Posted: Aug 22 2018
by: Shanan Kurtz

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Friends For 10: Kate Towill of Basic Projects

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 

Kate has been our BFF since our parents threw a dinner party together sometime in the mid 90's, and stuck us in a room, and told us to entertain ourselves. Since then, we've lived together, traveled the world together, performed "Best Lady" duties in each other's weddings, and inspired each other. Kate runs Basic Projects, a Charleston-based design and hospitality firm, with her husband Ben Towill, is the mother of our god-son, and defines Girl Boss.

Q & A:


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

KT: Lizzie sewing handmade labels on her homemade clothes and jewelry when we were in fifth grade and Kathryn’s rhythmic [gymnastics] performances.

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

KT: A little bit of both. The girls may not admit it, but they're good at both.

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

KT: The Port of Call Clutch!



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

KT: I either show the statement in the earrings or the necklace, never both for me! Lately I’ve been loving a statement earring for weddings or events with a simple thin gold chain around my neck, or nothing!

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

KT: My Manufacture Pascal Petit Kodara, Light-Blue Suede Purse that Margot (the founder) gave me when I had my son, Oscar.

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

KT: A vintage Spanish bullfighting jacket that I wear to costume parties. It’s beautiful and a tad too tight, which makes me think of how small those matadors are! Definitely wear it with statement earrings or a thin matador tie.



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

KT: Patience & Balance. Seems obvious but they are so important. Unplugging is also so important to the creative process. Try to keep a work/play balance in your life and always listen. It’s ok to be the quietest at the table. As James Dean famously said: “Only the gentle are ever really strong.”

8. Secret to your success?:

KT: Never stop learning. Ask a lot of questions.

9. My first job was _____:

KT: A waitress in Nolita.

10. What is the most played song on your phone (or iPod):

KT: Boots of Spanish leather by Bob Dylan.

11. Favorite place you've ever traveled?:

KT: Patagonia, Chile.


"It’s ok to be the quietest at the table. As James Dean famously said: “Only the gentle are ever really strong.”

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