I met Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato nearly six years ago. Talented, beautiful, and identical twins (!), the two run an accessories line in New York, inspired by materials and craftsmanship across the globe. I personally own at least a dozen pieces of their jewelry, wore the Cosmic View necklace for my rehearsal dinner (see the photo in the “About” section), and gave Lizzie Fortunato jewelry and clutches as bridesmaids gifts. Recently I sat down with the two to discuss their aesthetic, current collection, and plans for the future.
Looking Lab: What is the philosophy behind Lizzie Fortunato Jewels?
Lizzie Fortunato Jewels: To create wearable art. To create jewelry where the sum is greater than the parts and every piece tells a story. To dress adventurous women of all ages.
LL: What inspires you?
LFJ: Travel, Art, Architecture and Strong Women
LL: What is the inspiration behind your fall/winter 2013 collection?
LFJ: FW13 is a fairly broad collection but I was interested in the idea of the uniform. I kept reading about fashion icons who had pared down their wardrobe to a “working uniform”—an identifiable and chic outfit that they wore all the time. The “Oxford”, “Conversation on Cool”, and “Navys and Greys” are simple but chic collars that you can wear literally every day over collared shirts or beautiful black sweaters; they make a statement but don’t get in your way. On the other end of the spectrum, I was also interested in the uniform as armor or as clothing that denotes rank and significance. This led to the more embellished statement necklaces in the collection, including “After The Gold Rush”, “Heroine”, and “Historic Modern”, which are all painstakingly embroidered with lots of small beads, pearls, semi-precious stones to create encrusted collars that are like beautiful armor.
LL: What are your favorite pieces for Fall/Winter 2013?
Lizzie: The Ready for the Country Necklace (available www.shopbop.com and pictured above)
Kathryn: The Diego Necklace (available www.charmandchain.com and pictured next)
LL: Who is your ideal client? Your muse?
LFJ: Independent women who don’t follow the trends. We like to say we dress: Trailblazers, Adventurers, Collectors, Artists, Innovators, Intellectuals, Dreamers; Women who dress to tell a story.
LL: Describe your personal style and aesthetic.
Lizzie: Clean and tailored. I often wear tapered jeans, Dieppa Restrepo loafers and a neutral blazer with my Lizzie Fortunato Amulet necklace.
Kathryn: Same, plus lots of Apiece Apart basics and shorter Lizzie Fortunato collars for me.
LL: Any personal styling tricks? Insights?
LFJ: Japanese hair cream that I was introduced to by the East Village salon, Ueno. Also, a great tailor is key. All of my pants – including jeans – are always hemmed before wearing.
LL: Where do you see yourself, and your company, in a year? 5 years? Any upcoming plans or projects?
LFJ: We are increasingly thinking about the Lizzie Fortunato lifestyle component of the brand. We have recently launched Leather Goods, which compliment our namesake jewelry line and are focusing on ways to bring inspiration, finds and keepsakes from Lizzie’s travels home to the LIzzie Fortunato customer. Stay tuned to LizzieFortunato.com for more on that in the coming months.
Watch the incredible Of a Kind video profile of them below.