TASSELS OF THE ACRYLIC FLOWERS – SUZYWAN DELUXE {FASHION/DESIGN/INTERVIEW}

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“Again the blackbirds sing; the streams
Wake, laughing, from their winter dreams,
And tremble in the April showers
The tassels of the maple flowers.”

– John Greenleaf Whittier, The Singer, Stanza 20

Launched in 2011 and based in Stockholm, Sweden, Suzywan DELUXE is an accessory brand that gives attitude a structure. Designed by Frenchwoman Suzanne and largely inspired by ’50s-’90s music and styles, the brand has been a misty dream of fluffy pom poms, reflective acrylic, and blooming tassels. Though she continues to hold fast to reliable materials, Suzanne is branching out in the realm of design. She’s created more clearly defined collections, worked on a few collaborations, and even taken a swing at interior design.

Suzywan DELUXE’s latest collaboration with Dolls Kill is a boost of old school groove that can bring an extra ounce of that fun you’ve been longing to have this past winter. Part of an eclectic “Peace And Love“-themed selection, its acrylic flowers and rainbow ribbons are all too ready for a festival-ridden summer. It’s time to wake up!

Read on for an interview with Suzanne as she talks about the brand, collaborations and her unexpected cultural interests.

Suzywan DELUXE: WEBSITE / INSTAGRAM

 

How did Suzywan DELUXE come to be? Is everything handmade?

Everything was made by me only till 1 year ago, as I was producing about 200 pieces a day, the volume started to be way too much to handle so I went to Hong Kong to find a factory. I also have an assistant for the production here, amazing Alice Lönnblad (great stylist as well). Now it’s about 50% made in Sweden and 50% made in China.

What or who is the brand influenced by?

Different music movement styles and time eras, from 50s to 90s basically.

The style of your designs gives several nods to the ’80s and ’90s, but it also seems futuristic, like it would’ve been worn in 2015 in the Back to the Future universe. Is timelessness something you consider in the creative process?

I think this is more about a way of seeing Life, it’s a balance to find what’s trendy now, cool from before and what would be dope to have in the future. To find timeless products is the key for a successful product, but I don’t really think about it, it happens by itself since I have that vision I guess.

I love your Romance line, particularly because of the inclusion of different cultural symbols/styles. (As an Asian Canadian with a half-Chinese, half-Korean background), the Chinese Romance necklace is such a lovely, intimate idea to me because it is made by an artist whose style I completely dig and it can act as a small representation of my culture. You don’t see that around much. And I don’t think a lot of people know that the folding fan originated in Japan and I love the use of that for the Japanese Romance earrings. Could you tell us about the collection? What was the founding idea? Was there research or travel involved?

I’m really glad that you point at that specific angle, (and I think your background makes you grasp it and coming from you, it’s truly a compliment that you appreciate it).
I’ve been to Hong Kong and Japan last year and just to spend some time there made the Asiatic culture grow in me, I believe that you become the context of where you are. It went so fast and so deep for me that I actually got hired to do interior design Japanese style for Airbnb rooms just after spending 10 days in Kyoto.

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To come back to the Ultra Romance collection, it’s the result of a mix between a requested collection in collaboration with Nasty Gal x Courtney Love, a romance trend I could perceive at the time, the travel inspiration from Asia and materials coming from all over the world (USA, Turkey, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, China).
I wish I could design much more sophisticated accessories but it wouldn’t suit the Western market (just now lol).
I’m currently watching a Chinese TV series called “The Legend of Mi Yue” (I highly advise) and the styling is waaay beyond!
I mean look at this, this is everything!! But I guess as a half-Chinese, you are not surprised :3

For me, this is it! This is mind blowing! This is how strong it resonates in me.
Actually, I now started to study on my own Chinese history and Ancient Chinese way of thinking, it’s just amazing, I mean, it’s one of the oldest cultures on the planet.
There is a lot to learn from their experiences and we owe them so much, it’s literal!

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What’s the scene like in Stockholm and how does Suzywan DELUXE fit in or benefit from it?

Sweden and most specifically Stockholm culture is strongly active when it comes to design, good design a very well understood by the Swedish (I mean… IKEA, H&M, Monki, Acne, Cheap Monday… are Swedish), so by living here, you get to learn a lot about that perspective. I believe that a product which sells well in Sweden will basically sell well everywhere, so this is how good Suzywan DELUXE benefits from it. Thank you Sweden! ^ – ^

What was it like working with Dolls Kill? Any thoughts on collaborations in general that might advise young artists?

Working for Dolls Kill it’s almost like being at home for me, as my teenage best friend was from San Francisco, I got a lot from her regarding fashion. And I love it! Working for them recalls my teenage spirit!
When it comes to collaboration, I would say that the key lays in a close and fun relationship with the buyer as the collection is definitely designed together.
It must also includes a very good discernment of the company spirits and art direction you are working for (I really learned a lot by working with Nasty Gal and Sabrina, my US agent, really, a special thanks to them! I owe them a lot).
A good collaboration collection result also includes a great understanding of what is culture differences and references, otherwise, you may answer just beside the request.
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What’s the dream for Suzywan DELUXE?

The dream, OMG…that list could be just endless, but maybe designing a full styling for a sci-fi movie could do it?
We are expecting to have TM in China soon, so maybe I could finally participate in designing a new style blending future & past, Western modern & Asia ancient style?

Maybe it’s actually a mix of both, a sci-fi Chinese movie? OMG! That would be dope enough to me! :3

Photos by Dolls Kill, courtesy of Suzywan DELUXE

Models: Emma Dewing and Rachel Trachtenburg

Featured brands: Suzywan DELUXE, Current Mood, Vanessa Mooney, and Sugarbaby

Written by Katrina Wong

About Dustin Hollywood

Professional Photographer & Founder/Editor-In-Chief of Nakid Magazine: Dustin Hollywood DustinHollywood.com Instagram.com/DustinHollywoodPhoto Twitter.com/DustinHollywood Facebook.com/DustinHollywood
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