Say hello to Maggie and Melissa Lima, the founders of Susurro, a sustainable luxury leather accessories and footwear label that combines style, elegance, and innovation to handcraft exclusive and breathtaking collections. This brand is the brainchild of the Lima sisters, who noticed the lack of diversity in silhouette and style offerings for handbags and shoes. Whenever they shopped, the sisters would often see the same style repeated, which limited their choices when looking for items to complement their trendsetting outfits—thus creating Susurro, which means whisper in Spanish. The sisters made it their main focal point that every handcrafted handbag and footwear piece is versatile to style from day to evening wear. It is the ideal fit for a woman on the go who is eager to be bold while exuding sophistication, vibrancy, and uniqueness.
Now, Susurro has made the pages of Forbes Magazine for conveying “values of uncompromising quality and workmanship,” while being celebrated by former British Prime Minister Teresa May for their “beautiful” designs.
Susurro, after being inspired to create a new standard and unique approach to accessorizing the modern woman. The brand is now at the forefront of digital brand innovation with upcoming site enhancements that include creating made-to-order products, and highly personalized services. As a global online presence, Susurro caters to clients worldwide and indeed places diversity at its company’s forefront. When the business boomed Melissa and Maggie began to split their time between London, the USA, and South Africa. They now have one physical location and will soon be expanding across the continent in Nigeria and Ghana. As their brand rises progressively high, Melissa and Maggie are also using their platforms to empower the next generation of creatives through their movement, “One Day, I Will.” it supports underprivileged children in exploring their dreams and talent. In partnership with Susurro, One Day, I Will sponsor several children in countries with low economic opportunities to finance their education and extra-curricular endeavors every year.
We at British Thoughts were so fortunate to sit down with the enigmatic Lima Sisters as they shared their first fashion memories, inspiration, and where they see the future of fashion going.
Every girl has a remarkable memory of them trying on their mum’s lipsticks or makeup while growing up. What were your memories, and how did that influence your fashion sense?
Melissa: Our grandmother was extremely fashionable and I remember she had a collection of accessories that were unique and stunning. I remember whenever we went to visit her, I would always try on her jewels, bags, and shoes and pretend to be this glamourous older girl. Watching her choose accessories and style herself influenced my fashion sense because as I grew older, I never left the house without accessorizing my outfit and adding that final touch. This definitely added to my accessory obsession.
Maggie: My memory was with our mother. She would always throw parties and get bespoke outfits. It was during the 90s that really stood out to me. She got a custom brown two-piece that had a fringe skirt that was created in two-tonematerial and shades of brown. I loved how different the outfit looked, and it was definitely a vibe that stuck with me for life and influenced my fashion sense which is always experimental, fun, and memorable.
There’s always a new fashion faux pas each year. For both of you, were there any pieces or trends you wouldn’t ever consider to repeat?
Melissa & Maggie: A look we will never even consider to repeat again is the asymmetrical dress over denim jeans, which was a popular trending look during the early 2000s. We didn’t really follow trends but when we did decide to try a look we tried the dress over denim jeans and added our own touch to it by choosing different material dresses that were oftenmulticoloured. This will never happen again. We often laugh when we look back at pictures of us in dresses and denim jeans.
In one sentence, could both of you describe each other’s sense of style and explain why?
Melissa: Maggie’s sense of style is experimental and fun because she is always mixing material and colours to create memorable looks.
Margaret: Melissa’s sense of style is memorable and unique because everything she wears and how she styles it is stunning and different.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Our inspiration comes from nature. Alexander McQueen once stated that “there is no better designer than nature” and this is completely true. The patterns, textures, and styles found in nature, are breath-taking and inspire our designs. We use our creative innovative minds to expand upon the designs and colour schemes found in nature and our design aesthetic resembles this.
Now, let’s talk about Susurro. What was the concept behind the creation of this label, and why the name Susurro?
The name ‘Susurro’ translates to ‘whisper’ in Spanish. We chose the name because we handcraft designs that ‘whisper sophistication, and speak elegance’, whilst being bright and vibrant in designs. The concept behind the creation of the label is that we noticed that the fashion industry had limited choices for handbag silhouettes and designs as when one style trends in the industry, it becomes repetitive. We wanted to give women who love setting the trend a choice of accessories and footwear that is different, luxurious, and distinct.
What makes your brand identity unique, and what is the pull that would make people come back for more?
Our brand identity is unique as we always handcraft collections that invoke confidence when worn and this is what makes our customers come back. Not only do they look different but they feel confident and are “the first”. With our designs, our clients stand out and all eyes are on them which we both love.
Since the pandemic has primarily affected industries, fashion included, Susurro has been digitally innovative. Could you tell us more about your brand’s highly personalized services to customers who cannot come in person?
We now have virtual stylists who provide style advice to help customers style and select the perfect Susurro accessory/footwear for them. Customers are also able to virtually try on items which are available upon request.
In the world of fashion, sustainability and diversity are two of the words that are being uttered by everyone nowadays. How has Susurro become both diverse and sustainable?
Our brand’s core values include sustainability and diversity. The Susurro team represents this as our team consists of people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. We are also passionate about building communities and we founded the movement ‘OneDayIWill’ which assists in the development of dreams and ambitions of children and young people worldwide. We want them to know that they can achieve anything they want and this is done through extra curriculum activities and educational sponsorship.
With regards to sustainability, our collection materials and production are all conducted within New York. Keeping it local helps support and create jobs.
Personally, in the next few years, where do you see the future of fashion progressing?
The fashion industry progresses year by year and we honestly believe within the next few years the industry will be dominated by emerging designers bringing diversity and freshness into the industry.
Article by Cyan Leigh