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Studio Visit: Lulu Frost

STORY BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – SHOP Lulu Frost – PHOTOS BY BRIDGET BADORE FOR THE STYLE LINE

Lisa Salzer has seamlessly blended family history with contemporary fashion. In

her role as the founder of the industry’s celebrated brand, Lulu Frost, Lisa has created a space in which she can give dynamic, vintage pieces a new life. As she eloquently put it in our interview below, “I develop core styles that I feel will have long-lasting staying power and be universally loved regardless of what culture a person comes from.”

In a nutshell, Lulu Frost’s origins stem from Lisa’s grandmother, Elizabeth Rock Frost, whose professional endeavors in the jewelry business inevitably shaped the ethos of the Lulu Frost brand. Knowing this, and with Lisa’s love of vintage, a penchant for personal style, and passion for storytelling, we weren’t surprised to learn just how considerate her design process is when we stopped by the Flatiron HQ.

For those who haven’t visited (yet), the multilevel studio also serves as a shoppable showroom, production space, and office for Lisa’s growing team. We arrived in the midst of a busy morning, where Lisa kindly made time to walk us through the studio, discuss the origins of the brand and share an intimate glimpse into her family’s past – which we soon discovered was brimming with enriching stories that have ultimately shaped Lisa’s own story.

As Lisa embarks on a new chapter in Lulu Frost’s evolution, we were thrilled to spend a morning learning more about what’s in store for this pioneering designer. Without giving too much away, discover our conversation with Lisa along with beautifully captured moments from our studio visit by Bridget Badore for The Style Line.

My name is Lisa Salzer-Wiles. I’m a Scorpio, love

reading, listening to old records and vintage hunting. I value real, down-to-earth people, and kindness. I enjoy cooking and spending time with my friends and family.

Looking back on almost 15 years in business how has your definition of “personal style” evolved and why is this aspect an important part of the Lulu Frost ethos? 

My personal sense of style has stayed true over my years in business – I love meaningful style that tells a story, whatever that story may be. I’m not a sucker for trends – I tend to wear what I know looks great on me and stick with silhouettes that flatter my body type.

With Lulu Frost’s penchant for vintage in mind, what do you look for when sourcing pieces now as opposed to when you first started?

I use the same criteria for sourcing vintage – it has to be unique, have a soul and a great vibe. Some pieces may be amazing, but if they have a bad vibe or are being sold by a negative person, I steer clear of them.

From The Plaza to Zodiacs, what excites you the most about developing core collections? How do they keep you focused on your overall vision as a designer?

My core collections really speak to my values of what it means to be human – I love creating collections like the Zodiacs and Plaza numbers and letters that truly resonate with the people that wear them. I develop core styles that I feel will have long-lasting staying power and be universally loved regardless of what culture a person comes from.

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“I use the same criteria for sourcing vintage – it has to be unique, have a soul and a great vibe. Some pieces may be amazing, but if they have a bad vibe or are being sold by a negative person, I steer clear of them.”

Do you have any unexpected sources of creative inspiration and what is your favorite aspect of life at the studio?

My creativity can come from anywhere, but one of my favorite sources is contemporary art. I love visiting art galleries and fairs and seeing the great creativity that comes from artists’ minds. My favorite aspect of life at the studio is that no two days are alike. Sometimes I’m designing, other times I’m working with buyers to create exclusive styles, and my favorite times are when our wonderful clientele come into the Lulu Shop where I can get to know them and help them to find the perfect styles to suit their look.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often? 

I wish people asked me more about my interest in numerology so I can give them their own personal reading!

How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you hope Lulu Frost is playing a role in this?

Creativity is a huge part the world’s bigger conversations – we need to use our influence as designers to create a positive impact on our world. I am currently working with an amazing organization called Her Future Coalition, which works with survivors of sex trafficking in Calcutta India to give these young ladies and women shelter and employment in the jewelry industry. I’m designing an iconic bracelet to represent hope and the vibrant future of these women, and I think this kind of work is crucial to impacting the global conversation on women’s rights.

How would you advise the next generation of jewelry designers to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?  

I would advise young designers to follow their passion and if they are able, to align a portion of their business with a cause that they believe in. If we all play a small part in making the world a better place, major changes can be accomplished in the right direction.

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“Creativity is a huge part the world’s bigger conversations – we need to use our influence as designers to create a positive impact on our world.”