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Lulu Land

Step Inside the Colorful World of Lulu LaFortune, a California-Based Designer With Roots in Colorado and Sights Set on the Future

Article by Katherine Owen

Photography by Will Nielsen & Spencer Blake; Art Direction by Konyin Ayuba

Originally published in Cherry Creek Lifestyle

Based in Los Angeles, the Colorado–born furniture, textile and interior designer Lulu LaFortune got her start working for names like Kelly Wearstler and James Perse. But after she found herself furloughed at the start of the pandemic, she knew it was time to debut her own eponymous brand, Lulu LaFortune Limited. 

“With this free time on my hands, I learned that a lot of small shops and craftsmen in LA were still looking to work on projects,” Lulu explains. “So with some designs in mind, I spent the summer of 2020 prototyping a collection, and I launched my own brand in October of 2020.”

Now with almost two years and several collections under her belt, she’s rapidly expanding into new categories, with goods of all sizes and functions, having initially launched her brand with large-scale pieces and lighting. 

“This most recent collection has been all about expanding Lulu LaFortune Limited into a lifestyle brand, which is the ultimate goal! With this launch you’ll find glassware, napkins, blankets and smaller pieces of furniture like cocktail tables and dining chairs,” Lulu explains. “While I love designing sofas or standout table lamps, I wanted this collection to have products that allow you to integrate the personality of my brand into your home without the huge commitment.” 

A common thread you’ll find in every collection is the desire to make something that lasts–something that’s heirloom quality. Lulu points to the staggering statistics when it comes to design industry waste: According to the EPA’s most recent estimates, just under 10 million tons of furnishings end up in the landfill each year. 

“By researching and interviewing dozens of families, I learned that furniture gets passed down very often—but those pieces that do get passed down have to have a strong purpose or a story, which can only happen if the furniture is well-made and can survive decades of use,”  Lulu explains. “So, while the reasoning behind crafting heirloom-quality pieces is to avoid the world of fast furniture, it is also to create meaningful pieces of furniture that can have a story and purpose in your home.” 

Currently, all items are made in LA, where Lulu gets to check in personally on production.

“This works really well as a small business. When working with small vendors, they don’t require an order minimum or a set amount of production time. Hopefully, I will grow to be able to make quantity and have items in stock, but right now, everything is made to order,” Lulu says. “While items are in production, I will typically stop into the shops and factories once a week to make sure my ideas are translating to how I imagined them to be.”

And though her focus is set squarely on the future—of the brand, the industry, the planet–history is woven into each and every item. Each piece is named after a craftsman or artist from the past.

“I work with a dear friend, Claire O'Neill, who is an art history genius, and we love to spend time researching notable creatives from the past,” Lulu says. “My favorite of the bunch is the names of my recently launched glassware. Each color is named after a woman who worked at the Tiffany Glass Studio. A lot of people might not know this, but while Louis Tiffany was the founder of Tiffany Studios (the creator of the famous Tiffany lamps and lampshades), there was an incredible team of women designing the patterns of the lamps, cutting the glass and creating the iconic pieces that we think of today. So I decided to honor these women by naming each of the tall tumblers I designed after them.” 

Snag a Tiffany glass or another future family heirloom a, and find Lulu on Instagram at @lulu.lafortune.