15 September 2010

NYFW S/S '11 report: Suno

Suno is by far the jolliest of collections in New York. You can't help but smile when you see their bold prints and brilliant approach to styling - these are feel-good clothes at their very best. Rihanna, Kate Bosworth and even Michelle Obama are firm fans, and if you aren't, then it can only be because you haven't heard of them!

Unfortunately, Team Grazia wasn't in New York for the show on Saturday, so we headed to the Suno studio to meet Max Osterweis to "ooh" and "ahh" over the new S/S '11 collection. Inspired by...err...fish and George le Pape art deco illustrations. Faced with the huge collection (they showed thirty looks on the catwalk and they have an even bigger selling collection), it was hard to choose where to start. Would it be the hand-beaded, floor-length sequinned gown, or the checkered jumpsuit? Maybe the perfectly tailored jackets with silk lapels, or the cutest full-skirted shirt-dress that we've ever seen? We loved it all.

And the surprising thing about it is that Suno is a ethical label - that'll be back to that feel-good clothing thing, you see. Scratchy knits and badly-printed t-shirts have given ethical clothes a bad name in the past, but that's all changing. Suno produce 75% of their collection in Kenya, where they work with locals to develop skills, ensure fair pay and create new business. One factory is even building an extension to accommodate the Suno workload. It's hard to imagine that Suno is only two years old. Where once they sourced all their fabrics in Africa, now the design duo - Max and Erin Beatty - are designing and producing their own materials, and for the first time have moved into swimwear (gorgeous) and shoes in collaboration with Loeffler Randall (bonkersly brilliant). They are stocked all over the world, including Liberty and Matches, whose buying team tweeted earlier this NYFW to say they're buying this collection too. We can't say we're surprised!

- Kay Barron in New York


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