Originally from the Dominican Republic, jewelry designer Luz Ortiz, 30, moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was nine-years-old with early dreams of breaking into the fashion industry. She went on to study fashion design at the Art Institute of New York, but since graduating in 2013, has made a name for herself with her minimalist accessories, rather than clothes. After useful internships with Robert Lee Morris and Pamela Love, she decided to channel her love of Art Deco, industrial design, and all things mid-century modern into jewelry, and began taking basic jewelry courses at the 92nd street YMCA. “Getting into jewelry design happened naturally and unplanned,” Ortiz said. “I really enjoy the process of manipulating metal and working with different materials. Jewelry also has a different place, it's more personal and holds special connection to the person.” In 2014, she launched her first collection and her pieces were quickly spotted by buyers like Kai Avent-deLeon of Sincerely Tommy. Today, Ortiz still handcrafts all her pieces in New York, but draws inspiration from her sunny roots (and longs for a window in her current studio space).
Describe your style in three words:
Comfortable, clean, easy.
Favorite jewelry stores in New York:
I like visiting antique and vintage shops where you’ll find a range of eras and styles from art deco to mid-century. I’m fond of the Georg Jensen store and the jewelry salon at the new Barneys, which showcases a range of vintage and contemporary designers.
Favorite clothing stores in New York:
I do a lot of my shopping randomly, but a favorite store is Paracelso in Soho, which is full of eclectic pieces.
Art you were looking at when designing your most recent collection:
American industrial designs and the Tel Aviv architectural movement.
Piece of jewelry you’ve had the longest:
Gold diamonds studs from my teenage years. I sold them to a jeweler on 47th street last year.
Favorite Fall 2016 designer accessories you saw on the runway:
Best recent discovery:
The facials at Heyday.
Style pet peeve:
PJ’s in public.
A simple, silk, slip wedding dress from Jenny Yoo, and a vintage Prada backpack.
New studio with a window and some great natural light, Loewe crocodile slip on loafers.
Most likely all black, hair out, maybe lipstick, Silver Drop Pendant necklace from the collection, and mix of rings.
Suede tan loafers I purchased from my last trip in Italy. I regret not getting three pairs.
Balenciaga mini city bag.
Something you would never wear:
Most prized possession(s) in your jewelry box:
My engagement ring, which I designed. It's an emerald cut and is inspired by Art Deco.