Suzie London is a clothing, accessories and homeware label based in North London creating ‘pieces of joy’. Founded by Dutch-Australian designer Suzie Kemner, the pieces channel Suzie’s love for 50s, 60s and 70s style with a modern edge.
Suzie was born in a small village called Middelharnis on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee in the province of South Holland. The third of four children to parents Maaike and Jan, Suzie often wore hand-me-downs, but loved it when her mother would make special outfits just for her! She has fond memories of watching her mother cut out paper sewing patterns and pin them to fabric with brightly coloured glass-headed pins.
The family moved to the other side of the world, to Perth, in Western Australia when Suzie was nine years old. Growing up as a teenager in Australia, Suzie’s favourite past-time became trawling charity shops, searching for unique vintage finds. Drawn to the bright colours and patterns of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, it was often disappointing to find dresses and tops made from unbreathable fabrics made from polyester, not ideal for the hot and sweaty Aussie Summers! If only someone would make them from natural fabrics like cotton and silk...
A gifted artist, Suzie studied Graphic Design and Multimedia at The Western Australian School of Art and Design (now called the 'Central Institute of Technology', how times have changed!) and graduated in 1999.
In 2000 Suzie moved to London "for a year” and fell in love with the city. She studied an introductory course in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (now part of the University of the Arts London) and later Professional Sewing Techniques at the London College of Fashion, all the while working as a freelance graphic designer under her business DesignOmatic Ltd.
A million short courses in pattern cutting, textile design and shoe making followed, including screen printing, block printing, digital printing and draping on the stand, and slowly the idea for Suzie London began to emerge. Suzie began creating designs and patterns inspired by 50s, 60s and 70s designs, digitally printing onto natural fabrics including 100% silk and 100% cotton, to create beautiful pieces of joy.
Having lived nearly 15 years in London, Suzie considers herself a true Londoner, and champions local British manufacturing. All her products are designed in her North London studio, and are either printed by herself, or in the UK in small quantities by a local British supplier.
Suzie sources natural fabrics such as 100% Organic Cotton Jersey and 100% Silk Crepe de Chine (her favourite fabric!), as well as sustainable Organic Cotton & Tencel mixes (made from wood pulp) for printing her designs onto, using environmentally friendly water-based inks.
Nothing makes Suzie happier than designing and making things, and she makes all the dresses, shoes and jewellery herself, in her North London studio.
The tote bags are ethically produced by Westford Mill and the vests and t-shirts are all ethically produced by the FairWear Foundation, who ensure each item is manufactured morally and under just conditions. For more information, please visit: http://www.fairwear.org
Suzie London clothing, accessories and homeware are currently sold online on Etsy and will soon be spreading joy at local London designer-maker markets!