballet class at a local dance school which is so much fun. and, then after those activities are over, it's a rather late dinner and getting the girls to bed. before moving to upstate new york i used to love a 5pm happy hour and cooking a fun and sometimes elaborate dinner. now dinner is much pared down; i've been advised to get a crockpot. LOL.
3) i am a new fan of your shoes but i have fallen in love quickly! the collections that i've seen are so unique. a mix of vintage & modern and the embellishments just make me smile. what inspires your designs?
when i design i basically think about the woman i want to be and what kind of clothes and shoes she might wear. this woman is definitely a sophisticated, worldly and independent woman who not only likes nice things but also has a sense of humor. so the designs tend to be referential to certain relatable pop culture or fashion references (usually from the 90's my time) that are quickly understood and appreciated by our very savvy audience.
4) who are your muses? do you design with someone in mind?
i have a few different muses. i like to think of the coolest, craziest people that include diana vreeland, gloria vanderbilt & grace jones. thay are my litmus test. (side note from suzi - these are 3 iconic women with incredible differing style - love)
5) fashion is trying to move in a more sustainable way...what is your company doing to move in that direction?
we've been working sustainably since the beginning with our rtw using environmetally friendly materials (hemp, new life - made of recycled water bottles) as well as dead stock fabrics. today with our shoes we have some vegan options that are made with both pinatex and bio veg vegan leather. pinatex is a pineapple leather that uses the waste from pineapple plants to make a natural textile with low environmental impact and high social responsibility. bioveg combines recycled polyester from water bottles with veg technology, using bio-polyols, which are safely dreived from plants without taking resources away from farms and animals. we also work with small factories that do small production with fair wages and working environments. (side note from suzi - this is amazing!)
6) what is your most favorite thing about your job?
i get to create freely.
7) if you could pick any human to wear your shoes who would it be? and, which shoe? details please!
anna wintour in our classic mary janes. it would be really good for business and i'd like to see her wear them at the front row of a fashion show. i bet they'd feel like slippers to her.
8) lastly, what would you like my customers to know about you?
i'm goofy & i like to laugh a lot.