The New York-based jewelry designer making waves with her sculptural pieces.
WHEN VISITING LUZ ORTIZ’s midtown New York studio, the feeling is akin to stepping into an alternate universe. Diamond and gemstone dealers make drop offs through sliding glass windows and jewelry makers sit hunched over their machines, creating magic in the unlikeliest of places.
"I don’t want to put an age on my designs. I want them to last and not be driven by seasons or trends."
For Luz Ortiz, who debuted her line in 2013 after studying fashion at the Art Institute of New York City, jewelry has always been a more interesting counterpoint than clothes. “Be it a good pair of earrings or a necklace, it was always within me. I love accessories and jewelry,” says the softly spoken designer, who hand makes all of her pieces in New York City. An apprenticeship with jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris followed her studies, in addition to some jewelry making classes and a stint working with Pamela Love, where she developed a passion for the process of jewelry making. Much like the iconic designer Morris—who was one of the first to partner with a fashion designer and put jewelry on the runway (Donna Karan, in fact)—Ortiz’s pieces mimic the lines of the body.
Mid-century design is also an influence—she cites art deco and industrial elements as constant influences. “Inspiration can be an industrial element, or the form can be a detail or sort of mid century aspect. It’s a mix of masculine and feminine details.” Take her semi circle earrings, which can be swung out to create a full circle, or tucked back in for an interesting effect (and are quickly becoming favorites amongst fashion editors). Innovative and unusual design is at the forefront of Ortiz’s creations; the type of cool and quirky shapes that make you stop a girl on the street to ask where she bought her ring or necklace from. Constructed from gold and silver and unique shades of moonstone, Ortiz has a particular penchant for beautiful earrings and chokers. “I don’t want to put an age on my designs, she says. I want them to last and not be driven by seasons or trends.”
Follow Luz @luzortiz
Not much really, every now and then I'll have oatmeal with fruit. But I always have warm lime water first and then lots of coffee throughout the morning.
2. What was your last dream about?
Something about traveling.
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Going back in time.
4. What is your spirit animal?
A female Black Panther.
5. What is your greatest creative achievement?
Working for myself and learning about running a small business while balancing designing and creating.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
Elsa Peretti, she has created a wonderful world of sculpture jewelry.
7. What is your favorite song?
That's a hard one, I have a few favorites. It's a long list.
8. Favorite artists?
Achille Castiglioni, Art Smith, and Valentine Schlegel just to name a few.
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A nice pair of relaxed man cut trousers with the perfect cotton shirt, sleek penny suede loafers, and my Nova rings.
10. Any hidden talents?
Making good cocktails.