The Interrogator with Luz Ortiz

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The work of jewelry designer Luz Ortiz—her loops of gold, drops of silver, spheres of polished stone—looks less fashioned by hand than it does harvested from nature itself. Her inspirational cues are taken from, as she puts it, “organic geometry,” with influences from architecture, modern art, and industrial design. The result is a collection that beautifully embraces strength as much as it does softness, undeniably striking in its subtlety.

After a crash course in jewelry-making basics at the 92nd Street YMCA, followed by an internship with Pamela Love and a job working for Robert Lee Morris, Ortiz launched her own collection in 2014. Her work was immediately embraced by boutiques like Kai Avent-deLeon’s Sincerely, Tommy and Of a Kind, both known for their celebration of emerging talents. Publications like W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue similarly took note. Four years in, Ortiz continues to draw attention for her handmade objects made with precious metals and natural stones. She’s the jewelry go-to for women who don’t care for run-of-the-mill flash.

Below, we head to Ortiz’s studio to talk shelving tech while traveling, unforgettable Italian, and dream homes in the Dominican Republic.

luz ortiz

Place of residence:

Washington Heights, NYC.

Current occupation:

Jewelry designer.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Beach bum grandma…

Quote to live by:

“One day at a time.”

luz ortiz

First job you ever had:

Working at my cousin’s photo studio. I was about 13 years old. I worked the front taking customers orders.

Least favorite part of your day:

Waking up.

Windows down, the song you’re playing is:

“Caramelo” by Los Wálters.

Three guilty pleasures:

Lazy weekends, facials, wine…

luz ortiz

If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?

None–that sounds crazy.

You have a million dollars to spend on art, you buy…

Land to build my dream home on the beach in DR. Dress the walls with a few photographs from Ralph Gibson and Lucien Clergue. A million should do it…

Plane, train or automobile for a trip?

Plane.

What is your favorite trip?

Tropical. Going back home to the Dominican Republic, being by the beach. Fresh seafood, lots of fruits with my husband around.

luz ortiz

Personal travel ethos:

Put away your phone, be present.

Drink of choice:

White wine.

Beach house or tree house:

Beach house.

Where was the best meal you ever had and what was it?

That’s tough. One place that comes to mind is Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica, California. Classic Italian restaurant. The food is divine. I once ordered twice the homemade ravioli in white truffle sauce. Absolute favorite.

luz ortiz

What is the best news you ever received?

As of recently, no longer having student loans.

Who or what is largely overrated? Explain.

Less is more, Minimalism…

Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to?

That time I saw Dave Chappelle and Solange perform at Radio City Music Hall with my little sister. It was the perfect combo. We had a blast!

Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?

Long walks are great, getting out of the city and traveling helps. The sea, acupuncture, subway rides, or do nothing at all and let the mind wander.

Photos by Atisha Paulson for SIXTY Hotels

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