SuKaz Jackets began during Susan Hollingsworth’s years living in Kazakhstan, a former Republic of the Soviet Union. The name “SuKaz”, a combination of designer and country, embodies the visions dreamed and the journeys taken to showcase the beauty of Kazakh freestyle embroidery and bring the jackets to life. A subsequent move to London gave Susan the opportunity to bolster her endeavor with classes at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, and further study with a private tutor in pattern making. SuKaz wearable art jackets each tell a unique story, with threads of ancient traditions interwoven with flashes of contemporary elegance.
Each jacket is a labor of love between designer, fiber artist and seamstress; a reflection of countless hours spent haunting markets and bazaars from Africa to the Middle and Far East, points along the Silk Road of Central Asia, and the mother lode, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul. The fiber art panel in each jacket is original, showcasing needle art techniques including embroidery, fabric origami, needle felting, ribbon work and appliqué. An individual panel can take up to 50 hours start to finish, not including the intensive training process each artisan undertakes to learn basic techniques. Buttons are often hand crafted – tatted, kiln-forged (metal) or kiln-fired (glass), and the fabrics themselves might be embroidered, manipulated through smocking and folding, or hand woven on wooden looms. Crafted to the finest detail, SuKaz jackets are one-of-a-kind works of art.
During Susan Hollingsworth's years living in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, she was introduced to the cultural practices of fiber art and the techniques employed to turn textile and fiber into visual stories. She has brought to life many ancient cultural art techniques as part of her one-of-a-kind jackets. Every jacket is a work of art, uniquely and meticulously conceived and crafted with the highest quality materials from all over the world. Each one is a tangible reminder of a cultural craft passed down from generation to generation, each with its own unique story to tell, custom to relate, and tradition to uphold.