September 11, 2001 made a huge impact on America politically, socially and economically .In the wake of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 many reflect back on how that day changed their lives forever. The tragedy of 9/11 made a huge impact not only in Designer Lawrence Pizzi’s personal life but his business as well. Lawrence says ” 9/11 Will always be a day of darkness for me. I not only lost 7 friends in the towers, but my company came to a standstill and died. I can already see in the future my boutiques stripping the windows of any displays, placing TV’s in them, closed and just playing those visions from hell”.
Lawrence Pizzi is a native of Toronto, Canada who launched the Lawrence Pizzi Haute Couture collection in 1998 and his ready- to- wear in 1999. He studied tailoring in Milan and fashion in LA, Toronto, Shanghai and New York. Lawrence Pizzi is known for his energy and passion for fashion.
Lawrence Pizzi Haute couture collection are high-end Fabrics fashioned into luxury garments his line includes LawrencePizzi UOMO for him and Lawrence Pizza DONNA for her. Lawrence Pizzi Couture is a full-service couture house offering high-end garments to clients for their private and public use. His clientele includes names like The Killers, Lauren Hill and Patti La Belle. Mercedes Benz of Buffalo Fashion week the Toronto native continues to pick up the pieces from 9/11 as he relaunches the S/S 2012 Lawrence PIzzi Haute couture and ready to wear collection.
Lawrence Pizzi states “Women are WOMEN – with hips, butts, and breasts. Stop expecting your clients to be a size “0”. Curves are what set women apart from men, and what designers should work with – not against”
Lawrence Pizzi will be showing his new line at Mercedes Benz of Buffalo Fashion week September 10 at Buffalo Niagara Convention center in Buffalo NY. For tickets: http://www.fashionweekbuffalo.com/
I had the opportunity to interview Lawrence Pizzi about his runway show for Buffalo fashion week and the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.
TB: Now 9/11 made a huge impact in your life now and since we are approaching the anniversary how much of impact will it have going forward?
Lawrence Pizzi: 9/11 Will always be a day of darkness for me. I not only lost 7 friends in the towers, but my company came to a standstill and died. I can already see in the future my boutiques stripping the windows of any displays, placing TV’s in them, closed and just playing those visions from hell. (I had to stop – all teared up).
TB: I hear you studied tailoring in Milan at the world-renowned Istituto Artistico del’Abbigliamento Marangoni, How did you get started in fashion?
Lawrence Pizzi: I started making my own clothes in High school. I was not finding what I wanted to wear and had to make it myself. I did not sew them, but I would paint on t-shirts, cut up shirts, rip off sleeves (Ah the 80’s). I went in to fashion because of that. After graduating Marangoni, I moved to LA and worked with a lady I interned for – a large earthquake made me run back to the east coast and I worked for Alfred Sung Collection in Toronto – that is what I would consider my real “Grown Up” design job.
TB: Womenswear Haute Couture is shown in January in Milan and Paris will you’re line be focused on Couture or ready to wear?
Lawrence Pizzi: I would like to take part in the Roma Alta Moda shows. A friend of mine from Marangoni already shows there and wants to get me over there. I have sewn garments for his shows so the people hosting the show already know my quality and craftsmanship. This show right now will be a mix of both luxury ready-to-wear and couture. Couture is needed to move fashion ahead in trends… Even my luxury ready-to-wear line borders on couture (at least for most American retailers). My menswear also features Haute Couture.
TB: Now as a veteran in the fashion world with many of your designs being featured in Film as well as TV what do you want people to take away from your show at Buffalo Fashion week?
Lawrence Pizzi: Fashion should be fun and exciting to wear. If someone wants a suit (an outfit) they can shop countless designers and labels, but if some one wants to wear an outfit that if fun, creative and uncommon (a fit-out), then I am the man they should look for. Having struggled to rebuild my self, my life, and my lines from 9/11 my lines are made with my 200% newfound love for life and the craft I live and breath.
TB: Now I may be going out on a limb here but when I watch Madmen series I immediately thought of you?
Lawrence Pizzi: Ooooo??? Well, I do not watch too much TV. I have been making all my samples. I just sent home my 3 assistants tonight. We were beading black lace for a men’s shirt. I need to u-tube this show and get back to you on this one. FYI – My students in FIT have told me the same thing so I might just watch a few episodes and see for myself – after the show…
TB:Is your focus mainly on branded merchandise or private label?
Lawrence Pizzi: I am going to rebuild my label, grow my client list, and keep the public in view of what I am creating. Eventually I would love to branch out and offer different labels at several different price points. I want to change people’s attitude towards fashion and make them want to run into their closets in the morning and have a ball dressing!!!!!
TB: What advice you have for upcoming designers?
Lawrence Pizzi: Work for other people first. Make mistakes and learn with other people’s money. And, if you start your own line…. be true to what you create. You are going to be married to your work, and who wants to marry “Ugly”
TB: What do you think women want that many designers ignore?
Lawrence Pizzi: Women are WOMEN – with hips, butts, and breasts. Stop expecting your clients to be a size “0”. Curves are what set women apart from men, and what designers should work with – not against. Yes, I used to cut several small sizes, but I always offered my garments up to a 46-dress size. And even larger ones for special orders.
TB: What are some of the goals for your line?
Lawrence Pizzi: I would love to have a creation of mine on the President and First Lady, along with at least a gown or suit walk down a red carpet for the Oscars. Also, on the business end building a few good and sound relationships with retailers: storeowners know their clients, working with them to dress people. In my heart I would like to reach out and help children. Too many American children go to bed hungry, not having had a proper meal. One more goal that I know I will be working on is bringing sewing jobs back to the USA and NY State. My garments will be produced locally by skilled craftsmen paid a fair wage for their art using only the finest materials from Italy, France and Japan (until textile mills start up in the USA again).
To Shop: http://www.lawrencepizzi.com/
Lawrence Pizzi Haute Couture
526 Seventh Ave, 9th Fl
New York, NY 10018