Subtle. Understated. Restrained. These are not words in Suno’s vernacular. The New York-based label, founded in 2008 by designer/screenwriter Max Osterweis, is a riot of color and print. The daringly original pieces lend themselves well to the storied provenance of their fabrics: Vintage “kangas,” or large, sarong-like pieces of printed cotton traditionally worn by coastal East African women, almost all of which bear Swahili aphorisms about social or sexual politics.

Suno New York, Fall/Winter 2010, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, sustainable style, fair trade, New York City, Kenya


Designed and drafted in Manhattan’s Garment District, then stitched by local artisans in fair-trade workshops in Kenya, Suno’s traffic-stopping togs present a movable feast of Kenyan artistry and social responsibility. (The country’s textile and apparel industry all but collapsed in the ’90s.) And because of the one-off and often heirloom nature of the kangas, no two pieces in Suno’s collection are identical.

Suno is for the girl who is “flirty, interesting, and interested in the world.”

For Fall/Winter 2010 collection, Suno references late 1960s American interiors, traditional East African textiles, Klimt, travels to Turkey, Paris, and India. Its main muse: The girl who is “flirty, interesting, and interested in the world,” according to Osterweis.

+ Suno