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Hidden Gems: Meet Diondra Julian of Suzy Black

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diondra Julian.

Hi Diondra, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
For me, it began with my mother. I have vivid childhood memories of my mother as this glamorous, very feminine creature. All perfume, bubble baths and stilettos! She was always very intentional about being a “woman”, What I didn’t know then, was that this was my introduction to “self care”. These beautiful little moments were the things she did just for herself, her, a mother of five… Fast forward to my last semester in college, my mom was in Chicago packing me up to head to NYC for an internship. On that day she handed me a box filled with lingerie she’d taken some time to collect for me–silk camisoles, vintage pinafores, long lacey gowns—she gave it to me & simply said “This should get you started.” All of these points connected in my mind and Suzy Black was birthed. I began Suzy Black to encourage women everywhere to celebrate, cherish, adorn & embrace their femininity.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Yes and no. I have a 17 years career in fashion so in many ways it’s been a familiar road and a direction that I am confident in but the process is the process. There has been a lot of learning, ups, downs and surprises in the production of a collection and the creation of a brand. You just can’t get past some of it, you got to go through it. Building a client base, finding good factories, having the restraint needed to build each piece of your business in due time it’s all hard necessary works.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Suzy Black?
Suzy Black is a luxury intimates, lounge & resort brand. Suzy Black was created to transform the wearer into an elevated version of her (or him) self. Through thoughtful design, fabric choice, quality craftsmanship and expert fit, I create moments and the “dream you” within those moments. In 2014, I created the Suzy Black brand in defiance of the stereotypic bombshell, our original collection invited women of all variations (minority, moms, alternative, curvy) to be re-imagined as “dream girls”. In the six years since its inception, Suzy Black has grown to include extended sizing, swim and now RTW. With this growth, my own commitment to sustainability & slow fashion has been firmly established through a pledge to domestic production, Ethical/Fair manufacturing and a Slow production calendar. All of this without taking away from the beauty of our product. Because I also believe that fashion represents economic power, I am proud of the impact that our local production partnerships have made within the NY garment district through the employ of local artisans, patternmakers and factories. I continue to re-imagine Suzy Black as the best version of what it can be, for the customer and for the earth.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Sales! Lol! But seriously, when a collection is created and the customer connects with it, it will sell. We can envision themselves in my pieces and they connect with our story, and our story aligns with moments in their lives, it sells. It’s simple. Its selling allows me to continue doing what I love (which is to continue designing pieces for your beautiful moments), whether that is large scale or small.

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