Suz Somersall is a jewelry designer from New Orleans. She studied at Brown University and then the Rhode Island School of Design. She travels the world soaking up culture and those experiences influence her designs.
Suz uses her instagram account to document her travels and inspiration, and I love following her!
It's easy to see the connection between her travels and her pieces.
I recently received the most beautiful gold bracelet designed by Suz Somersall, and I am in love. The weight is perfect. I love a bracelet that is heavy enough to feel substantial and ensure it's made of the highest quality materials. Putting it on my wrist gives me an extra boost of confidence, because it's classically beautiful while still catching people's eyes. I feel like that about all her jewelry. The pieces are understated, cultural, and something you know you will have for the rest of your life.
Below are a few of my favorite pieces from her collections.
Suz Somersall was nice enough to answer a few questions about her life, inspiration, and of course her favorite book! Please enjoy!
1. I read you grew up in New Orleans. What an awesome city! I love going on food tours there. What are your three favorite restaurants in the city?
Such a tough question! Galatoire's in the front glass room in the Quarter for a festive Carnival Saturday champagne brunch, Luke in the Warehouse District for a delicious New Orleans dinner with a modern twist, and Columns for cocktails and street car watching in the Garden District.
2. Who is your style icon?
DVF spoke to my class my senior year of college, she was such simultaneously a glamour goddess and brilliant CEO, she's been my inspiration ever since!
3. I considered going to Rhode Island School of Design as well, but I chose a university instead. I always wondered how my life would be different if I'd gone to art school as college or after. How did attending an art school help your sense of design?
I went to Brown undergrad and happened to study abroad in Florence, Italy my junior year wanting to take fashion design classes. I ended up being placed in an intermediate metal smithing class and realized that I loved jewelry design. After college, I went to RISD's grad program in metals. It was right down the hill in Providence, so it was very convenient! While I gained my passion for jewelry design in Italy, RISD gave me a strong foundation in construction, design principals, techniques and manufacturing.
4. I just did an interview with watch designer Adair Arnold of Circle + Hide. Do you wear a watch? If so do you have one or multiple? Do you think of watches more as a time piece or a piece of jewelry?
I love over-sized men's watches and wear them more for the look and less for function (as I am embarrassed to say I often run late!!).
5. What's the best book you've ever read?
Ahhh, so many! But I love The Great Gatsby for it's romance and the way Fitzgerald paints scenes with words.
6. What is your favorite piece of art that you own?
I have a painting of a window sill in the french quarter, the colors make me so happy and it brings me home no matter where I'm living (now San Fransisco!).
8. What are 2 things on your bucket list?
Travel for sure. Right now I'm planning a trip to Istanbul and Geneva in the fall, and I cannot wait! Also teaching more, not sure if that counts for bucket list, but we are working on an educational platform at our company now, through jewelry design tutorials we are teaching young women the skills to use mechanical engineering software like Autodesk, Rhino and Solidworks.
9. What view inspires you?
Seeing through the eyes of the inspiring students that we work with! I learn so much with them everyday.
10. What is your escape?
Running anywhere, through the Virginia countryside, over the Golden Gate Bridge while in SF, over the Brooklyn Bridge while in NYC, past all the incredible monuments while in DC, it's my ultimate escape!
11. What is the most exciting place to you right now?
My new home, San Francisco.
My best recent discovery?
Chilled petit syrah as a summer wine.
The best adventure I’ve ever been on?
Wandering by myself through Kyoto (see my photos here), writing and sketching and sourcing inspiration as an a solo anonymous observer. Such a peaceful and transformative experience!
Thank you Suz! I appreciate all your answers, and I can't wait to try out your restaurant recommendations my next trip to New Orleans!