Heading to the Hamptons with Suzie Kondi
THE FUEL FOR THIS DESIGNER'S JET-SETTING LIFESTYLE? SAKARA.
Meet Suzie Kondi, the Aussie transplant that made the velour tracksuit cool again. Her designs transcend time of day, and look just as sexy and cool paired with heels as they do with sneakers. They’re effortlessly chic, just like Suzie herself.
Suzie’s two stores across New York—one in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and one out in Amagansett—keep her busy and living like a jetsetter, especially during the summer months. The fuel for her on-the-go lifestyle? Sakara. She’s able to easily swap her address from week to week so that clean, plant-rich nutrition can meet (and nourish) her wherever she is.
We sat down with Suzie at her home in the Hamptons to talk her thriving brand, beach bag essentials, and why Sakara’s Signature Nutrition Program is so ideal come summertime.
What inspired you to start your business?
My mum had a fabric store, so when I was a kid I grew up on the floor of the fabric store. I’ve always been in fashion, but for this incarnation I wanted something comfortable… Our tagline is “Don't change for anyone,” and it’s about being true to yourself in life and what you wear. I wanted to be able to drop my daughter off at school, go to Pilates, go to work, go to dinner, go out, and wear the same thing. So I designed something that you don't have to change out of, and you can do all of those things.
Can you tell us more about the motto “Don’t change for anyone”?
“Don’t change for anyone” means whatever makes you special, whatever makes you different, is exactly perfect. It’s something that I try to bring into my business and my personal life, not always successfully. Being my authentic self is something that I’m getting better at as I get older, something that I pay attention to and look for in the women that inspire me.
How would you describe the difference between your Amagansett store and your Lower East Side store in Manhattan?
They’re very different. They have a lot of the same product, but out East we’re a lot more laid back. People come in with sandy feet just off the beach. The city store is in Dimes Square, and now they’re saying that area is like the SoHo of the 90s. There’s much more partying, going to dinner, going out in that environment. In both stores the brand stays true to itself… The authenticity doesn't change, wherever we are, and we hope to open a store in L.A. soon and Australia eventually.
If you were to compare the Amagansett store to a certain kind of meal, versus the Lower East Side store, what would they be?
The Amagansett store is a light, easy, on-the-go salad. It’s a bit more relaxed, which is how I live my life out here. And the city store I would think of it as more of a sit-down, prix fixe situation. Sophisticated and really beautiful.
How does your schedule change come summertime?
My summer officially starts, and my schedule officially changes, the day after my daughter finishes school. We pack it all up and head out East until school starts again. My store in Amagansett is where I spend a lot of time during the summer playing backgammon and hanging out with friends.
How do you fit Sakara into your summer lifestyle out East?
I can easily change my address on the Sakara app so I get my food delivered out here, which is great and super convenient. I just like to know that I'm going to eat healthy, and that everything is ready to roll. There's not a lot of time—often I’ll have to go to a photoshoot or I'm in the office for a fitting—and I want to know that when I get out here I’ll have the healthy food that I want to eat.
If you were to finish this sentence “My perfect summer weekend looks like________” what would you say?
A long day at the beach. Friends and family. Reading, relaxing, eating delicious food that I ordered and am not preparing.
What Sakara products do you lean on in the summer?
The Complete Probiotic Formula, definitely. I start the day with it, and love the enzymes in it—they made a huge difference in my digestion, which was something I used to have an issue with.
What’s in your beach bag besides your Sakara essentials?
Something to read… I bought my daughter Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, which everybody read as a child, but growing up in Australia I didn’t know about it. I [also] have a friend’s new book, Alex Auder’s Don't Call Me Home, which is really great, as well. And then I always have sunblock, snacks, and a big hat, especially for walks on the beach. Suzie Kondi bloomers, a one-piece. That’s me.
At Sakara, we have something called S-Factor, which is owning your joyful, sexy, provocative side. How would you describe your version of S-Factor?
I really think being authentic, and being able to laugh is incredibly sexy. I think if you can laugh and not take yourself so seriously—it’s very sexy to have a sense of humor.
What is the legacy that you hope to leave on this world?
I want to empower women to be authentic and stay true to themselves. Don’t change for anyone. Be who you are, and be the kid that you were when you were four years old, seven years old. Ride your BMX bike around. You know, bring all of that to your life. I really want people to feel comfortable doing what they do.