Leah from SZN stockist Milly Sleeping recently interviewed me and this is what was said:
One rainy morning recently, I made my way to the home-based studio of Suzan Dlouhy. Suzan's label, SZN, was introduced to Milly Sleeping in March or April of this year, and was a quiet success from the start. Not many SZN garments have made it into our online shop (although I've added a handful today), as we've tended to get in a small bunch of unique pieces every few weeks or so, and have tended to sell them quite quickly!
For the most part, these garments have been wonderful, oversized, monochrome, daily-uniform kinds of things - smocks, tunics, dungarees, etc ... For the most part, they've been made of organic linen or recycled denims, forming simple but unconventional shapes (great silhouettes!), and producing nil or minimal fabric waste.
When I spoke to Suzan at her studio, we had a brief but involved chat, about her transition from Canberra to Melbourne, her work teaching with Social Studio (via RMIT) and the evolution of her label. One thing I didn't know about Suzan is that she has a degree in Environmental Science, which has obviously influenced the kind of business she now runs - from (in her 'early days') working with post-consumer waste matter to make her clothing, to (now) spending months and months sourcing organic fabrics, and committing to nil or minimal waste production when making her patterns.
I walked away feeling seriously impressed by Suzan's energy and integrity. And - wow - just minutes after posting this interview, I've discovered that SZN has won a Victorian Premier's Prize for Fashion Design... Congrats Suzan! Here, just a snippet of our discussion:
Tell me again how long you've been in Melbourne for?
SD: 2.5 years
It sounded to me like 'things have fallen into place for you', following a lot of hard work. Do you see it that way?
Yes, I've met great people here, who were very inclusive without knowing me, and that's led to different opportunities.
[In terms of my label], I try to evolve and adapt each collection with the lessons learnt from the last.
How do you feel about working for yourself, on your own?
I love it! Happiness is being able to play whatever music you want and control the temperature you work in (both of which I couldn't do in an office). Oh, and endless tea breaks!
Do you feel optimistic about 2017?
Absolutely! I'm about to become a mum, and hope to balance that with building SZN. I'm keen to explore SZN's aesthetic in organic knitwear for Autumn Winter 2017... if I'm not too tired...