We had the pleasure of meeting New York-based designer Lori Weitzner for the first time at Decorex last fall where she shared with us her latest collection for her fabric line, Weitzner. We were immediately taken by her energy, authenticity and passion for her work. Her fabrics and wallcoverings are rich with texture, offer unique features and are crafted from the most interesting natural and exotic materials. After a follow-up conversation with Lori in her light-filled New York studio, we knew she'd be in good company among our Creative Types.
What inspires you as a designer?
Everything. Small things, big things, sounds, tastes, smells, colors, man-made and nature. Books, music, museums, good tea, jewelery, metals of all kinds, walking, ancient wisdom, rooms with a view...
What your best advice for an up & coming designer?
Be open to all things and be willing to try and work at anything where you will be exposed to good people and good design. Have a great attitude...a "can do" approach. Have mentors!
TOP: The "white box sanctuary," Lori's New York studio. BOTTOM LEFT: Daphne fabric is hand-crocheted from natural banana fiber (abaca). BOTTOM RIGHT: This handmade paper, Nimbus, is crafted from South American fig tree bark and can be used as a room divider when pressed between panes of glass as shown on the far right. Images courtesy of Weitzner Limited.
What’s your most successful marketing concept/partnership?
The most recent merger with Pollack.
What should we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Wonderful textiles and wallcoverings that push the envelope and are beautiful. Smart products that actually do more than just evoke beauty. Lots of handmade artisanal products...
TOP: Determining colorways for the latest collection. BOTTOM LEFT: Flipping through samples.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Color swatches organized and at the ready.
What does a typical work day like for you?
Up at 6:30 a.m. and getting breakfast for the kids and getting them up and dressed. It's stressful to get them to school on time and also have a minute to get my make up on for my day. After school drop off, I walk to my studio and pick up an herbal tea and pause a moment. Then to my studio and put on music, light the candle and start to check emails. Then mill meetings, checking color work and fabric qualities and a lunch meeting with an editor and then back to the studio for more creative work and then meeting with my business advisor for non creative work! Around 5:30 p.m. I think I will make a yoga class and don't. Then I run home to my kids and help with homework. I eat a salad from Whole Foods which is in our apartment building and then read with them until their bedtime at 9:00 p.m. Then I take a bath and read a chapter of a historical romance novel and pass out.
What are the strongest and weakest part of your business?
Color and design is the strongest. My negotiation skills are the weakest.
LEFT: Artists are often drawn to the unique properties and textures of Lori's materials. Here, her Nimbus fabric is transformed into art in the hands of shoe artist, Lloraine Neithardt. Image courtesy of Lori Weitzner Assemblage. RIGHT: Jute and cotton come together in the Zephyr fabric.
What are your favorite books or resources on art, style and/or design?
I have so many, but love books on the history of color.
How do you select or source your materials?
From meeting manufacturers through travel and industry.
LEFT: Magnetic wallcoverings (Magnetic Field from the Landscapes collection and Magnetism from the Apropos collection) fuse form with function. RIGHT: Pleated wool flannel upholstery fabric, Channels. Images courtesy of Weitzner Limited.
We know you have a lot on your plate. How do you do it all?!
I don't do it all. That is a misnomer. I end each day disappointed that I did not do more.
We hope you enjoyed this peek into Lori's world. Got a few free minutes? Check out the Style Board tool on her website to mix-and-match your favorite Weitzner fabrics and check out her blog, Assemblage, where she shares her experiences and inspirations.