Fitzsu is a Los Angeles-based company started by Su Sazama and Fitz, a married couple passionate about modern design, contemporary art, architecture, and gourmet food and wine. Bringing the best of modernity to the table through designer brands and a curated collection of stylish goods, Fitzsu introduces personalized online shopping and convenient bridal registry service through their website.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. We are the married couple Fitz and Su. We approach everything we do as an art project. We believe in quality of craft, efficient workflows and personal relationship. Our goal is to elevate the buying experience of the curated collection of goods we sell to an art form. To accomplish this we created The Living Design Store, an interactive residential home in Los Angeles. Since we only sell home accessories; living, working and selling our products from an actual home (our home) seemed an obvious solution. How we interact with the objects we sell and use in our daily lives is then shared online at Fitzsu.com. We often refer to ourselves as just a couple of struggling conceptual performance artists.
How has living in Los Angeles affected your work? You rarely meet someone who is originally from Los Angeles. Most people come here with a dream. This makes it a very optimistic place and that rubs off. Additionally when couples meet and decide to get married, the families are often from two separate faraway places. Since our wedding gift registry is a big part of our business, we quickly saw the value of an online web store. We launched Fitzsu.com in 2001, making us one of the oldest “Design Stores” online today. Our continued success is possible by the many adventurous individuals who come to LA in search of something better.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? There is no question that we are living in the dawn of a new age. The digital age is changing the way we do everything. As artists we have long dreamed about being a part of something new, something that brings progress to the world. The internet has completely changed the way people shop for the things they need or want. Thus far, that has been accomplished by the lowest common denominator by big box stores that focus on the lowest price with little or no concern for the patron’s experience. We believe the web offers us a way to connect with like-minded people in a way that was never possible before. Our goal is to raise the level of the user experience online until it is better than one they could physically experience in a brick and mortar store. This is a lofty goal; but we believe can make a good argument that this will be a reality.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? We just spent three years building the foundation for the project that we plan to spend the rest of our lives making. Everyone wants to build the greatest website in the world. In our attempt to do this, we have created a vehicle to deliver our ongoing projects rather than seeing the launch itself as a finished project. We see Fitzsu.com as the beacon for our home, The Living Design Store where we create all of our work.
Recently we have:
– Shot over 9,000 original photographs
– Produced over 60 videos
– Created an ongoing series called “Table of the Month” where we feature the products we sell, using them, having dinner parties, and sharing the results.
– We also share many of our one off projects like the Traveling Museum Picnic which we created for The Architectural and Design Museum.
We have several upcoming projects that are still just in the planning stages. The basis for them, as with everything we do, is that art is greater as an activity than it is when it sits on a pedestal.
If you were a drink what drink would you be? Champagne. We learned a long time ago that it is impossible to have an argument when you are drinking Champagne. This is a secret we pass on to all the bride and grooms who hold their wedding gift registries online with Fitzsu.com and it is also why you will always find a bottle of Champagne in our own fridge.
How did your interest in your work begin? We both found our way to the world of art and design on our own. However in 1992 Fitz was operating Space Gallery out of the Flat-Iron building in Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown and was Director of what would be the 3rd Around the Coyote Art festival when he met Su at an event mixer. There was an amazing amount of similar interest but the item that sealed our future collaboration was a rare item that Su produced at evening’s end and Fitz matched this by producing the same object from his bag. It was the first great Fitzsu item and it has been available for sale at Fitzsu.com ever since we opened.
Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? We have already been blessed with several dream collaborations when we produced the Fitzsu Grand Prix a few years ago.
If we had to pick one person today it would be architect Norman Foster. He started his firm Foster and Partners from his home. Sought out and collaborated with Buckminster Fuller and has implemented many of his conceptual visions into practical working solution needed in the 21st century. Foster has created a global workflow that focuses on the site specific needs of his projects, setting new standards for the interaction of buildings with their environment. Each new project seems to reveal a new technological breakthrough and are all ecology conscious, providing a more efficient lifestyle for all those involved. We could learn a great deal from him.
How long have you lived in Los Angeles and what brought you there? John Waters. We were in Los Angeles staying at the Chateau Marmont participating in an Art Exhibit during the month of January. We were standing barefoot in the grass and listening to Waters share his thoughts on art and Los Angeles. It was so instant. We made the decision to move to LA right there and then.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? Any good work creates a dialog and we hope what we gives people something to discuss.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the world to be? Paris. We both studied there, were engaged there, and our nieces and nephews live there. We joke that Su’s prenuptial agreement had one item on it. A trip to Paris every year of our marriage and we have come pretty close to honoring that wish.
Most embarrassing moment? Fitzsu is open Monday through Friday 9-5. The first weekend we launched The Living Design Store concept we were lying around the house in our sweats relaxing and watching movies on a Sunday. Our house is always open so we can enjoy the great weather; however this also made it possible for a group of customers to waltz right into our living room when we were far from presentable. Fortunately, everyone had a good laugh and we had the items they wanted to buy in stock. We learned a very good lesson and now, regardless of the situation, even during dinner parties we are ready for unexpected visitors.