How British fashion designer SUZIE TURNER had thirty years of success in creating bespoke dresses
SUZIE TURNER dresses have graced rugs at Buckingham Palace, state dinners, weddings, and formal receptions, but in all of her success, Turner is a down-to-earth, hardworking woman who, as she puts it, ” is simply a seamstress, a pattern cutter, a hand finisher, but above all, a dreamer ”
Walking into the SUZIE TURNER workshop in North East London, you see the passion with fabric swatches on the walls, sketches on worktables, staff embroidering new pieces, world-class craftsmanship and beautiful designs fit for a princess. But you also see Suzie, with her blonde hair and her big smile. Turner creates bespoke designs for women all over the world from royalty, celebrities and every woman in between.
Navigate the pandemic
Like all designers, Turner and his staff have had to navigate the pandemic. The pandemic gave his workshop and his creative process the gift of time where they have it, according to Turner, “many exciting collections and collaborations planned for 2021. “ His house’s brand new sewing concept, “Beyond Brand”, is a service in which they design an entire sewing collection for clients who are unique to that client. Explaining that she says: “this intimate process would involve absorbing every detail of the client’s figure, lifestyle, personal preferences, career and location, to invent a personalized collection that represents the client’s unique style. A collection that they can wear every day, for all occasions, created to meet all their desires – the possibilities are endless.
The exclusive SUZIE TURNER app allows the House to continue working remotely and at the same time closely with customers, where customers can see the progress of their garments, allowing them to approve design elements. in the future with speed and efficiency. “While nothing compares to the intimacy of an in-person meeting, the app has allowed us to do our best even in these unprecedented times and by discovering this new way of working we have found a more streamlined efficiency when leasing with our customers, which we will certainly continue to use in the future. “
Speaking of the challenges facing the fashion industry in 2021, Turner notes, “This is absolutely heartbreaking what we all go through personally and professionally. We have seen some of the most respected fashion houses fight back and it is unbearable to contemplate the loss of jobs.
“We hang in there like everyone else and while it hasn’t been easy, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for supporting us and believing in us. Now we can all see a glimmer of light on the horizon. A business is as strong as its customers’ desires, this time we must outlive our customers and our team. This only instills in us more determination to create excellence for them in return.
All of downtown allowed Turner and his team to create new techniques and designs without the pressures of wedding or event deadlines, which allowed the creativity to continue to flow. “Because we are not a company bound by its high overheads, we instead choose to devote our resources to our craftsmanship, technique and product.” she notes. The words, “Let go,” have been Turner’s mantra since the pandemic struck. “I have had to continually change my expectations of how I see things, of letting go and acceptance where I am. While I gratefully celebrate my current position and condition, everything doesn’t seem so bad after all. ” she notes.
Meeting challenges head-on
During her early years, Turner struggled to read, but she showed signs of picking up a needle and thread. His mother, a seamstress, created curtains and various creations for people and young Turner would help alleviate his mother’s workload by helping her. “My mother Mary and I were very close when I was growing up. She always made my sister Sadie and I the latest styles and made sure our school uniform fit perfectly. I helped my mother not only to make curtains for stately homes, but also to make clothes, because she received orders from our friends ”. she remembers. “I have never felt a single chore to sew and I will forever cherish spending those special moments with my mom. It helped me acquire a skill which I realize now has helped me a lot. We never really understand the value of the things we do until after the fact and then it all becomes clear, those moments with my mom really made me who I am today. I am so grateful that I still love to sew even after more than 30 years in the industry. ”
After school, Turner started working in a London tailor, learning as much as she could, even parts of a workshop she didn’t work in. Her philosophy was that if she could learn cutting, sewing, drawing and all the weapons of a tailor, she would still have a job.
“I never looked too far into the future to dream of what would become of me. I was still too wrapped up in the task at hand, finishing the piece I started, failing at it, and trying again to make it perfect. I would consider the look – the outfit – who could wear it – where she could go – and the lifestyle she had. I dreamed of these things, and more often than not, I wanted to be the woman of my dreams. I called this woman my future me, telling myself that one day I will wear a power suit, one day I will travel the French Riviera in fluid cruising attire. Maybe one day I’ll need a dress for a gala, and who knows, one day I’ll even need a wedding dress! So, during this dream time, the urgency to create looks for these occasions is what made me sew all night. Those days seem to be only a few weeks ago, but in fact almost 30 years later I lift my head from the sewing machine and others call me a dressmaker – yes that’s a label we use. to describe what we do, but in essence I’m a seamstress, pattern tailor, hand finisher, and the most important ingredient in who I am – a dreamer.
Turner has an incredible story that must be told, a story that inspires those who face challenges like his: dyslexia. “It is true that I did not know how to read or write when I left school, dyslexia was not recognized at the time and if I am honest I never showed up to class. I had so many academic difficulties and often felt overwhelmed at school. Today I still struggle to read my own handwriting, but with the technology and being surrounded by an amazing team helping me through the administration, we make it work. ”
“I have always found myself fascinated by words and phrases and the way they can evoke emotions,” she says.“Realizing the value of words and phrases and how they can induce such a feeling, we often embroider personal affirmations or messages from our loved ones into some of our clothes. This is just another addition to the many facets that go into the armor that is the clothes we make and wear.
Turner doesn’t do catwalks, his ethics are heavily based on relationships, creating pieces tailor-made for his clients’ needs. “When customers put on their personalized SUZIE TURNER blouse, that’s what fuels my business and wakes me up in the morning. The “Beyond the brand” service allows us to go further by offering the height of exclusivity; it’s one thing to own a couture dress, but for the customer to open up their wardrobe and see a whole custom collection made for them and only for them. It’s something really special.
How his small workshop could last 30 years
“I believe the reason my business has survived so long is that in my base I really love what I do. My client is my focal point, and the vision is to realize the essence of who she is, ” she declares. By keeping overhead costs low, when client SUZIE TURNER invests in choosing the Maison as their design choice, Turner and her team are able to maximize every penny spent on collections.
Normally found by word of mouth, Turner says: “while we don’t have the fame or the masses know our name – we like to be a bit underground and unknown, after all it’s not us that needs to be recognized, it’s for the customer of to be celebrated and admired for their own style choices. “
“Do not change an old Buddhist proverb, but for us it is” when the craftsman is ready, the customers will come “. Courage is to trust the process and find solace in patience.
Our clients are some of the most stylish, successful and powerful women in the world. Therefore, when they discover us, we do everything to instill a high level of luxury in them. I believe it’s our unique service to uplift the customer and guide them in creating their own unique brand, which helps us stand out from the crowd, and ultimately our craft speaks for itself.
Throughout the year, Turner and his team calmly pursue creative designs for their clientele. The creation of bridal wear is their specialty. “A bride is at the height of her femininity and showcases the world that her heart yields only to her partner, ” Turner said. Her team is even able to incorporate any mother’s wedding dress into a SUZIE TURNER wedding dress.
“Once the dress is created, we attend the wedding to make sure the dress is perfect for the whole event and for every photo. The dress travels with us, to and from the location safely, then returned to the bride, altered, professionally dry cleaned and stored appropriately in a personalized box. We create our dresses with the intention that each piece will become a future vintage for generations to come.
Although not known to the general public, SUZIE TURNER is a word of mouth brand, and from London to the world, her loyal clientele uses her art of tailoring for their everyday, bridal and wedding wear. ceremony.