Everything Susan Bender Whitfield Is Loving Right Now
Everything Susan Bender Whitfield Is Loving Right Now

Everything Susan Bender Whitfield Is Loving Right Now

As well as being a contributing editor at Vogue, Susan Bender Whitfield is a regular on the SheerLuxe show. That’s why we knew we had to ask her about her current favourites across fashion, beauty and more…
Images: @KITTY_SU

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The MVP Label

Bite Studios is a small, sustainable brand that focuses on basics, workwear and tailoring. It just does everything right in my eyes – from circular production methods to incredible fabrics and cuts. I have an incredible silk bias-cut dress that’s simple, chic and one of those pieces I always bring out when I can’t think of what to wear for an evening event.

The Cool Find

A friend and I were searching for something to wear for an upcoming trip to Marrakesh, and I found a pair of incredible vintage, silver, crochet, low-heeled flats from Found and Vision vintage. I’m seeing this crochet-shoe trend a lot now, but the beauty of vintage is that this is a piece I won’t see on anyone else.

The Under-The-Radar Name

Diotima's style harks back to summers spent in Jamaica wearing crochet dresses, skirts and string vests made by my grandmother. It elevates granny’s string vest/crochet to the glamorous heights of Studio 54. I’ll definitely be packing a few pieces from her collection for my next trip. 

The Vintage Spots

My favourite vintage spots are all on Ladbroke Grove and Portobello, which is where I’m from. Rellik is my number one. I’ve been going since it was a market stall on Portobello Road. What’s great about it is that it’s curated by three different people with different styles, meaning you get an eclectic mix of brands you won’t find anywhere else – from Rick Owens to Alaïa and Comme des Garçons. The other vintage store I love is One Of A Kind. It’s super high fashion – the founder has a unique take on the pieces he sells. I have some sky blue and silver cowboy boots from there. I wear them with everything – be it jeans, skirts, dresses. (My vibe is pretty 70s.)

The Knitwear Staples

I definitely have an affinity for cashmere and my go-to brand is Johnstons Of Elgin – in particular, it has the best knit hoodies. When shopping for cashmere, it’s important to read the labels and know where what you’re buying is coming from and how it’s been made. I typically look out for recycled materials. A smaller brand I love for cashmere is Oyuna. It uses Mongolian cashmere and works closely with the farmers and the community to gather the cashmere. It creates really small runs and design basics but with a twist. It’s very architectural with several contemporary details – think, if Helmut Lang made cashmere. I’ve ordered a pair of trousers from them to fulfil my cashmere needs this season. Fun, fringed and stylish – they’ll be worn day to night with my Zara x Steven Meisel metallic bustier.


The Go-To Fomaula

When I need to get out of the house and don’t know what to wear, I’ll always go for my blue Ami trousers, a cashmere hoodie and Bite Studios trench coat. Footwear wise, it’ll either be my black Air Max 90s, chunky loafers from Penelope Chilvers or my black Manolo Blahnik x Birkenstocks.

The Shopping Destination

I’ll shop online for basics, and for pieces I know my sizing in and the fabrications of. Otherwise, I need to shop in person – I really believe you need to try things on. I’m not someone who can order a few sizes and send them back (it just won’t happen). I’d rather go somewhere and physically see the pieces. I really love Selfridges. It’s always got a cool activation on and a great selection of brands, and I appreciate its social and environmental stance. Another favourite is Dover Street Market for their eclectic curation of brands like Comme des Garcons and Alaia but also urban and streetwear brands too. 



The Sunglasses

I rarely go anywhere without a pair. The one I’m wearing and loving the most at the moment are from Alexander McQueen. I’m currently lusting after a pair of Phoebe Philo oversized sunglasses. I naturally also love vintage sunglasses, and the best place for these is Camden Market. Finally a new British female-owned brand I like is Kimeze – its Damba style particularly.

The Style Resolution

Being in fashion, I always want to embrace colour because I feel like I’m always wearing black. I love electric blue, but a colour I’ve worn for years is metallic silver. I enjoy adding a pop of it via a shoe or bag. I recently picked up a cool pair of silver coated jeans from 3X1 NYC. Its ‘Flip Jeans’ style is just the perfect cut – I have them in a couple washes.

The Events Hero

I’ve always got a mixture of interesting necklaces on, and particularly love my pieces from Marla Aaron. I’ll also always have on my gold Mejuri herringbone necklace and a Swarovski Milena chain necklace. This trio is a bit of a signature that’ll elevate a range of looks. 

The Campaigns

Of recent menswear shows, Rick Owens and Louis Vuitton were standouts. I also loved Bottega’s campaign with A$AP Rocky, and generally love him. He oozes confidence, proven in the way he can push the boundaries of androgyny with his looks while still being a straight, quite masculine man. I also loved Proenza’s ad with Pamela Anderson and, most recently, Calvin Klein’s campaign with Jeremy Allen White. Something tells me I should start watching The Bear.



The Essentials

Noble Panacea and Augustinus Bader are my skincare heroes. From Noble Panacea, I love the Absolute Intense Renewal Serum, Eye Cream and Nourishing Lift Oil. Recyclable and with a really slick design, I bring their ampoules with me when travelling as they’re so easy to carry. I went to Augustinus Bader’s Skin Lab at Lanserhof at the Arts Club. It’s an art gallery meets a beauty salon. I can also highly recommend the method facial with Melanie Grant.

The Budget Buy

I vouch for Peace Out’s under-eye patches. I use them to depuff and brighten. There’s also a version with a sort of microneedle which is really good for fine lines and wrinkles.

The Hair Hero

As someone with afro hair, Charlotte Mensah’s products have long been a favourite. I especially like the Manketti Oil pomade and salt scrub. I use the scrub after shampoo and lather it into my roots. I’ll sometimes then let it soak before rinsing it out. It leaves my hair feeling refreshed and clean but also silky and smooth. While the products are formulated with afro hair in mind, they work for everyone – I highly recommend giving them a go. 


The Next Trip

I’m headed to Jamaica next, specifically Geejam in Port Antonio where my father’s from. My plan is to then do a bit of island hopping and then I’m definitely going to stay at Jakes. It's the ultimate destination for rest and relaxation. It’s a little under the radar and has the best beaches and food. It embraces the natural materials and ingredients they have around them, making it both a sustainable and down-to-earth place to go. 

The Favourite Spot

Tokyo is hands down my favourite place to travel. The energy is unlike anywhere else. It’s switched on 24/7 and there’s always something happening which calls for amazing, unexpected adventures. I love that it feels super spontaneous there – no one really knows where they are or where they’re going but you always end up where you need to be. When I go next, I want to go to an onsen spa and also the Water Cherry House is high on my list. The Hello Kitty store is a must visit and I’d also recommend getting out of the city to the Yamanouchi hot springs and Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. 



The Staycation

My favourite spot in London is At Sloane. Created by Jean Louis Costes , it has the same look and feel as Costes in Paris – and the same phenomenal food – but with an art-and-craft twist that makes it feel unique. 

The IG Muses

I love Kristen McMenamy. She’s inspiring because she’s just her. She styles herself – mostly in a mix of the latest brands and vintage finds. She just looks incredible and fashion-forward yet unique too, which can be so rare these days. She doesn't necessarily follow trends; there’s just a sense of confidence in herself. At the other end of the spectrum – classic, cool and chic – I love Valerie Leberichel too.

The Listen

I never really listen to podcasts but I’m a big fan of audiobooks. My current listen is Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, who’s a former FBI hostage negotiator. It’s a nonfiction book about his years as a negotiator with tips about communication and his perspective on this. 

The Movie

Poor Things was phenomenal. The costumes especially were impressive – we're going to see a lot of big shoulders and Victoriana shorts in seasons to come. Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo were also exceptional. He is so engaging, and Emma just plays the character in such a nuanced way – it’s so spectacular to watch. It’s a movie I feel should be watched at least three times. Once to pay attention to the costume, once for the interiors, another for the language – it’s just incredible. 

The Music

My go-to genres are typically R&B, House and Grime but my current favourite song has to be ‘Baby Again’ by Fred Again x Skrillex and Four Tet. When I’m working, I’ll go for classical music or movie scores, but when I’m dancing I need something with a hardcore beat and lyrics. 

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