Designer Susan Korn didn’t think opening a store for her colorful brand Susan Alexandra would really be possible.
“Call it a COVID dream,” Susan mused to me, holding her dog as she showed me around the space.
In April of 2021, Susan signed a lease on 33 Orchard Street, a narrow old tattoo shop right across the street from Sandy Liang, Bode, and Scarr’s Pizza. The store opens today. The place had to be gutted, but it worked out for the best. Plus, she got a deal on the rent.
Susan was able to design the store, alongside designers Lula Galeano and Levi Shaw-Faber. Using yellow, blue, and pink tiles to decorate, the store feels like the inside of a Susan Alexander bag. On one wall, there’s a fountain, which Susan claimed would be a wishing well, decorated with a female tiled face that has not yet been named. The old ceiling was painted bright pink, with custom beaded light fixtures hanging from it, making the narrow space feel endless and expansive.
“We even beaded the door handle,” says Susan. “It’s a giant banana! We made sconces in the shape of giant fruits. There’s a bit of Alice in Wonderland ‘through the looking glass’ vibes from the moment you walk in.”
The store features some of Susan’s favorite designers, like ceramics created specifically for the store by Dominique Ostuni. There was a Larry David mug, a candleholder inspired by Orchard Street, and large mugs decorated with fruit. There were custom candles designed by her sister, Janie Korn, and ceramic-fruit paperweights by Bernie Kaminski.
The store will also have some exclusives, like an Orchard 33 bag based on the wall tile, and will offer people the chance to design their necklaces in the store.
“I want it to be a space for all of my favorite things,” Susan said.