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Susan Alexandra's Kaleidoscopic Designs: "The 'Girls' of Jewelry"

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Welcome to Open Studio, a Racked feature where we explore the workspaces and showrooms of some of the city's most talented, up-and-coming designers.

Photos by Driely S. for Racked

Five years ago, Susan Alexandra packed up her Chicago apartment and moved to New York with a fashion degree and the promise of styling gigs waiting for her on the East Coast. But even after lending her eye to high-profile clients like Jean Paul Gaultier and Interview Magazine, something still wasn't clicking. "I was scared and feeling insecure," she says. "I didn't know what I was here to do. On a whim I started taking jewelry classes."

Metalsmithing came with a learning curve, so Susan started covering up the mismatched seams in her early designs with tiny, hyper-detailed paintings inspired by everything from Frida Kahlo's lace gowns to emojis. One of her cheerfully manic creations caught the eye of a showroom owner, and within a few months the designer had transformed her Chinatown apartment into an at-home studio, where she fills orders from Henri Bendel and whips up Teen Vogue commissions.

"Being a girl, you want to be perfect. You want to have the best body, the best skin, the best hair. And that's not real," she says. "Accepting flaws, and accepting that nothing is perfect, is a big part of my jewelry. It might not be Tiffany's, but it's me. I want to be like the Girls of jewelry."

· Susan Alexandra [Official Site]
· All Open Studio Posts [Racked NY]

Henri Bendel

712 5th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 247-1100 Visit Website