Suzzan Atala of Tuza Jewelry
Since then, we've met with Suzzan to collaborate on Passerbuys events, including our recent Chill Yard Sale — which was, indeed, very chill. Her pieces are timeless and endlessly wearable. From feather-light gold hoops to art deco inspired chokers, opal earrings and Bart Simpson gold charms — Atala's creations have a modern moxie that will never get old. We had the chance to visit with Suzzan in her Chinatown studio to talk about her recent collaboration with Creatures of Comfort, 80's music and fawn over her lovable dog, Lola.
How did Tuza start? and when did it start?
Tuza started as a natural itch to create wearable sculpture. It started officially and full time almost two years ago.
How would you describe the Tuza aesthetic?
I think Tuza always tends to have a very strong unintentionally Mexican art deco vibe. I think I can't help but feel influenced by my Mexican roots and growing up with the traditional way of wearing jewelry. Even when I make collaborations I can't help but feel happy if the pieces have the elegance that art deco and portraits have.
Your jewelry is made in a workshop in Mexico, can you talk a bit about that?
Of course! YES! I have a workshop in Mexico where most of the pieces are made from scratch with recycled silver. I work next to my wonderful team of artisans and mainly my head jeweler, David, to make all the pieces and create the new collections and deliver orders.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I try to find inspiration from other sources and other forms of art, not directly from other jewelers as I believe in a creative thought process to create a collection. That being said, I definitely do get inspiration from really old Aztec, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Victorian, Art nouveau jewelry pieces. And of course, 80s designs are always something to admire.
Favorite place/publication/person you've seen feature Tuza?
That's a tough one. I will have to say I loved seeing the pearl chandelier earrings I designed in collaboration with Creatures of Comfort this SS17 as it worked beautifully with the rest of the clothes and to see them in the runway was something I've never experienced in my life before.
How do you name your collections?
I always name them after songs (usually 70s or 80s) and I fall in love and obsess with that one song and imagine a girl wearing pieces with colors and a place so that is normally what helps me to give myself a "brief" for each collection.
What's your favorite Tuza piece right now?
Right now I really love the Avalon hoops with opals, but also the SS17 RIO earrings with the resin and the palette of different colors.
Any pieces you'd really like to make right now?
I would love to make a body piece that was almost like an armature with mixed metals, almost like Madonna's metal bra!
So how do we get our hands on Tuza pieces?
You can buy our pieces online and in different stores like Creatures of Comfort, Otherwild, Sincerely Tommy in NY, Pampam in London and other places. We are also opening a store in Mexico!!!
Check out Tuza's Instagram @tuzajewelry to stay up to date on new pieces, collaborations and - if you're lucky - sales. On the other hand you could always take a trip down to Mexico to visit Tuza's first physical shop, that's what will be doing. Do you wear Tuza? Tag #tuzaxpasserbuys.
Words by Katy Halowell