Meet Irene and Lydia Forte, the Stylish Heiresses Who Are Transforming Their Family’s Hotel Business

“It’s great to have each other for support.”

It girl - October 2017 - How Suite It Is
hotograph by Alexandra Leese, Styled by Clemence Lobert; Hair by David Wadlow at Premier hair and make-up; Makeup by Neil Young at Premier hair and make-up; Retouching by Touch Digital; Photography Assistant: Andras Bartok; Fashion Assistant: Julie Velut; Special thanks to Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte hotel, London

Even though they spent most childhood weekends and holidays at their family’s renowned hotels throughout Europe, the idea that Irene and Lydia Forte, who live in London, would someday join the family business, Rocco Forte Hotels, was never set in stone. “Our father [Sir Rocco Forte] always encouraged us to find our own areas of interest,” says Lydia, 30, a self-proclaimed food lover who, after graduating from Oxford in 2010, carved out a career in the restaurant business, managing various London haunts. Irene, 28, also an Oxford alumna, became interested in health and wellness after she spent a summer learning about organic gardening at Rocco Forte’s ­Verdura Resort, in Sicily. But by 2014, the allure of working full-time with their father at his 11 properties—which include the Hotel de Russie, in Rome, and the Hotel Savoy, in Florence—kicked in. Lydia oversees the restaurants as food-and-beverage manager, collaborating with her sister and a team of nutritionists to develop health-conscious menus. Irene heads up the spa-and-health program (“I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic”), and recently launched Forte Organics, a skincare line for the hotel group, using ingredients sourced from the garden at Verdura.

Irene and Lydia (from left) with 
their mother, Aliai Forte, at home in London, 1988.

Courtesy of the Forte family

Next year the 21-year-old hotel group will open new properties in Rome and Shanghai. “We always ask for each other’s advice and trust each other’s opinions,” says Irene, who is developing the spa while Lydia handles the cuisine. “Now we are getting our first opportunities to work on our hotels from the ground up,” adds Lydia. “It’s great to have each other for support.”

Get their look here:

How to Dress Like an Heiress

Loro Piana jacket.

Josephine Schiele, styled by John Olson

Aurélie Bidermann ring.

Courtesy of the Designer

Eddie Borgo bag.

Josephine Schiele, styled by John Olson

Brock Collection dress.

Josephine Schiele, styled by John Olson

Amedeo earrings.

Josephine Schiele, styled by John Olson

Prada shoes.

Josephine Schiele, styled by John Olson and Anne Cardena for Halley Resources

Related: It Girls Irene and Lydia Forte Reveal Their Insider Guide to Brussels

Watch: Butterflies of Paris: How Street Style Stars Do Paris Fashion Week