It’s almost easy to forget that Susan Korn of Susan Alexandra isn’t a born and raised New Yorker, seeing as she has become the city’s cool girl’s go-to accessories designer. As you could probably guess, the Midwesterner has always been obsessed with creating, and that joy for all things fun and fashionable comes through in everything she turns her attention to. Even one ‘accessory’ that we all need but don’t tend to think of as glam—the humble toothbrush! Korn has put her spin on Philips Sonicare’s electric toothbrushes by coming out with a limited-edition travel-focused offering called The Travelinas. Think: colorful hand-sewn rhinestones and stickers to customize your clear case before you jet off. Genius! The Daily got in touch to get the lowdown on everything else she has up her sleeve!
Tell us about your childhood. Did you always want to pursue fashion?
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and the world of fashion absolutely swept me away. I had my first subscription to Vogue at seven-years-old! I always knew this was my future.
Do you remember the very moment you decided to launch your own brand?
It was a gradual process. I was working for another designer and making, selling, marketing, and pushing my own work in my minimal free time. Finally, after running myself ragged, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own business. It was not an “overnight” process.
How has NYC influenced your own style and the direction of your brand?
NYC is a place where anything goes. You can literally wear anything, anywhere, at anytime, and it’s accepted. It creates a sense of freedom and boldness and a “no holding back” approach to dressing and design. I feel like there is no limit to the extravagance we put into our pieces.
Tell us about your partnership with Philips Sonicare. How did it come about?
Funnily enough, I have been using Philips Sonicare toothbrushes for a long time, so I already owned and loved the product. When I was approached about a partnership, I was excited by the challenge of designing a completely new category and a product that anyone could use and love. The idea around our project is to create practical and beautiful pieces that feel like a celebration of individuality and I feel we achieved that!
What made you want to include the stickers?
That part was a lot of fun for me. I love painting and sketching and often don’t have a chance to lean into my artistry in my day to day. I illustrated all of the sticker designs and felt the stickers were a really cool way to show the essence of the collection: travel, fun, joy, celebration, and you can use them to bedazzle anything! I’ve got mine all over my computer, phone, and water bottle! They can also stick onto the Travelina tote and pouchette!
Are you traveling anywhere fun anytime soon?
After my store opens I will need a nice, juicy break—so I am taking myself to Paris for my birthday! The Philips One by Sonicare toothbrush is travel sized and will definitely be joining me in the City of Light.
What other items are your essentials for travel?
External phone charger, a pouch for foreign currency, comfortable shoes, and a big, cozy scarf!
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Your brand is synonymous with beaded bags—tell us about the craftsmanship that goes into each of them.
All of my pieces are made by hand. I love vibrant, thoughtful, and funny designs. Everything you wear should feel special.
What are you obsessed with these days?
Sleep, working out, good bread and butter, and water. Isn’t that funny? I’ve been working around the clock for months and these simple, basic pleasures have made me feel like I’ve got it together…at times!
What’s keeping you motivated?
The non-stop pace of NYC pushes me to keep generating and creating. I also feel energized that I’m able to employ people and create jobs for my team! I love giving people the opportunity to shine.
What’s helping you relax/switch off?
My dog, Pigeon. He is my comfort, muse, and emotional support. Also, having a dog forces you to stop everything and take a walk every few hours. Very good for sanity.
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What are you most excited about for fall in NYC?
My very first store opening!! I’m so excited I feel that my heart will burst!
What’s next for you and the brand?
The store opening is very big for Susan Alexandra. We will be showcasing our own wares, plus pieces I handpicked from my favorite up and coming artists and designers. We will also be showcasing our amazing collaborations such as the Philips One by Sonicare X Susan Alexandra Travelina collection in really engaging and meaningful ways! I can’t wait for everyone to come by and see what we have in store.