Lizzie Fortunato Jewels' mantra is that high-end jewelry should not be limited to precious materials. Designer Elizabeth Fortunato uses ecofriendly found and reclaimed objects from around the world, while her twin sister, Kathryn, handles the business end of the company. The young women have grown from winning over their peers during their days at Duke to becoming favorites of Condé Nast editors, and they recently designed jewelry for VPL's runway show. With their notably statement pieces taking New York by storm, we sat down with the dynamic duo to talk about old-school Betsey Johnson, Obama, and the open road.
Your spring line has a summer-camp feel. What's your inspiration for fall?
Elizabeth: The collection is called “Long May You Run” and is inspired by the open road, particularly the American West. I was influenced by my own travels through the West and was thinking about this modern girl ditching the city in favor of a Harley and adventures in the desert. There’s lots of leather, studs, coral, and turquoise. It’s a little rougher.
Two other twin designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, have spoken of their special, psychic twin connection. Do you two share that as well?
Kathryn: We like to think we do. As kids, we used to pretend we could read each other’s minds.
Any advice for young, aspiring jewelry designers?
E: Work tirelessly; there is always another young jewelry designer in the wings ready to replace you. And oversee everything yourself in the early stages. No one can implement your vision like you can.
K: Even the best product will never sell if no one knows about it. Go out and push your product.
Which other jewelry designers do you love?
E: Alyssa Norton, Ligia Dias, Natalia Brilli, Philip Crangi, Irene Neuwirth, Scott Wilson … the list goes on.
K: Arielle de Pinto’s work is amazing as well.
In an ideal world, who would you love to see wearing Lizzie Fortunato Jewels?
E: Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Chanel Iman — she’s stunning.
K: Michelle Obama!
What was the first designer item you ever bought?
E: I got a pair of black leather and wood platform Betsey Johnson heels on a field trip to NYC in junior high. I was supposed to be in a museum.
K: I scored an amazing Miu Miu doctor bag from my mom’s closet. After that, a pair of Valentino spectator pumps.
What current trends do you like?
E: Saving. 'Tis the season for spending only on investment pieces.
K: TOMS. I got my first pair years ago and now they’re everywhere. It’s great to give back fashionably.
Where do you shop in the city?
E: Maryam Nassir Zadeh in the LES, Albertine in the West Village, Pas de Deux in the East Village, Stuart & Wright in Fort Greene.
K: 3.1 Phillip Lim in Soho, Chuckies shoe sales.
Any item you're lusting over right now?
E: I love Richard Nicoll’s color-block shirts for spring, Dieppa Restrepo’s loafers, blazers from Jeffrey Monteiro and the Row, and Golden Goose boots with brass hardware. My fall/winter Western-bound girl would definitely rock those. But I’m buying a plane ticket to India instead.
K: A Wayne Thiebaud cake painting for my bedroom.
What do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
E: The perfect, properly fitting blazer. And statement jewelry.
K: Well-tailored black pants.
What's something you never leave the house without?
E: Chains, needles, threads, and wire in my bag. I always need something to do on the subway.
K: My Billykirk satchel. It fits look books, my BlackBerry, Moleskine, heels, my current reading. My life is in there.
Most Viewed Stories
Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
It’s Finally Possible to Understand What Happened to Amanda Knox
The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in 2016
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Reportedly Broke Up
Ask a Boss: My Co-worker Wants Everyone to Call Her Boyfriend Her ‘Master’!
Ask Polly: Should I Try to Help My Alcoholic Friend?
Finally Someone Called Donald Trump a Giant Baby and It Was Michelle Obama
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Outrageous Party Photos From Andy Warhol’s Factory Days
Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
The Zoe Report
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutYour Zits Are Actually Keeping You Young
New research suggest they are nature’s anti-ager.Rihanna’s Paris Fashion Week Show Involved a Lot More Purple Satin Than Anyone Was Expecting
Pastels were a major theme.Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
It’s a beautiful country!College Student Printed Out Her Roommate’s Subtweets and Posted Them in the Dorm in Today’s Best College Drama
She printed out every subtweet and posted them on a bulletin board.The Y Is Back in YSL, But Not Much Else Is Yet
Anthony Vaccarello’s debut collection falls back on label classics. Plus: Young Parisian designers experiment.Prince Married to Commoner Still Too Good to Tweet
Their 'first tweet' was not impressive.Finally Someone Called Donald Trump a Giant Baby and It Was Michelle Obama
It was inevitable.What’s Going to Happen to Angelina’s Jewelry From Brad?
She has quite a few personal pieces from Brad Pitt that might wind up on the auction block.Models at Margiela Looked Like Rainbow Brite Alien Angels
Cosplay for characters that haven’t been invented yet.Senate Approves Long-Delayed Zika-Funding Bill
The $1.1 billion measure is expected to pass the House later today.
“Campaign stress?”Emma Watson and Justin Trudeau Hold International Wokeness Summit
Rude of them to not invite the American delegate, Matt McGorry.Whoopi Goldberg on Vetements and Burning Bridges
The comedian is trading The View for a higher profile in the fashion world.This Gentle Mask Kills Zits Overnight
And it doesn’t stink.What Really Happens Backstage at the Shows
Runway beauty used to be pretty low-key. Now it’s one of the main events.Gary Johnson Calls in Supernatural Powers for Election Help
Melissa Joan Hart is the new Connecticut chair for the Gary Johnson campaign.Kim Kardashian Assaulted by the Same Guy Who Grabbed Gigi Hadid
He ran up and kissed her ass.The FDA Is Finally Going to Update the Term ‘Healthy’
Currently, foods that are low in fat but high in sugar can use it, which, no.Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
Kellyanne Conway made a Freudian slip.Meet the Designer Who Launched a Hit Label From His Apartment
Talking to Atlein designer Antonin Tron about his unconventional debut.