PBI: In 2020, you acquired the fashion label Figue and became its chief executive officer and creative director. What initially drew you to the brand?
Lange: I had been a big Figue fan and customer since its inception 10 years ago. When I heard during COVID-19 that [the brand] was winding down, it felt meant to be. I have been a brand builder and retailer my entire career. I knew Figue was a brand that I inherently understood and could grow to the powerhouse lifestyle brand it should be. Luckily for me, I was able to acquire it, rehire the fabulous team, and we are in the middle of its relaunch. Pinch me—it’s a dream come true.
Sustainability is becoming a key factor for many fashion brands. How does Figue contribute to fashion’s eco-friendly movement?
We try to produce our products using small artisans from around the world. We make a lot of our clothing in Peru and India, where we have partnered with very small, family-owned factories that do much of our beading and embroidery and even cut our tassels by hand.
What’s been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur and designer?
Don’t sweat the small stuff—or even the big stuff! Anything and everything will go wrong when you try to start something new. You absolutely can’t let it derail you. Just keep finding solutions and moving forward. It’s the only way.
Figue is known for its caftans. Where do you find your most influential inspirations when designing a new collection?
Certainly Palm Beach is inspirational. But I’m inspired by all my different travels (less so during COVID-19, of course) to Morocco, the French Riviera, Spain, the Amalfi Coast. I love poring over images of so many of the chic women of the last century who famously swanned around in glamorous caftans and other clothing looking fabulous. Everyone from Talitha Getty, Gloria Guinness, and Lee Radziwill to actresses like Marisa Berenson and Sharon Tate. The list of inspirations is endless…and when in doubt, all I have to do is open a book of Slim Aarons photos.
You once described yourself as a tight-dress-and-high-heels person. What shifted your personal style from body-con to bohemian chic?
I often say that I have entered my “caftan years,” but that’s really more of a joke than reality. I think styles change and I still want to look glamorous and elegant. But I no longer look at being tightly zipped into something as I trip in my mile-high stilettos as elegant. To me, nothing is chicer these days than a fabulous floaty dress or caftan, a stack of bold bracelets or a statement necklace, and a pair of slides. Done.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self today?
Nothing about your life is going to turn out as you expect. But that’s okay; it’s going to be a great ride! Or maybe: Do you realize how young and cute you are? Don’t be so insecure!
You’ve become known as an iconic Instagrammer. Talk to us about your account aesthetic of posting jet-setting images of retro styles you’ve spotted.
I knew I didn’t want to post selfies; I am too private for that—and too old! So I started posting images of people, places, and things that I find beautiful and glamorous. In order to make it more personal, I use these images as starting points. In my copy, I try to tell a more personal story about the image and what it reminds me of in my own life. I love that so many followers will jump in and share their experiences with me and we can have a real back-and-forth dialogue. To me, that level of connection is the best part of social media. I have met the most interesting people from all around the globe.
You’ve been close friends with celebrity designer Jonathan Adler since college, and he designed your home in Palm Beach. What was the main inspiration behind the colorful and whimsical spaces?
I wanted it to feel like a vacation—happy and light—every time I walked in the door, a real break from our home in New York City. And it does! It’s filled with palm trees, palm leaves, lacquer, animals, trellis prints, wicker, and color, color, color. I start to smile the second I approach it.
The worlds of interior design and fashion are known to intersect. How do they influence your daily life in Palm Beach?
I love spending time hunting for vintage home and fashion finds on Dixie Highway and on the island at the Church Mouse and other spots.
You bring your joie de vivre to life under the palms. What’s your favorite aspect of the Palm Beach lifestyle?
The beautiful sunny weather! I love that I can be outside under the palm trees in January. It never gets old.
What are your style tips for the ultimate Palm Beach look?
It’s easy: Throw on a long caftan in a lightweight fabric (it’s instant air-conditioning), a chic pair of sandals, and a pair of earrings. Clip your hair up, add a bit of lip gloss, and you are good to go anywhere.
Liz’s Lightning Round
Shops local at: Mario Lopez Torres furniture shop (“I collect everything
Beloved Palm Beach restos: Dinner outside at Renato’s (“Old school!”), lunch on the terrace at Trevini
Signature accessory: A vintage gold and emerald wraparound snake bracelet
Karaokes in the car to: Helen Reddy
Beach bag must-haves: Oversized sunglasses, $5 for valet parking, Dior Addict Lip Glow, and Purell
Shot on location at the Palm Beach home of Liz Lange
Liz Lange’s wardrobe: Figue
Hair: Dennis Trotta, Shibui, Palm Beach
Makeup: Deborah Koepper, Deborah Koepper Beauty, Palm Beach