designer roxi suger
For over 20 years, fashion designer Roxi Suger has been on the forefront of the sustainable clothing movement. Her trademark designs and plant-based clothing inspire customers or angels as she calls them to feel good from within. She is committed to charity and her mantra is and has always been “may peace prevail”.
Open-hearted and gentle, clever and curious, a beautiful and powerful mix of passion, humility, and originality—Roxi Suger is the soul and spirit behind the brand of Angelrox. Dedicated to making a difference in both life and business, to spreading the joy and peace that so organically flows from her to the sweet angels she encounters, she delights in connecting with others to care, share, hope, and give.
“Two of my beloved grannies taught me to sew at the age of eight and I knew then what I was born to do. Being able to engineer a simple bit of cloth into something that can transform the way a woman feels about herself is powerful and humbling. The psychology of fashion and how to encourage women to recognize and celebrate their inherent beauty and worth is our goal.”
Born in 1971, fashion designer Roxi Suger is celebrated for her timeless versatile designs through which customers derive not only incredible comfort but an inner shine and glow that is palpable. Crafted sustainably from plant-based fabrics and handmade in a historic mill in Maine; her collections are flattering to women of all ages, stages, shapes and sizes. Suger’s plant-based fibers are extraordinarily soft, breathe, support and are soothing even to the most sensitive skin.
Suger was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma and raised in music-soaked Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Two of Suger’s beloved grannies taught her to sew at the age of eight and she recognized her calling in life. She has been able to engineer a simple bit of cloth and infuse it into something that can transform the way a woman feels about herself. The psychology of fashion and how to encourage women to recognize and celebrate their inherent beauty and worth has been and remains Suger’s goal.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Clothing, Textiles & Design on scholarship from the University of Alabama, Suger went on to be a part of the fashion scene of New York City for eighteen years with a passion, fervor, and ingenuity that never waned. Education is at the core of her journey, leading the fashion industry in the adoption of plant- based fabrics and sustainable practices along with guiding women to adopt more positive ideas of self. Suger also taught at Parsons School of Design, instructing a course called “Fashion Industry Design'' (an overview of industry with a focus on illustration and presentation skills) to both marketing and design students for eight years while establishing her company and brand.
With seasons of strife and hard work, risk and uncertainty, modest resources and uncharted territory, Suger’s journey is evidence of the beautiful ferocity within her spirit. Through her versatile and comforting designs, Suger inspires originality, creativity, acceptance and self-love
Some of Suger’s foundation designs that epitomize this spirit of comfort, versatility and creativity are the wrap, the flirt, and the cardigan. These signature pieces from her collection, Angelrox (launched in 1999), continue to be cornerstone designs gaining more fans with each passing year. In addition, Suger has developed a component style to dressing with accessories like the hourglass, opera sleeves, and stockings that not only serve the challenge of fluctuating temperatures in a woman’s life but are also ideal for global warming conditions with extremes in weather and environmental conditions. These pieces can be easily added or removed to the neck, body, forearms and calves as needed and body heat changes. All the while with the ability to breathe and stay cool because of their cellulose plant based nature. This also makes the pieces suitable for sun protection and ideal for travel. Pieces like the hourglass can also add modesty and head covering when needed for cultures that require this element of dress.
Roxi organically grew her line in New York through a lot of hard work, an intense amount of runway shows, artist collaborations, charitable contributions and hawking her wares in a cozy Soho market literally on the streets of NY. She produced locally in the USA from the very beginning and was called upon for both fashion exhibits and speaking engagements for the Green Movement as early as 2004. In fact the very first line she tried to launch in 1995 was to be called “Think” and was composed of all hemp based fabrics.
Suger had the pleasure of designing for a range of other companies before branching out on her own including Vivienne Tam, Urban Outfitters, Le Chateau stores of Canada and developing products for mass market chains such as Wal-Mart, JCPenney’s and Sears. This diverse experience helped prepare her to launch her first line of junior apparel in 1996 called Babydoll by Roxi. It enjoyed a few years on the market serving at the time giant Delia’s catalog and chains such as Contempo Casuals, Wet Seal and Claire’s.
Taking Angelrox to Maine
Suger with her wonderfully talented husband Julian Schlaver who works with her and helps support the business in a myriad of ways along with their young son Cotton moved Angelrox to Biddeford, Maine in 2012. Angelrox is a family business bolstered by an accomplished staff and supportive community. Each garment is crafted carefully and lovingly in the historic Pepperell Mill. Dating back to the 1840s this massive vertical textile mill played a huge role in the Industrial Revolution and was equal to Lowell, MA in its size, scope and impact on the changing landscape of America. It was a huge catalyst to the migration of workers from farm to city, the growing population of immigrant communities and the emancipation of women as they gained traction in the workplace and sought education and freedom to vote and seek equality.
Biddeford, like so many industrial mill towns suffered incredibly as New England mills closed and migrated down south or overseas. Although Pepperell Mill was one of the longest running textile mills, only shuttering its final operations in 2009 having opened in 1847 and operating under the same company for 156 years. Still through the eighties, nineties and early in the 21st Century the once vibrant downtown of Biddeford emptied, became rundown and gained a reputation as a spot no one wanted to visit.
The city is now undergoing a huge revitalization. Suger and Schlaver played a huge role in getting Biddeford back on its feet. They opened their first storefront called Suger in 2013 producing and operating out of the store for a year while their headquarters in the mill was being renovated. Located just up the hill from the mill, Suger’s boutique provided a place for the community to enjoy upscale shopping, gather and support a variety of Maine makers. Suger wanted to include not just her collections but also other Makers. Her carefully curated range of products has proven to delight customers and in 2017, Roxi and Julian opened a second location in Portland, Maine. Angelrox apparel is also sold in more than three hundred boutiques, garden nurseries, wellness centers, museums, and gift shops across the country and collected by hosts of fans.
Their community efforts also include the Biddeford Ball, orchestrating three celebrated events with over 400 people in attendance each time and raising significant funds for various charities, causes, and special projects. This event also brought folks together to celebrate the town’s history and future while also benefiting its people and places. In addition, Suger donates to local charities regularly in multiple ways. This has been the dream and goal for Roxi all along, to give back more while savoring every moment.
What’s Next for Roxi Suger?
In 2019, Suger celebrated 20 years of business with her initial brand Angelrox. She has also now launched an eponymous sister brand of “smooth classics” called “Suger”. She has accomplished a great deal including crafting hundreds of thousands of products, hired over 25 staff members who lovingly work beside her every step of the way. She has been featured in Forbes Magazine and continues to innovate her designs and manufacturing processes to be more sustainable. She will continue to expand on her collections geared toward women having already added lingerie and with plans to offer a capsule swim line. She is already making headway into introducing a core of body comforting essential first layers for men as well.
Her career is a quest to the center where the dark meets the light. She continues to explore the essence of joy and share that with all whom she encounters. The hope is for eternal calm the meaning of her mantra, may peace prevail.