Big, beautiful bags

The Baltimore Sun

Spring is here, and any seasonal-savvy fashionista knows that oversized handbags are the best accessory for spring, as they allow necessities such as umbrellas, ponchos, windbreakers, sunglasses and even emergency ballet flats to be concealed within their seams.

But don't just settle for one of those boring canvas totes.

Susej Designs of Washington offers handbags with beautiful designs that are hand-painted on embroidered, rich, recycled leather by Dionne Green, owner and creator of Susej (which is Jesus spelled backward). The name is an acknowledgement of her Christian beliefs.

The bags include artistic designs of stylish women with long hair and afros who carry a certain attitude.

Green names each bag. She has bags named Solid Gold, Sweet Summer, Tangled Tule and Blonde Ambition, to name a few.

According to its Web site, susej, the company offers 21 limited-edition handbags, as well as a bridal collection.

"My illustrations are really what Susej are all about," Green says. "I always knew that I wanted to do something in fashion. The handbags are really my fashion illustrations brought to life.

There's a wedding bag that's "a storage container for all of the little mementos from the bride's wedding day," she says. "I suggest that it be carried with you on your honeymoon or while planning the wedding."

Green, a Texas native, studied fashion merchandising at Howard University and fashion design at the Istituto Marangoni in Milan, Italy, one of Europe's leading fashion and design schools.

Her handbags cost $400 to $450. For more information, visit the Web site or call 202-487-1762.

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