Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast and Banter with the Fortunato Twins

Last week we were given a treat when Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato stopped by McMullen for breakfast and a little banter. We sat down with the amazing duo over mimosas and muffins to hear all about how they started their amazing jewelry and handbag line, and to take a sneak peek at the gorgeous new Fall 2013 collection. 
After gaining a following at Duke University stringing beads and selling them to fashionable girls who would line up outside the twins dorm room, the Fortunato girls realized they had something going.  After an education in finance for Kathryn and a brief stint in fashion PR for Lizzie, the girls decided to start the line.
When asked about their technique, Lizzie responds that the materials come first and they drive what the piece will ultimately become.
Treating each piece like a treasure hunt, Lizzie and Kathryn search all over the east coast for amazing finds that they can incorporate into their jewelry. One of the most important aspects of the business is that they keep as much production as possible within the U.S, only sending things overseas for intricate handwoven beading or embroidery techniques.
Lizzie and Kathryn say that the relationships they build with their vendors, learning their processes, and getting their industry advice is the most rewarding part of the business.

Over the past year the girls have decided to incorporate semi-precious stones into their pieces, as well as a line of gorgeous, sumptuous leather goods.
As they gain more and more of a following,  Lizzie and Kathryn have realized that their pieces span all age groups and types of women. When asked who their core customer is, they almost scoff at the thought. They don't have a particular muse, but design for women who are 
"trailblazers, adventurers, collectors, artists, innovators, intellectuals, engaged, dreamers....women who dress to tell a story."
And the girls tell their own story through their pieces. They approach designing and their customer with intelligence, humor and thought and recognize that fashion is not just about what you are wearing,  but about how it makes you feel, what it makes you think of, and how it accelerates your senses.
It was truly inspiring to meet these bright, talented young women. We love their collections and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the near future.

Stop by McMullen to take a look at the new Lizzie Fortunato Spring 2013 collection
Or click the link below to shop online



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