Jess Rizzuti first discovered her deeply rooted intrigue in the fashion industry as a young child. From then on she set out to work towards earning her BFA in Textiles from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. Interested in the learning about each detail of the vast fashion industry, Jess found her greatest passion lied in a unique focus, Surface Pattern Design. The specialization of this major would later lead Rizzuti to continue her education at the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology, where she perfected her knowledge of Handbag and Accessory Design.
The designer’s innate creativity and extraordinary artistic abilities allowed her to indulge in interests such as painting murals, which further encouraged her to unearth her many design influences from travel, art and history to nature, textures and exquisite colors.
After developing her initial bags by hand Jess had her first bag manufactured in 2008. She launched her first collection in 2009 encompassing rich materials, luxe styles, and details both inside and out. Rizzuti now produces the assortment at a local manufacturer in her Native New York while still developing each pattern by hand in her studio. The designer custom dyes and embosses materials to create an unparalleled richness that has become the Jess Rizzuti signature and completes each design with a complementary lining.
Jess is conscious of the impact on the environment and believes in exercising ethical practices. She earned a nomination two years in a row for her creations in cork as Best Green Handbag in the Independent Handbag Designer Awards sponsored by InStyle. The eco friendly designs utilized water-based dyes/glue, heat transferred patterns, renewable resources, and waste reduction concepts.
As Jess Rizzuti New York quickly developed a loyal following, Jess knew that she could finally contribute to another passion that she holds close to her heart, philanthropy. She became a very special part of two global organizations, Care for Kenya and Glocal Connection. Care for Kenya is an organization that helps create a source of employment and sustainable growth for the women of Nairobi. Together they created a capsule collection of handbags made of Kenyan textiles and beadwork native to the region, sold to greater benefit their cause. Jess has future plans to travel to Nairobi and work hands on with the women’s center, teaching skill and empowerment workshops. Jess also works with Glocal Connection, a business platform that develops luxury products made by traditional art forms of indigenous people. The collaboration in Guatemala with the women of Kem Ajachel produced custom hand woven and embroidered textiles. The design was created specifically for a Jess Rizzuti New York tote bag merging antiquity and modern living. A portion of the proceeds in each project directly provided to the sustainability of the communities.
Rizzuti’s bags, range from eco-friendly clutches created from wood cork to everyday polished leather satchels to embossed metallic crocodile clutches that always make a statement, and can be found at better boutiques nationwide as well as on www.jessrizzuti.com.