What qualifies as inner arm candy Susan Kornbook? It could one day be a beaded Susan Alexandra bag decorated with a omelet. Or a small, wearable nod with dirty martinis—its size seems suitable for packing extra olives for sugar. Have a Milton Glaser tribute by bringing her I 🖤 NY. (ONE yellow version taxi took the stage on the brand’s Comedy Cellar variety show this past September, an outdoor Fashion Week event featuring Sand Cohen and Chloe Fineman, among other local luminaries.) A bag with piano keys reminds me of the FAO Schwarz scene in Big, a movie about a child who suddenly finds himself in the body of an adult. Such an ageless spirit runs through the Susan Alexandra universe, where nostalgia is not Depop-direct but filtered through Korn’s sunny aesthetic. The sunflower-yellow store on Manhattan’s Orchard Street even has a wish well in the front—like a change in suburban mall decor as a heartfelt offer. for luck.
Korn, an Ohio native who has lived in New York for more than a decade, said: “This journey back to my childhood roots is something that I explore a lot. (Her rescue Chihuahua, Pigeon, was named at an event for the city’s Wild Bird Foundation.) The latest Susan Alexandra collection—a series debut Jewish, including yarmulkes “vegan cheese sandwiches,” menorah styled after bottles of nail polish, jewelry, and tableware — harking back to Jewish tradition, which is represented in her family as the important rituals. “I think between the ages of 18 and 25, you’re really trying to make a new life for yourself,” she said, explaining the synagogue and the dinners of the day. The ceremony was gone for a while. “Now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I really crave that foundational part of my life.”
It is fitting that Korn’s three-day wellness diary, below, incorporates not one but two Shabbat dinners—an alternative means of recalibrating. “I’ve been through every wellness community since I lived in New York,” says the designer, detailing a winding adventure through acupuncture, sound baths, astrology, infrared rays. schvitzing. (So does therapy: “I’m on a break right now, that’s naughty!”) For her, there is a practical comfort in embracing “the feeling of well-being.” [that] much more accessible and within reach”—probably In hand, over a trompe l’oeil strawberry at the Hanukkah table. That’s part of Korn’s allure in combining old and new worlds, as seen in the odd glossary of Yiddish terms at the Judaica launch event. Beshert, The handwritten card explains, “meaning ‘meaning’ and destiny. It gives a feeling of ‘believing in the universe’.”
Thursday, November 10
7:23 am: Over the past two weeks I’ve been rewatching Game of Thrones like it’s my job. I watch it in the morning, I watch it at night, I watch it on my lunch break. This is my second time watching it and it’s really a game changer to understand half of what’s going on. I think my escape from reality is being sucked into another universe. I really need something my brain turns off.
I start my day with coffee, pistachio milk, and OKAY when I received a text from my father. He’s from Ohio to surprise me! His flight landed at 1:36 pm! I called him, and he told me he wanted to be there to assist me at Shabbat dinner tonight (more on that later). He decided to book a flight at 3am. It was so sweet that I felt guilty. I don’t want him to make such a fuss about me!
11:32 am: It was a truly perfect day: 70 degrees in November. I’m wearing one of my favorite Suzie Kondi tracksuits (pink) with sneakers and a denim jacket, along with one of those. Our black tote bag because I’m going to study today and need to be hands-free. I stopped at the Roasting Plant on Orchard for an Americano with oats and since I didn’t know when I would be able to eat again, a piece of their pumpkin bread. This is because it seems to be the healthiest option, which certainly isn’t. i met my friend by chance Michelle Salem, visitor from LA. “This is an NYC moment,” she said, and she was right.
11:50 am: I chatted and chatted with Michelle and then boldly walked over to Haven’s Kitchen. Recently, I gave up on my workout routine. This always happens when I’m busy. I can’t wait to walk from the East Side, where I live, to SoHo—I treat it like a little workout.
We (as well as Susan Alexandra’s company) are hosting a Shabbat dinner to launch my Judaica collection. Even though Shabbat is really Friday-Saturday, we’re going to do it tonight because it’s important to me to have a real-life rabbi present for prayer — and he’s busy. on Fridays, as a rabbi and all. I went to the location to complete the setup. In my next life, I would love to be a florist again. I love to be creative with flowers and it is important to me that the flowers are seasonally appropriate. Since November, we are growing marigolds and dahlias, and adding kale, cabbage, cauliflower and other hearty fall produce. maria and Megan from my group are tying bows and hanging bead wreaths.
12:38 pm: I perfect the details on my inspiration board, that’s how we display jewelry. Everything that has inspired this collection—photos of ancestors I’ve never met, doodles, magazine clippings, recipes, etc., etc.—are pinned. back, along with necklaces, bracelets, earrings and mezuzah from our Judaica collection. While pinning these pieces, I felt like I was adapting for my grandmother. Serious. My hands are moving, but my mind is completely elsewhere.