Ever wish you and your best bud could tote around tokens of your friendship that aren't totally obvious or overly performative
? Model Suki Waterhouse and entrepreneur Poppy Jamie know the feeling. Legend has it
, the two stylish Brits met on the dance floor (as most cool-girl-friendship origin stories go, of course). The pals' BFF-ness blossomed, and a few years later, so did a joint business venture.
Enter Pop & Suki, a brand that's been in the works (and teased on social media to their incredibly large followings) for about a year and a half now. You've probably seen the label's Instagram, which has been sharing millennial pink
inspiration images for 33 weeks now. The whole concept came from "sharing a bed and exhausting ourselves with every possible nook of conversation," Waterhouse told Refinery29. "I feel like we were actively searching for an excuse to spend as much time together and create a shared narrative."
The brand has a direct-to-consumer business model, selling luxury-grade product on its own website — and thus without a middleman — to keep prices accessible. (The priciest item in its inaugural offering, a suede shopper bag
, is $255.) Plus, everything's made in downtown L.A., where Waterhouse and Jamie say their friendship blossomed. The location is also significant, because the idea to start with just accessories was born out of a gap they saw in the market there. "We love the vintage shops in L.A. and were inspired by bags we found [there], but could never find similar styles elsewhere," Jamie said. So, the duo set out to make exactly what they wanted to be buying. "I found an amazing manufacturer first, and then I found our co-founder [Leo Seigal], another fellow Brit who helped take our inspiration to the next level."
Right now, Pop & Suki focuses on wardrobe add-ons that are totally customizable: simple handbag silhouettes in black, brown, and pink that can be totally transformed by switching around the strap placement (the straps are also available for purchase separately) and the addition of monogramming and charms (the latter can double as necklaces). The line's make-it-your-own nature solves the conundrum of wanting to commemorate your friendship with merch despite having outgrown yarn bracelets. (Hey, we've all
thought about it.)
Both Brits grew up with those friendship-accessory-making kits. (After getting the kits every year as holiday gifts, Waterhouse says she "definitely fulfilled [my] bracelet-making potential to its full extent," while Jamie became an expert in patterns.) The reason to create a more grown-up brand that celebrated these types of tokens: to appreciate those relationships and commemorate those bonds that are so often taken for granted, Jamie explained to us. "For my last birthday, Suki wrote me a friendship letter, and it meant so much to me — I keep it in my diary to read when I’m feeling low," Jamie said. "That’s what is so great about friendship tokens, bought or handmade: Regardless of age, they're important for sharing love and showing people you care. We should all give more of them."
It's #squadgoals meets fashion meets retail trend meets Instagram — in other words, it's pretty well-positioned to be a hit. Picking millennial pink — the hue everyone seems to be talking about — as the brand's signature shade doesn't hurt, either. "I've always believed in pink," Waterhouse said regarding the duo's affinity for this very specific shade that's taken over the Internet. "I'm a tomboy by nature, but I can't explain how strong my gravitational pull is to a cotton candy or anything pastel pink." Jamie grew up in a pastel pink bedroom and has surrounded herself with that color. "I think it’s calming, in a way, and it helps me celebrate femininity, which I love."
We'll have to wait until the brand's official launch in October to see how Pop & Suki will be received. (You can already place orders online
, but they won't deliver until October 31.) Waterhouse and Jamie have their own dream list of BFF's they'd love to see toting their line: "Lena and Jemima Kirke," for Suki, and "Romy and Michele at their high school reunion," for Poppy. Considering Cara Delevingne and Adwoa Aboah are friends of the founders, we wouldn't be surprised if we spotted the label around Fashion Week and beyond. Check out the Pop & Suki lookbook, ahead.