How Susan Korn of Susan Alexandra Built a Brand That Sparks Joy


(Image credit: Johnny Kompar)

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

We’ve been covering the incredibly fun jewelry and accessory brand Susan Alexandra since its viral handbags debuted in 2017, as the whimsical designs quickly caught the eyes of many within the fashion industry. Jewelry and accessory designer Susan Korn—the Susan behind Susan Alexandra—actually first started the brand in 2011 as an assortment of handmade jewelry, and just six years later, she was launching her collection of colorful beaded handbags and jewelry with major retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Opening Ceremony. Korn created a brand that felt like a breath of fresh air in the industry, as her designs—from purses in the silhouette of a martini glass to quirky cherry-drop earrings—evoked a playful emotion.


(Image credit: Getty)

Susan Alexandra has amassed a loyal following and has even garnered the attention of style icons such as Gigi Hadid and Pete Davidson, as well as expanded into brick-and-mortar with the New York flagship store. Korn has continued to evolve the brand beyond fashion accessories and ventured into homeware and party favors like Botanical Bag, designed to carry your favorite beverage in style. Today, Korn has also redirected the Susan Alexandra brand back to an entirely direct-to-consumer business model, and by leaning into her vision wholeheartedly, her brand has blossomed even more. 


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

While it seems Korn was destined to create pieces that truly spark joy and feel like a direct product of her unparalleled imagination, she began her career in fashion as an aspiring stylist rather than a designer. Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Korn built a brand around inclusion and exuberance, plus all her plans for what's next. Keep scrolling to shop some of our favorite Susan Alexandra styles.

Freelance Editor