Susan Alexandra, the trend-setting Downtown New York fashion designer known in equal measure for her jewelry as her unmissable Instagram-friendly hand-beaded purses, has expanded her offerings. A few weeks ago, Alexandra started selling custom dollhouse miniatures of food to raise money for charity in light of recent events.
And you certainly don’t have to be a child to get a kick out of them. For those of you who are simultaneously looking for a little bit of joy right now and also miss your go-to restaurants, this is a small treat for yourself that also pays homage to the hospitality industry with custom mini versions of the meals you miss most.
"My neighbor Doria—who is a gifted baker—dropped off a slice of chocolate chess pie with whipped cream. It was incredible! I always have extra clay and paint on hand, and now, with extra time in the mix, I thought I would make her a mini version of the pie as a thank you. I posted on Instagram and people were clammering to get their own," she shared in an interview with Time Out New York.
"All of our favorite restaurants are closed or serving in limited capacity right now. What better way to appreciate the food you love and miss than to own a mini version?" Alexandra tells us. "I made a mini version of the radishes and chocolate tart for my friends at [the Lower East Side restaurant] Wildair and have been getting a lot of other requests to re-create meals from specific restaurants such as California Pizza Kitchen, Via Carota and Balthazar. I am obsessed with food, so working on mini versions of my favorite subject matter has been a pleasure!" At the time of publication, she had received 80 order requests and counting.
Each custom mini is priced at $67, with proceeds going toward the non-profit organization No Kid Hungry, which “deploys funds to ensure access to free meals for children who depend on school to provide food”—especially important when public school buildings around the country are currently closed. All you have to do is purchase a mini via her website and then send your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to make your request.
As this is Alexandra's first time crafting the clay-based miniatures, it's a work in progress. "The most challenging [one to create] so far has been a seafood tower...the architecture and tiers were so much work! The number one request has been some iteration of seafood pasta, shrimp cocktail, oysters and shrimp and grits."
Still, Alexandra is no stranger to incorporating food in her collections. Many of the motifs in her accessories involve fruit or other foods, and as someone who's infatuated with food, she's also held fashion shows at Baz Bagel and threw herself a faux-bat mitzvah, where New York's Jewish Food Society served schmaltzy popcorn.
Got photos of your Susan Alexandra restaurant mini original? We’d love to see them—and if we had our own requests, we could picture miniatures of the nasi lemak at Kopitiam, pierogi at B&H Dairy, the Broccoli Reuben at Court Street Grocers, Steve’s Key Lime Pies, a slice of cake from MeMe’s Diner or Joe’s Steam Rice Rolls….but that’s just us.
Most popular on Time Out
- The Metropolitan Opera is streaming a new batch of free performances
- The best live theater to stream today
- The best musicals now on BroadwayHD
- New Yorkers are planning a citywide singalong to “Lean on Me”
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art is offering a free online drawing class