Inside The Atelier: Of Lizzie Fortunato

1st May, 2014

I first encountered Lizzie Fortunato (above left) around 2006, in my early years working as a designer in New York City. She had recently moved here too and worked for the fashion publicity company that represented the label I was then designing for. Like me, she’d go home every night to toil away on her own creative pursuits, making jewelry by hand in her bedroom. I remember being so excited for her when I heard that she’d left PR to start her own accessory business, and it’s been a thrill to watch that eponymous brand blossom ever since.

So much of the success that Lizzie Fortunato has found is a testament to the business savvy of Lizzie’s twin sister, Kathryn (above right), who abandoned a career in finance in 2010 so the two could join forces. Together they are the ideal team: Lizzie the artistic visionary, Kathryn the entrepreneurial impresario. We stopped by their downtown studio earlier this week, to take a peek at what Lizzie and Kathryn have got in store for spring, get some insight into their inspirations and try to figure out just what makes their creative collaboration click.

Along the way, we fell especially in love with one necklace, added a new favorite artist to our home decor wish lists, and discovered our next dream destinationLizzieFortunato2My sister is L: my best friend and a math whiz // K: my best friend and my cooler half

The coolest thing about being a twin is L: I have someone to talk to 24-7, who usually knows what I’m thinking before I even say it LizzieFortunato3|ABOVE RIGHT| Lizzie Forunato’s ‘T Purse’ hangs from the designer’s desk chair

To be a good designer, it’s crucial to L: Stay true to yourself // K: understand your customer

The thing that would surprise people most about my job is  L: I make all the samples myself, by hand // K: I use (and love) excel all the time LizzieFortunato4|ABOVE| Lizzie Fortunato’s ‘Monet’s Garden’ necklace

When I get dressed in the morning, I think L & K: how do I make this outfit last through dinner tonight? LizzieFortunato5|ABOVE| Lizzie Fortunato’s signature ‘Double Take’ necklace

These days, the thing I wear most often is K: cropped pants, tailored blazers, Dieppa Restrepo loafers

My favorite place to shop is L: Kick Pleat in Austin, TX for edited everyday clothes, the Dries Van Noten store in Paris, Capitol in Charlotte, NC… // K: John DerianLizzieFortunato6Every woman should own L: a good blazer // K: a perfect black mule Every man should own L: a dress coat // K: a knit tie LizzieFortunato7I am happiest when L: I’m in a flea market! (Ed. note: us too!)

My greatest fashion moment was when L: I snuck out of a museum during a junior high field trip to NYC to buy black leather platforms at the Betsey Johnson store LizzieFortunato8New York’s best hidden gem is L: Erie Basin in Red Hook for endless inspiration // K: Barrio Chino’s grapefruit margarita LizzieFortunato9I’d like to steal L: an emerald shark’s tooth choker from my good friend Sara Beltran of Dezso (and I know where she lives!) // K: All of the Delpozo currently at Maryam Nassir Zadeh LizzieFortunato10I’ll never be L: gluten free // I want to be L: a good leader LizzieFortunato11My top beauty essential is L: Japanese hair wax // K: Oil of Olay LizzieFortunato12I never leave home without L: sunglasses, but I often leave home without my keys // K: cell phone, Rosebud Salve LizzieFortunato13Right now, I’m obsessed with L: Carl Aubock and Native Line (Ed note: Thanks Lizzie, we are too now!) // K: the Lizzie Fortunato Inca Cuffs, I wear mine everyday LizzieFortunato14Vintage is for L: good furniture // K: playing dress-upLizzieFortunato15|ABOVE| Lizzie Fortunato ‘Cosmic View II’ necklace

The coolest place I’ve ever been is L: Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field outside of Quemado, Mexico // K: Naoshima, Japan (an island-as-art-installation) and Jose Garzon, Uruguay LizzieFortunato16Being a glamourai means L: dressing for yourself! // K: having self confidence and being original LizzieFortunato17|CLICK HERE| for even more Lizzie Fortunato fun |CLICK HERE| to follow the twins on InstagramLF_Candomble|ARCHIVAL ADVENTURINGS| you may recall we shot tons of Lizzie Fortunato jewels for our recent Camdomblé editorial (above) // We’ve also told a host of other dope sister stories ~ like the ballad of the suffragettes, and the collaborative career archs of Coco + Breezy and Anndra Neen

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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