Over lunch in her Chelsea studio, I had the pleasure of meeting interdisciplinary designer Lori Weitzner. As an interior designer, I know and love her textiles and wall coverings: innovative, tactile, and worldly are some of the words I might use to describe them. But Lori herself, the relaxed and warm woman I was chatting with, I was meeting for the first time.
I asked her how she got started (as a fine art major), and about the path she took along the way (graduating with a degree in textiles and apprenticing in Milan). Her big break?: a call from Jack Lenor Larsen, and with it the opportunity to independently design collections for him which bore her name. With Larsen, Lori also collaborated with Germany’s renowned Sahco from 2000 to 2012, which brought her name international recognition in the interiors market.
In 2004 Lori introduced Weitzner Limited, offering artisanal wall coverings, to a world-wide market. In 2011 she joined forces with Pollack, and in 2012 saw the launch of her first textile collection under the Weitzner brand. Weitzner’s fabrics and wall coverings grace celebrity homes including those of Julianne Moore and Will Ferrell, and often provide for costumes and sets for motion picture films such as “Gangs of New York” and “Mission Impossible.” Her designs also enhance numerous public spaces – most notably the glamorous Four Seasons Hotels and Headquarters of Google in New York.
Lori’s work is housed in the permanent collections of such museums as Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Montreal, Victoria and Albert in London, and the Cooper-Hewitt in New York City. She is the recipient of multiple design awards, including a nomination for the Chrysler Innovation award, and travels the globe lecturing on engaging the senses in design. Lori and her work have been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Interior Design, World of Interiors, Veranda, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Luxe, House & Garden (UK), The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times as well as on the Today Show and Apartment Therapy. I’m so pleased to have been able to spend some time getting to know Lori, and am thrilled to feature her in today’s style profile interview.
NAME, OCCUPATION, LOCATION.
Lori: Lori Weitzner, Interdisciplinary Designer, New York City.
MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO BE AN INTERDISCIPLINARY DESIGNER.
Lori: When I was about nine and home sick I began to draw fashion designs and was more focused on the patterns in the clothing than the shape of the clothes. I was often home sick as a kid and always drew these designs.
STEPS TAKEN TO MAKE YOUR DREAM A REALITY.
Lori: Fine arts major at Syracuse University. Changing to a textile major. Graduated with a portfolio and got my first job!
SURPRISES UNCOVERED DURING PURSUIT OF YOUR DREAM.
Lori: I had a specific style. I could not design all styles so I had to find the clients that embraced my look. That took me to Europe…the best thing to happen to me.
ELEMENTS OF YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE.
Lori: A modern and fresh spirit with a relevance to the past. A mix of unexpected materials. Tactile and luxe.
MILESTONE(S) THAT REMIND YOU: YOU’RE LIVING YOUR DREAM.
Lori: A solo exhibition of my textiles at the Art Institute of Minneapolis. I had wanted to be a fine artist but my professor told me I was not good enough. Instead, I switched to textile design and made it into a museum!
TOOLS / PRACTICES THAT OPTIMIZE YOUR LIFE ON A DAILY BASIS.
Lori: Constantly trying to be organized. I have family with two kids ages 9 and 11, full time work, travel, ninety one year old mom… trying to get
the balance right! Still working on it but exercise of some sort each day really helps…and being gluten free has given me more energy.
LIFE ADVICE YOU HOLD DEAR.
Lori: Live in the moment and “this too shall pass”.
WAY YOU LOVE TO SPEND THE DAY / EVENING AT HOME.
Lori: Hanging with my girls’ Emma and Sophie.
PHILOSOPHY ON LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAM ABOUT.
Lori: Go for what you want, not what you think is possible.
SECRET ABOUT YOU.
Lori: I love smutty, historical romance novels.
THANK YOU LORI!
Image Credits: Lori Weitzner, Sarah Sarna.