Accessories brand Lizzie Fortunato is taking a measured approach to growth, relaunching its e-commerce site today and preparing to enter its first department store, Neiman Marcus, after seven years in business.
“Until now [lizziefortunato.com has] been low-maintenance, but a good source of revenue that’s given us the conviction to relaunch,” said Kathryn Fortunato, cofounder and head of sales and operations, who runs the company with her twin sister, cofounder and creative director Lizzie Fortunato.
Even though e-commerce has not been a focus for the company, it has developed into the brand’s largest point of sale domestically. Next week, the company’s fall collection of jewelry and leather goods will hit the site, which was designed by Brooklyn-based firm Winsome Brave. The site will incorporate content from Lizzie Fortunato’s social channels and blog to create a more immersive brand experience.
The 29-year-old Fortunato sisters expect e-commerce, as well as the brand’s introduction to Neiman’s, to drive significant growth for the remainder of this year and next. Lizzie Fortunato will be carried at Neiman’s Beverly Hills; San Francisco; Dallas; Coral Gables, Fla.; Boca Raton, Fla., and Short Hills, N.J., doors beginning this weekend.
The brand generated $1 million in retail sales last year, a 48 percent increase, and the company is looking for $1.5 million in sales this year and $2 million in 2015. Neiman’s e-commerce site will carry the brand starting with the resort collection in November.
Smaller leather goods — which appeared in the resort 2015 collection, but won’t see a full rollout until spring — is another avenue of growth. Clutches currently retail for $350, and the majority of small leather goods will cost less than $200. Zip pouches and passport and sunglass cases will be functional first — but also embody Lizzie Fortunato’s whimsical, travel aesthetic (think prints with pyramids or sunglasses).
Lizzie Fortunato is carried in more than 100 doors worldwide, including Kirna Zabête; Intermix; Ten Over Six; Hampden Clothing in Charleston, S.C.; Le Bon Marché in Paris, and Harvey Nichols in London. The business was started with a $10,000 investment from Kathryn Fortunato, and has not received any funding or outside investments.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast