Suzy Black Designer Spotlight
A day before moving to New York City to start her career in fashion, Diondra Julian’s mother said, “I have something for you.”
Diondra watched as her mother handed her a large gift box.
“I remember her saying, ‘This should get you started.’” recalls Diondra. “I looked inside and there was every type of vintage lingerie you could imagine – pinafores, teddies, chemises, silk panties. Some of the pieces were so old that the lace was close to falling apart. It was beautiful.”
This was a collection put together carefully over the years that spoke to a love of history, of fashion and beauty.
“She knew that the gift would speak for itself.” said Diondra.
A few years later, Diondra launched her own lingerie brand, Suzy Black. Since making its debut at Lingerie Fashion Week in 2014, the brand has crafted some beautiful collections garnering fans and customers eager for more.
Suzy Black is now gearing up to showcase their latest offering for SS17 entitled, “The Madhatter’s Bride.” at the upcoming Lingerie Selection in New York City (February 28 – March 1, 2017).
Over the past few weeks, the Lingerie Journal team has loved learning about Suzy Black so we wanted to share with our readers this intimate Q&A with Diondra:
Q&A with Diondra Julian, founder/designer of Suzy Black
Above: Diondra Julian with her husband, Ronald.
“As a designer, I bring almost 15 years of industry experience with an expertise in ‘fit’. Fit matters to me, I believe it’s the difference between ‘liking’ and ‘loving’ a piece.”
Diondra, could you tell us a little bit about why you started Suzy Black?
Suzy Black was created for the girl who didn’t see herself as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. She was more, she was real, she was everyday. I couldn’t find this and I didn’t see myself represented in the lingerie market.
I wanted to create something that was powerful and unashamed. I also wanted to show the beauty of women of color in an industry that often forgets her buying power.
Could you tell us the story behind the name of your brand?
What’s in a name? Well, one day I was watching Judge Mathis (yep) and two men were suing this woman basically because they felt she’d made a fool out of them.
They were in love with her, and doing some of the most outrageous things to win her over. However, she was basically unconcerned. And despite being angry enough to sue, they actually wanted her to choose one of them — once and for all.
She said she would not choose and she was not sorry…and that she WOULD continue to see them both. Her name was Suzy Black. I guess the idea of her is like a constant muse!
For the SS17 collection, what’s behind the inspiration? Why the Mad Hatter?
Well, it’s actually The Mad Hatter’s Bride. The fabric, flounce details, ruffles and embellishment speak to the victorian era, however the “madness” is more about not translating these into traditional corseted pieces usually inspired by that era. I wanted to focus more on the “living” aspect of the garden, florals and such and keep the collection soft, tactile, simple.
The colors are literally from a deck of cards! I think red and black are power colors! Overall, I wanted simple pieces for those of us in a hurry but needing to transform. I love the quote “How long is forever? Sometimes just one second”.
Suzy Black for Speciality Boutiques
Why do you feel your collections are a good fit for specialty boutiques?
Because who doesn’t want a fully embroidered silk fringe thong? I mean really, Suzy Black is special, without even trying.
What’s the one thing you want Retail Buyers to know about Suzy Black?
As a designer, I bring almost 15 years of industry experience with an expertise in “fit”. Fit matters to me, I believe it’s the difference between “liking” and “loving” a piece. It’s what makes that piece a “staple”. Fit will make the consumer not only feel like a million bucks but fall madly in love with your brand. This is my superpower.
Learn more about Suzy Black
See Suzy Black at the Lingerie Selection
Dates: February 28 – March 1, 2017
Location: Daylight Studios (450 West 31st Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10001)