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Rachel Levin
United States
Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
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Purse on Pointe: Slipper Bag by Sous Sus

by Rachel Levin
May 27, 2006
Los Angeles, CA
When handbag designer Sharlena Bernard decided to start her own company, she looked to her training as a dancer for inspiration. A graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Bernard trained in jazz, ballet, and modern before performing in hip-hop videos, ballet productions like the "Chocolate Nutcraker," and on the sidelines at L.A. Sparks games. In college, she gave up dance to study English and communications, but she was itching for a creative outlet when she stumbled upon handbag design. Always visually and tactilely inclined - the mark of a true dancer - Bernard found herself stitching up a prototype for a purse shaped like a pair of ballet slippers in sous-sus, 5th position on demi-pointe. The Slipper Bag was born.

The Slipper Bag is patterned after Bernard's own pointe shoes from her days of going on toe at age 12 (she still has the corns to show for it, she says!). Positioned in a nearly perfect sous-sus, each of the two slippers is a zippered compartment just the right size to hold women's essentials like lipstick, keys, and a flip phone, or dance accessories for girls of all ages.

Each bag is completely handmade and comes in a variety of color combinations, including pink, black, silver, and gold. It can be customized with a silver or gold jeweled handle inlaid with clear or champagne stones, or a leather strap that can be tied to desired length for the waist or the shoulder. The jeweled handle has a convenient hook which makes the bag into a wristlet, leaving your hands free. Each Slipper Bag comes in its own mesh pouch for attractive storage or gift-giving.

Appropriately, Bernard has named her company Sous Sus, "the line that keeps you on your toes." She plans to manufacture more adaptations of iconic objects, such as a basketball-shaped handbag made from real basketball leather, which will debut soon in conjunction with the world champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Sous Sus Slipper Bags can be purchased at the Jacqueline Jarrot boutique in Los Angeles' Beverly Center (310-659-2309), where they retail for $175 for a leather handle, $225 for the short jewel handle, and $275 for the long jewel handle. Soon, they'll be available online at www.sous-sus.com. Each custom bag takes 4-6 weeks to make and can be shipped to anywhere in the U.S. For more information, email sous_sus1@yahoo.com.

Photo © & courtesy of Sharlena Bernard

Photo © & courtesy of Sharlena Bernard

Photo © & courtesy of Sharlena Bernard

Photo © & courtesy of Sharlena Bernard

Photo © & courtesy of Sharlena Bernard

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