Interview: Designer Lori Weitzner

Recently in Sydney to promote her latest range of fabrics and wallcoverings, Lori Weitzner stopped by the South Pacific Fabrics showroom to launch the collections and talk through her design process. Vogue Living style director Alexandra Gordon caught up with Weitzner to discuss her design process and what inspires her day-to-day.

Lori Weitzner Sydney

Lori Weitzner began her design firm Weitzner Limited in 2004 and, on top of developing her own lines, has taken fabric commissions from the likes of Sahco, Missoni and Samuel & Sons, as well as developing packaging concepts for Estée Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and Calvin Klein.

Weitzner’s timeless aesthetic has also landed her jobs in the film industry, ranging from period dramas like Shakespeare in Love and Gangs of New York to contemporary action film Mission: Impossible. Her latest fabrics range, Soiree, and wallcoverings collection, Archipelago, were launched last month in Sydney with a presentation by the designer in South Pacific Fabrics‘s Sydney showroom.

Alexandra Gordon: Can you tell me a bit about the way you like to work?

Lori Weitzner: We have a lovely design studio in Chelsea, NYC. It is called the ‘White Box’, as it is all white and very serene. We take our inspirations and then make actual paintings, drawings, and prototypes: we all stay connected to our roots as artists as we design, then we work closely with our manufacturers to develop our wallcovering or fabric. Colour is part of our DNA – we are constantly colouring with nuance to get the exact colours we want. Those subtleties can make a world of difference! We launch collections twice a year.

VL: Where do you find the inspiration for the collections?

LW: I know this sounds so obvious, but we really get our inspiration from everything and everywhere: cities, jewellery, handwritings, artifacts, nature, architecture, poetry, just to name a few.

VL: Which of the fabrics and wallpapers do you currently have at home?

LW: Magnetism, my magnetic linen wallcovering, is great in our kids’ room where we can put up their artwork and One Direction posters! My cut velvets for pillows and silk/linen for roman shades and so on… with each new collection I make new pillows to put on my sofas.linebreak

Lori Weitzner Sydney

linebreakVL: What are you most excited about at the moment?

LW: The handmade part of our collection where we are working with artisans around the world to create sophisticated product. This is a wonderful and sustainable way to work.

VL: Is there a particular colour that you are seeing everywhere at the moment? How do you determine your colour palette?

LW: Lots of white, all shades of white. People long for the calm of white after looking at computers and iPhones all day long.

VL: Can you tell me what you are currently working on?

LW: A couture collection of fabrics that are very fashion forward and mainly done in Italy, as well as some very new and innovative wallcoverings, and an indoor/outdoor collection that you will want to use everywhere. These all launch this Fall so I am very excited. Most exciting also is a book I am working on – it is about finding our own creativity and inspirations.

Lori Weitzner Sydney

VL: You came to Sydney last month to launch your latest collection. Can you tell me about your connection with the city?

LW: I have travelled all over the world, really. And other than NYC I cannot think of another place I could imagine living but Sydney. The light, the sky, the warmth of the people, the energy… I have been eight times now, this last month was my most recent and my feelings have not changed!

Lori Weitzner Sydney

Soiree and Archipelago are now available through South Pacific Fabrics.

Words: Dijana Kumurdian
Photography: Samantha Hanna

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