Posted: Sep 27 2018
by: Shanan Kurtz

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Friends For 10: Christene Barberich of Refinery29

To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we’re celebrating the tastemakers, collaborators and like-minded business women who have championed & cherished the Lizzie Fortunato brand for over a decade. Friends for 10 is a series of short interviews that introduces you to these very women. They are our supporters and muses. Just like you, they are the people who’ve shaped our brand and made Lizzie Fortunato, well … Lizzie Fortunato. #LF10 
In fashion circles Christene Barberich needs no introduction... as the host of the podcast Unstyled and co-founder and global editor-in-chief of Refinery29 (which now employs over 500 people worldwide), she’s a staple at fashion weeks, knows everyone in the industry and is a vintage guru. 13 short years ago, Refinery29 was a tiny blog with only 4 co-founders - and also happened to be my complete obsession. I remember waiting eagerly for their fashion / culture / NYC-centric stories to be posted and then feasting on them for hours. (Side note: Remember when blogs would publish new content once a week instead of once a minute?!). So, it’s somewhat surreal to have one of the women who founded this empire as today’s Friend For Ten. She’s a powerhouse in the NY fashion industry and a champion for women in all industries and we feel proud and fortunate to have her on our side.

Q & A:



1. What is your first (or favorite!) memory of Lizzie / Kathryn / the brand?:

CB: I mean, it has to be meeting them for the first time and just being totally taken by their energy and focus as a team. From the very beginning, both Lizzie and Kathryn have exhibited such unwavering determination to grow and develop their vision as designers and businesswomen. Plus, they also happen to be two of the kindest and coolest women I know.

2. Are you a Lizzie (creative) or a Kathryn (business)?:

CB: I think I used to exclusively be a Lizzie, but having my own company for the past 13 years, I’ve grown to know how important it is to have the business acumen to back up your creative ideas. I might be more of a Lizzie by nature, but I’m very focused on cultivating my inner Kathryn, too.

3. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary (crazy, right?). What’s your favorite (personal) milestone that you’ve experienced in that last 10 years?:

CB: For me personally, it’s growing Refinery29 from a niche website and shopping destination to a global media company that I believe has truly redefined how publications, platforms, and media connect to women and engage them across every facet of their lives. It’s so thrilling to see so many women-led companies, like Lizzie Fortunato, pushing their own agendas and challenging what role their messages/products/services can play in a woman’s life. It’s about being additive and enhancing the world around us, not just making more “stuff.”

4. What is your favorite Lizzie Fortunato piece from the Fall’18 collection?:

CB: Definitely the red enamel “10” charm necklace. It’s the kind of piece I will probably wear forever...with everything.

5. What is your favorite way to style statement jewelry?:

CB: There’s no rhyme or reason to it….for me, you just have to go with what you feel.



6. What is your favorite accessory (this could be a belt / a watch / a pet / whatever!); Why?:

CB: At 7 months pregnant it has to be my Birkenstocks and my impossibly chic compression socks. Also, my metallic gold fanny pack by Gabriele Frantzen...I wear it almost everyday.

7. We’re all about original dressers...what’s the weirdest thing in your closet? How do you accessorize it?:

CB: Probably this vintage “body” jewelry thingy...imagine a necklace that drapes around your whole torso. I found it at a vintage store on a mannequin and had to get it, even though I’m pretty sure it was part of a period costume at some point. I actually wore it over a vintage gown for a dinner honoring Rachel Zoe, and the first thing she asked me when we met was where I got it. It’s weird but totally special.

8. Small but impactful advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?:

CB: Write your promises/commitments to yourself in your journal. Return to it weekly, daily if you can. And make those promises sacred, because only you can.

9. What gets you out of bed in the AM?:

CB: My cat, Phoebe, usually around 5:30. That and fresh brewed coffee.

10. Secret to your success?:

CB: Showing up and doing things constantly that push me beyond my comfort zone.


Worlds Collide: Lizzie Fortunato x Refinery29



11. Any secret talents?:

CB: Juggling and remembering lyrics to almost every top 40 song from the 70s.

12. Beach or Mountains?:

CB: Beach. No bears on the beach.

13. Favorite place you've ever traveled?:

CB: Finland or New Mexico with my husband.

14. One item you can't live without when you travel______?:

CB: Sweater, rose water mist, and healthy snacks.


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