Susan Szatmáry Rolls Into the Accessories Market With a Wheeled “Valisette” Bag Packed With Wow Factor

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When Susan Szatmáry (née Ibrahim) decided to launch her own collection, she had a wealth of experiences and cultures to draw upon. Born in Baghdad, from 13, the multilingual designer was raised in Stockholm and has subsequently lived in Italy and in Paris, where, for Spring 2019, she presented her first collection of travel-friendly bags to the press. Although she christened the different styles with French names like Palais Royal (a roomy flapped shoulder bag) and Pont Neuf (a tote designed to fit perfectly atop a suitcase), it was in an airport in Italy that the designer stumbled upon the inspiration for the line’s clever little bag, the Valisette. While watching streams of people maneuver their rollers around the travel hub, it occurred to Szatmáry that her compact, structured box bag would look like “a mini, mini, mini valise” with the addition of wheels, and so the Valisette, big enough to fit an iPhone and keys, and with a hook that allows it to be hung from the wrist, came into being.

Part of the appeal of the Valisette is the unexpected yoking of elegance and an industrial touch. Szatmáry explains that she’s on a mission to “break” luxury and thus modernize it. “Always when I went to interviews at all these companies [they asked], ‘What is your style? What is your style?’ Now [I can say] these bags, they are really me.” Szatmáry’s highly structured Spring collection was inspired by the Deco period. “I just love the charm of [Deco],” the designer says. “There is something pure about it and strong.” It appeals to the designer on a personal level, as well; when she was a child, her mother favored ’20s- and ’30s-style accessories, and the designer carries that spirit with her.

The designer mined her memories of her mother’s 1960s style when creating her own line.

Though she trained as an artist, Szatmáry had always been interested in fashion. In the early 2000s, she started making bracelets and bags out of natural leather that she sold in “arty” stores in Stockholm. She enrolled in a master’s course in accessories at Rome’s Istituto Europeo di Design. After graduating at the top of her class, the headmaster connected Szatmáry with “a guy” who needed an assistant. The “guy” turned out to be Gaetano Perrone, then working at Alexander McQueen. “This was when Lee [Alexander McQueen] was in the studio with Katy England,” Szatmáry recalls. “It was a very intense period [with] the Spring 2007 flower [and] the Spring 2006 Greek goddesses show, [and] accessories were growing.” From there, she was headhunted to Celine, and worked for Elie Saab and Paco Rabanne. She was also tapped to create an accessories collection, Susan Ibrahim for & Other Stories.

The success of that project convinced Szatmáry that the time was right to go solo—and to go luxury. “I really, really love making beautiful things and quality things,” explains the designer, whose bags are handmade in Italy of naturally dyed calf leather, with gold-dipped and brushed-brass hardware. In her new collection, Szatmáry was able to give form to concepts she had accumulated and banked for years while working for others. “I just kept all these ideas from the bottom of my heart that I wanted to do for a long time,” she says. Now, these treasures are buried no more.


2 men use crowbar to break into Dania Beach accessories store

“We had a problem with the alarm system and the next day we came, it was chaos,” store manager Kenia Torres said.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said surveillance video captured two men using a crowbar to force open the front door.

An hour later, the duo parked a newer model Chevrolet Tahoe in front of the store and entered the business.

Deputies said the thieves first used a flashlight to look around and then turned on the ceiling light.

They left the store with several boxes of merchandise and placed them into the trunk of the Tahoe, authorities said.

“I’m sure they knew what they were looking for, and I am sure they knew the whole place very well,” Torres said.

The store’s owner told detectives nearly $6,500 worth of items were stolen. Torres told Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos the store sells items, like hats, lighters and other accessories, to convenience stores.

“You have your inventory, you have everything set, and when these things happen, you get everything out of control,” Torres said.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Detective Taylor Powell at 954-518-0153.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.