Carol Muthiga is a Kenyan-American artist and designer. Born in Nairobi, she moved to Canada as a teen, where she completed her high school and university education. On graduation she moved to New York City to pursue a career in advertising and graphic design working with Oglivy & Mather, Condé Nast and Lifetime TV. After September 11th, 2001, she made a bold decision to follow her design dreams by launching her own jewelry and accessories line called ‘Kipepeo’ (a Kiswahilli word meaning ‘butterfly’).
With Kipepeo, Carol created a unique and trend-setting line of jewelry designed for the fashion forward woman. In 2006, she established her flagship boutique in downtown Manhattan’s hipster-chic NoLiTa district and successfully sold her line across the USA and internationally through luxury retailers such as Henri Bendel, Nordstrom, Harrods, Paul & Joe, Scoop, Intermix and the W Hotel boutiques.
In 2009, she followed her heart and moved to Paris, and took a hiatus to raise her daughters Chiara Lola and Siena Lorenza. Her passion for design was rekindled and Lolita Lorenzo was born. The line is inspired by Carol’s diverse cultural influences and the eternally beautiful city she calls home. Lolita Lorenzo is named for her two children.
Lolita Lorenzo Minaudière reflects a bold, luxurious and timeless aesthetic. Each piece is unique and exquisitely hand-crafted by the finest artisans in Italy, blending age-old techniques with modern technology. Lolita Lorenzo won the prestigious Vogue Italia/Altaroma 2015/16 "Who Is On Next" prize for accessories.
The Lolita Lorenzo brand is inspired by the rich, vibrant colours and graphic prints found in many of the textile markets across Africa. During her explorative excursions, Carol not only found stunning fabrics but also began a personal journey of discovery in learning the ancient cultures and traditions of this region and encountered modern day heroines in the courageous women working to raise families and to preserve the fabric dyeing and weaving skills passed down through many generations.
Lolita Lorenzo owes its contemporary styling and elegance to Carol’s core training as a graphic designer and the influence of the works of famed designers Elsa Peretti, Consuelo Casteglioni and Patricia Urquiola. The collection has been produced with the help of a talented team of Italian artisans, whose patience, passion and attention to detail have made this work possible. The design ethos of Lolita Lorenzo is to explore the vast range of possibilities to incorporate and use traditionally printed and woven African fabrics within a contemporary, geometric design aesthetic to produce a truly unique and luxurious product with the “Made In Italy” stamp.
The design concept for Lolita Lorenzo was to produce unique ‘gemstones’ inspired by the infinite variety of Tourmalines found in different parts of the world. These naturally occurring mixed crystal gemstones have a complex and changing composition with slight changes in their chemistry resulting in completely different hues and nuances of color. African wax fabrics in general offer a similarly diverse spectrum of colors and nuance.
To create the stones, pieces of fabric are set in a resin matrix to create synthetic gemstones that mimic the colored essence of Tourmaline. The intricate production process required to make the stones for each minaudière composition means each finished piece is unique as no two stones are the same. These are then combined with different types of Plexiglas® and Mazzuchelli resin.
The core essence of the Lolita Lorenzo brand is to create opportunities in the developing world. Empower women and you can change the world. Lolita Lorenzo currently works with women in rural communities to create some of the fabrics used in the bags. This has been a journey of exploration and expression of an ancient art form practiced by enterprising women who craft textile designs using Dutch Wax, Tie & Dye, and woven fabrics.