Founded in 2018, the fashion designer's collection features comfortable dresses, jumpsuits, and everything in between.
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Suzie Kondi Orchard Street Opening
Credit: Courtesy of Suzie Kondi

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If you want to dress an outfit up or down, but can't make up your mind on what to actually wear, a tracksuit could be the way to go. At least, that's what fashion designer Suzie Kondi says. From her lens, athleisure should look good with casual sneakers or a pair of heels. Most importantly, this type of clothing should be timeless: Loungewear should never go out of style. Kondi has always believed this, but the fashion industry in the 2010s didn't quite reflect these tenets. That's why the Australia native founded her self-titled brand in 2018. Her goal? To bring stylish tracksuits (Martha is a huge fan!) and more to the forefront of fashion. Here, find out how she created her business and is continuing to expand her eponymous collection with new styles and silhouettes.

Suited for Success

While Kondi's New York-based label has already made its mark in Manhattan, and in Martha's very own closet, the creative got her start gradually by designing clothes alongside her mom. "My mother owned a fabric store, so I spent many, many hours on the floor of her store as a child playing with fabric and buttons. I started making my own hot pink striped micro mini shorts, and hopping on my bike and riding to the pool wearing them," she says. "I was also inspired by my Albanian grandmother's touman pants—a curvy, cropped style." (She explains that this garment became the inspiration for her best-selling Tosk High Waist Harem Pants ($195, suziekondi.com), one of her label's first pieces.)

Kondi decided to create her own tracksuit label after her pastime gained some attention. "My daughter, Stevie, was three years old at the time and I wore [my tracksuit] to drop her off at school," the designer shares. "All of a sudden, some of the other school mums started to notice (including women like Sienna Miller and Sofia Coppola) and approached me and asked me where I got the tracksuit." These reactions ultimately pushed her to bring her designs to the marketplace.

Social Media Strategy

Kondi has used Instagram since her line's launch. The CEO and founder started by posting pictures of herself wearing the pieces—and her friends who purchased the tracksuits also started to share them on social media. "Instagram growth for us has been so important, and all of our followers today are real clients that have become friends—some I've met, and some I haven't met," Kondi says. "It's a true loyal fan following." The designer has also grown her eponymous label through strategic use of product and collection launches—and by reinvesting profits into the business. "That has empowered us to grow the line and to expand into two retail stores since 2020—one in Amagansett in the Hamptons and one on the Lower East Side in New York City," she adds.

suzie kondi jumpsuit
Credit: Courtesy of Cass Bird

Making a Lifestyle Brand

There are four design factors Kondi thinks about when creating every piece: The color (she loves monochrome), texture, tactile experience, and vibe—she thinks about how her customers will feel when wearing one of her sets. This helps her create a lifestyle experience—not just a clothing line. "I want to empower everyone to feel comfortable and not like they have to race home and quickly change to go to their next appointment. They're already bringing their best self forward exactly as they are," she says. Kondi embraces this idea in her everyday life. "I can go to pilates in a bodysuit ($110, suziekondi.com) and the trackpants ($265, suziekondi.com) and then I can take my daughter to school, and then I could go to the office and then go to dinner—all in the same look," she says. "Everything that defines how I live my life on a daily basis, I found I could do in a tracksuit."

She continues to evolve her design process by challenging herself to bring unexpected ideas together, like pairing unique fabrics (think velour and ponte) to create flattering shapes and silhouettes. "My design approach always comes back to styling and drawing inspiration from vintage garments and references," Kondi says. "Again, it goes back to sitting on the floor of my mother's fabric shop and my unending desire to create beautiful pieces that make our customers feel joy. Our overall approach as a brand focuses on growing in a manner we can sustain organically without compromising quality and design."

Business Growth

Throughout her journey, Kondi has followed this motto: "Don't change for anyone." In her eyes, this means being yourself and staying joyful whenever possible. "I think fashion can feel a little precious, and the comfort, playfulness, and joy of our brand is something that I want to share, especially these days," she says. "I hope to show to the industry and our customers that we stand for the principles of inclusion, joy, and that our mantra, 'don't change for anyone,' really applies to everything we do." Her hope is that fellow entrepreneurs embrace kindness, respect, and fun in their lines of work. "That's the best way to stand out in the market and also to make sure that my decisions as an entrepreneur reflect what I stand for and who I am—my clients will be able to feel that in what I create and how I serve them." As for Kondi's goals? To open a Suzie Kondi store back home. "Like the Peter Allen song, "I Still Call Australia Home," and I have so many Aussie ex-pat friends here. We're always reminiscing about our homeland," she says. In that light, fans of the brand can expect to see future design collections that feature the Australian sunshine and spirit via new color palettes.

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