August 29 2014

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Suno Keeps On Giving


Max Osterweis , Shantell Martin, and Erin Beatty

In addition to vivid palettes and eclectic prints, one might say that altruism has become part of Suno‘s DNA. Five years ago, Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty founded their New York-based label in order to help create jobs in Kenya (they currently produce a portion of their garments there, as well as in Peru and India). But the duo decided that they wanted to make a difference in their own community, too. And with their latest project—a series of cotton T-shirts ($75) and silk dresses ($395) designed in collaboration with artist Shantell Martin—they’re doing just that. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the limited-edition capsule, which will be available from today on, will be donated to Apple Arts—a Brooklyn-based charity that offers free arts education to children living in New York’s homeless shelters. “I think we have always tried to give back in certain ways, whether it be the way we produce or something else,” offered Beatty. “So this time, we were trying to give back locally,” added Osterweis.

Suno's t-shirt at Wildlife WorksThe black-and-white wares are covered with a print penned by Martin—the first draft of which took the form of a giant mural that the artist drew during Suno’s office warming party (the team moved into a larger studio in the Fashion District last December). “We asked her to draw what inspires her, and her impressions of the brand, so you’ll see happy little people, scenes in Peru, the name of the brand, her name—it’s all of those things mixed together.”

While the silk frocks were crafted in NYC, the T-shirts were made in Kenya by Wildlife Works—an environmental foundation that helps support itself through a small, sustainable-minded factory on its premises. “We always try to follow our ethos: make beautiful things in a beautiful way,” said Beatty. Next up for the pair is Suno’s Spring ’14 collection, which will debut down the runway during New York fashion week. The designers hint that, after a subdued Fall ’13 offering, Spring will be brimming with color and print. “We’re going back to our roots a little bit,” Beatty said.

Photos: Courtesy of Suno

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