Profile: Susse Linton

Susse Collection was founded by British textiles and handbag designer Susse Linton, whose textiles have appeared on London, Paris, Milan, New York and Tokyo catwalks.

Fun and functional, Susse Collection pieces are stocked in some of the world’s finest stores and shopping streets, from New York’s 5th Avenue, to the Ginza in Tokyo and the famous Parisian department store Le Bon Marche.

Susse is often asked to commission bags for causes and special events. In 2004, Daimaru specially commissioned a Christmas and White Day range of handbags. In August 2007, cosmetic giant Shiseido commissioned Susse to design a winter collection, The Ginza, for its Shiseido lifestyle store in Tokyo.

Susse-Linton

B&L: How did you get started?

Susse: I first studied a degree in Textiles at Edinburgh College of Art. I worked as a freelance designer and people started saying that I should make my own products using my designs. Seeing the commercial success with some of the brands that used my designs, I decided to launch Susse Collection and marry my love of handbags and textiles.

B&L: Where do you get your inspiration?

Susse: My recent collections have been strongly influenced by my new life in Australia. I love the nature here and the sun and beach culture. I like to add an influence of daily life and an element of fashion trends. I am also inspired by vintage finds.

B&L: How does fashion in Australia compare to fashion in London?

Susse: I think climate has a huge influence. I perceive Australian fashion as very feminine and very wearable. Lots of cute dresses, pretty prints and high shoes. London fashion is suited to a harsher climate and is more ‘street wise’. You can’t really walk around in pretty high heels and short dresses.

1.You would freeze and be wolf-whistled every five minutes.
2. Your shoes would be trashed in a minute.

B&L: How would you describe your range?

Susse: Feminine, whimsical, cute and fun.

susse-bag

B&L: What will you be wearing this summer?

Susse: I am expecting my first baby, so I am finding it a challenge dressing my ever-changing body shape. I think I will wear floaty cotton maxi dresses, lots of beads and bangles. If I could afford it, I would wear Marni, Marc Jacobs and Mui Mui.

B&L: Which Susse design is your favourite and why?

Susse: My favourite bag at the moment is from my Animal Magic Collection. It’s my Bunny Girl workbag. She was a sell out. I think she really captures the spirit of Susse Collection.
Feminie, cute and whimsical, but sophisticated.

B&L: Did you always want to be a designer?

Susse: I always wanted to work in a creative job. I grew up in a very creative environment.
My father was an architect and my aunt is a jewellery designer. I use to help them as child with their Business, so it felt natural to run my own business. I love design.

B&L: What makes your collection so different?

Susse: I don’t think it’s everyone’s taste, but I think it really appeals to every age and to a woman’s inner girl.

Susse Bag makes you feel youthful without being childish. I don’t want to lose that spirit of youth in my designs.

B&L: What’s next for Susse?

Susse: I am planning to launch my label next year in Australia and introducing a new homewares range with ceramics and pillows, so you can now have the Susse Lifestyle experience at home and not just with my bag collection.

B&L: What has been the biggest struggle getting your name out there?

Susse: I think not having that much finance behind my business, so it does create limitations in growth,but I am happy I let my business grow organically.

I have been very fortunate to build my business in London, where I have received a lot of help and support through UK Fashion Exports and government funding.

Having access to International buyers in London was also a plus. I really admire Australian designers as they have to work so much harder to receive international recognition than European designers.

B&L: Tell us about why you chose to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

Susse: My grandmother is a survivor of the cancer, but also I was sad when I read about Isabella’s Blow’s story and how she died. I felt I wanted to do something positive and I thought at least I can do something positive with my bags and help support women.

B&L: How do you feel having large companies such as Shiseido commissioning your work?

Susse: It is very exciting. Shiseido is a very old and traditional company and its store The Ginza is amazing. My textiles designs have been used by large US companies and famous designers, but it’s great to have your own product with your own designs out there.

B&L: What does being a woman mean to you?

Susse: We get to enjoy all the great things in life.  We can be strong and cope with what life throws us but can also be very girlie and feminine. And we know how to have fun.

Please visit www.susse.com.au for more information

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