Designers at Symphony
SUNO was launched in 2008 by Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty. Max first conceived of the brand after witnessing post-election violence in Kenya, a country he had visited throughout his youth. Realizing that political turmoil might scare foreigners from visiting or investing in a country so rich with talent, natural resources and goodwill, he decided to do something. Utilizing the vast collection of Kenyan Kangas he gathered over his many years of traveling, Max joined forces with Erin to launch a high-end collection with a conscience; thus SUNO was formed. Formerly a screenwriter, San Francisco native and NYU Tisch school graduate, Max has a high appreciation of art and design, but no formal fashion background. In August 2008 he approached his friend Erin, a UCLA and Parson’s graduate who previously designed at Gap and Generra for help. They have been together ever since, evolving the collection from its original Kenyan inspiration into a bright and worldly collection produced in ethical workshops and factories throughout the world. With the exception of the vintage Kanga pieces, every SUNO print and fabric is developed in house and printed by the world’s finest mills in Italy, Korea and Japan. Styles are designed and fit locally in New York and eventually produced in Kenya, India, Peru or New York. SUNO makes an effort to use the local talents of each country it works with: developing beaded, sequined and embroidered styles in India, and Alpaca blended sweaters in Peru.