Nothing captures the aspect of Susan Korn’s accessories label, Susan Alexandra, like the designer’s admired creation: the Merry bag.
“That’s M-E-R-R-Y,” Korn spells out for me over the phone. Named for her mother, the handmade bag is small—8 inches by 9 inches—and boxy, with a aboveboard abject and two top handles. Its simple architecture allows for its best arresting affection to shine: rainbow-colored, apparent chaplet ample in neat, sparkling rows.
It’s a bag that’s nostalgic. A adaptation wouldn’t be berserk out of abode in your grandmother’s closet or central a kid’s dress-up bin acknowledgment to aloof the appropriate bulk of kitsch and delight—two concepts that accept begin their way into appearance at this moment
“I advised it aloof cerebration of pure, complete joy,” Korn tells me. “I was cerebration of sprinkles on a altogether block back you’re little, and I was cerebration of Christmas lights, and I was cerebration of altered sequins.” In added words, the bag—and really, all of Korn’s bags—“has all these things that aloof accomplish your affection skip a beat,” she says.
The cast has been acclaimed in appearance circles for some time—it’s awash at Opening Ceremony and on shopbop.com—but a key celebrity adjustment alien Merry to the masses.
Late aftermost June, Gigi Hadid aggregate an Instagram of herself on a baiter in Mykonos, her Merry bag perched in the foreground. The account was, as Korn told me, a “milestone” for the brand, as it would be for any designer—Hadid currently has 43.6 actor Instagram followers. The blow is amusing media history.
PHOTO: Christian Vierig
Susan Alexandra Ma Cherie bag, $275, at Moda Operandi
Demand for Susan Alexandra is high—there’s currently an online cat-and-mouse account for the aing restock of the Merry bag—but Korn promises the adroitness makes the delay worthwhile: Every artefact is fabricated by hand; it takes up to six weeks for Korn and her baby aggregation to allotment calm the 1,500-odd chaplet of a distinct item. Then, of course, there’s the incomparable beatitude of accustomed article so aboveboard fun.
Before designing the boxlike bags, which accept broadcast from bubble chaplet to accommodate a agglomeration of arbitrary motifs, like bake-apple prints and cowhide, Korn formed in the adornment space. She assisted New York–based adornment maker Jill Platner for a few years, afore abrogation to barrage her own adornment business.
It was a applied starting point for a artisan who formed from her Chinatown apartment: “We’re in New York, no one has a lot of space, and adornment is small,” she explains. “It’s article that I could accomplish from my bedchamber and again eventually aggrandize added through my apartment.”
Korn managed to backpack a ton of personality into the tiny items, which she still sells on her website. All her pieces use blush enthusiastically; some accept a ablaze faculty of amusement (like the armlet she fabricated for one of the “major loves of my life,” corrective with a miniature affinity of Curb Your Enthusiasm brilliant Larry David.)
When her adornment business began to aces up, about 2017, Korn begin the allowance to abound Susan Alexandra. Enter the beaded bags, which ambit from $50 to $385.
“I backpack a purse every distinct day. It’s allotment of my uniform,” Korn says. Aloof because it’s a necessity, however, doesn’t beggarly it needs to attending utilitarian. “I feel like aggregate in your activity should accept acceptation and be special, and the accoutrements are aloof my adaptation of what a purse should be.”
Susan Alexandra Ash bag, $360, accessible at Shopbop
It’s not aloof that the accoutrements are sentimental—they’re a acknowledgment to the apple as Korn sees it. “I alive in a burghal that is appealing dirty, appealing tough,” she says. “So at the end of the day, I’ll be sitting on the alms and aloof attending bottomward at my purse and I aloof feel array of a faculty of contentment and calm. It’s my claimed antitoxin to such a aberrant time that we’re active in.”
Korn’s bags, then, are a little allotment of childhood; they arm-twist the time back serious, “grown-up” issues weren’t on her radar. “They’re actual simple and sweet,” Korn explains. “It array of harkens to a simpler, sweeter time, back we’re so inundated with all this aphotic abhorrence and bleakness.”
Susan Alexandra’s cast of optimism has generational appeal, the artisan says: “I’ll accept bodies say that their grandma is obsessed, and that their little accessory is obsessed, so it absolutely attracts bodies from all over the spectrum.”
“I anticipate there’s aloof article actual animal about admiring ablaze blush and sparkle,” she says.
If the Gigis and Bellas of Instagram accumulate affairs up her amusing bags, that’s accomplished with Korn. She’ll still accede it a claimed highlight to advertise her accoutrements to anyone who finds joy in them, no amount their addict count.
PHOTO: Samantha Deitch/BFA/REX/Shutterstock
Designer Susan Korn
“I anticipate what’s best surreal is attractive through my tagged photos and seeing women actually from all over the world…just such interesting, varied, admirable bodies cutting the bags,” she says. “As an artisan and as a designer, your dream is to blow a lot of lives and blow a lot of people.”
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