Italian accents: Family-run brand Lisa Corti’s philosophy for entertaining

Outdoor table set with a vibrant yellow and blue tablecloth from textile designer Lisa Corti.
Paperless Post > Get Togethers > Italian accents: Family-run brand Lisa Corti’s philosophy for entertaining

You don’t need to book a transatlantic flight this summer to add a touch of Italy to your entertaining plans. Our exclusive new collaboration with Lisa Corti, the iconic Italian textile and lifestyle brand, guarantees to give your guests just that. Each vibrant, eclectic invitation—inspired by Lisa Corti’s extensive fabric archives—seems to tell a story, speaking to a heritage that spans six decades of colorful living, joyful gatherings, and memorable shared meals. 

Conceived in Milan, where the family-run company is based, and lovingly handcrafted in India using ancient artisanal block printing techniques, Lisa Corti’s trademark mezzeri (versatile, multi-use cotton cloths in different sizes), prints, and patterns have a global appeal that defies categorization. They are exciting and unapologetic, offering up maximalism at its most sophisticated. 


Left: A quote. Right: Mother and daughter designers Lisa and Ida Corti wear dresses of their own design. Image courtesy of Lisa Corti.


In celebration of our partnership—and 60 years of Lisa Corti—we spoke with CEO, and Artistic Director, and Lisa’s daughter Ida Corti about the history and heritage of her mother’s namesake brand, her advice for entertaining, and the art that inspires her. 

While you’re here, browse our beautiful collection of Lisa Corti invitations


Left: Invitation featuring a blue and pink color-blocked design with pink and red flowers in the center. Right: invitation with a pink and red color-blocked design with a floral border, and an off-white invitation with a blue and turquoise graphic border. “Porta,” “Mondana,” and “Milla – Teal” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post.


What excites you most about your new Paperless Post collection?

I like the idea of seeing the eclectic, bold, sophisticated Lisa Corti world translated into invitations.

Our prints will be this joyful touch of color that people receive in their inboxes, inviting them to an event organized by their loved ones. They’re a teaser for the event to come, introducing a theme or vibe for the decor of that event.


Left: Outdoor table set with a blue and white striped tablecloth, next to a pond filled with lily pads. Right: Invitation featuring a blue and white striped design and pink floral center. Image courtesy of Lisa Corti; “Mezzero” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post.


What led you to choose the designs for the invitations, both in terms of the patterns and fabric design? 

For our Paperless Post collection, we wanted to offer as wide a color palette as possible—so we selected the most iconic and representative designs of the brand from our archives. It’s a great mix of block-printed designs from our 60 years in business and some new prints we have been experimenting with, all with our signature vibrant colors and unique take on patterns.

Color for us is like a musical chord for a composer or a scent for a perfume maker. It’s the key brick of the whole construction, it’s the sentence that creates the language.

And I always like the overlapping of floral elements reinterpreted by the woodblock printing technique, with geometric elements like stripes.


Left: Bright yellow invitation featuring pink flowers and a blue and white border. Right: Outdoor table set with a bright yellow tablecloth, next to a pond filled with lily pads. “Kaftan” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post; Image courtesy of Lisa Corti.


Can you tell us some of the stories behind your patterns?

One of our favorites is the timeless Nizam flower, inspired by a French Aubusson carpet, set against a background of two-tone stripes from an Indian miniature. The Ankara design is another Lisa Corti classic: the geometric background is inspired by an Uzbek tapestry, with a large bunch of tribal flowers added to it.

The source of inspiration for our Tile design comes from traditional “Blue Pottery” of Persian origin, brought to Rajasthan by the Moghuls. The elements were reworked and reproduced using wood block printing. This geometric pattern was combined with a small five-colored water lily and a two-colored checked border.


Left: Off-white invitation with a red, green and blue striped border and a pink floral illustration in the center. Right: Textile designer Lisa Corti poses in front of a wall of vibrant fabrics of her own design. “Turin” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post; Image courtesy of Lisa Corti.


This year, Lisa Corti is celebrating six decades of design. How do tradition and heritage play into the brand? 

Lisa Corti is an Italian lifestyle brand that was created 60 years ago in Milan by my mother, Lisa Corti. Her life in Africa—she grew up in Erythrea—and her frequent travels to India, where she fell in love with the ancient, artisanal technique of block printing, inspired her to create home textiles and ready-to-wear in unique and vibrant prints.

My mother was a pioneer in mixing styles and colors, and Lisa Corti was a lifestyle brand from the beginning. She applied her vision on both homeware and ready-to-wear from the start, creating a whole world.

Today, I run the company and I am its Artistic Director, and my daughter Nina has recently joined us to work in the Style office.

Designed with passion in Italy and delicately handmade in India, each one-of-a-kind Lisa Corti piece shows the marks of its artisan. 


What’s one thing about the Lisa Corti brand that’s remained constant from the start? 

We’ve remained loyal to ourselves and the consistency of our vision through the decades, and we’ve never worried about the “outside world trends” too much.

What do you think it is about Lisa Corti’s designs and textiles that make them so appealing?

The uniqueness of Lisa Corti’s designs, beyond the boldness and combination of colors, is particularly emphasized by the graphic layout: the external borders “chase” each other around an energy center, evoking the Mandala traditional layouts that always inspired Lisa.

Our designs are a blend of Central Asian, Oriental, and European classical elements reinterpreted and combined in a very personal and unusual way that reflects our own history.


Left: Scenic table set outdoors with a view of the ocean. Right: Off-white invitation with a pink and blue floral diamond pattern. Image courtesy of Lisa Corti; “Via Lecco” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post.


In your words, what does it mean to be an Italian brand? 

We celebrate a lifestyle that is transgenerational and is all about wearing bold and elegant prints in your own way, creating a signature décor when hosting your loved ones, and sharing a meal around a nice table, with great food, great company, and interesting decor.

Tell us how you stay inspired. 

Travel and art. Right now, more specifically, it’s the Costakis Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in Thessaloniki, Greece, with Russian avant-garde works from the turn of the century—and especially three woman painters: Olga Rozanova, Natalia Goncharova, and Lyubov Popova.


Left: Mustard yellow invitation featuring a green and purple checkered and floral border. Right: Outdoor table set with a mustard yellow and green and purple checkered runner. “Milano” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post; Image courtesy of Lisa Corti.


Let’s talk parties. What is the Corti family’s philosophy for entertaining?

When I entertain at home in Milan, I like to mix people of different generations, from my mother’s to my children’s friends; people of different horizons… family, close friends, and new friends. When I am creating the décor, I have an eclectic approach, too: my starting point is always Lisa Corti linens. A colorful table, good food, and good company is always the best recipe for a light and fun evening.

Describe for us your dream event. 

A dinner in my house in Milan with my family and close friends. In addition to a Lisa Corti tablecloth,  I always like having flowers on the table and colored glasses. I love mixing and matching everything, and I tend to improvise at the last minute based on my mood—and also according to what I want to cook. 


Left: Dining room with a table set with a yellow and green floral tablecloth. Right: Bright yellow invitation with floral design and pink and blue striped border. Image courtesy of Lisa Corti; “Tessuti” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post.


What hosting advice would you give to someone who wants to throw a dinner party that evokes the same flair as your invitations?

First, the table is the heart of the dinner, so make sure it gives off the mood you want. Prints and patterns will allow you to play with your creativity, napkins should contrast for an extra touch, and glassware will add light. Don’t be afraid to mix different colors and shapes—have fun!

Incorporate touches of colors. Cushions can do the job, and give you that extra bit of fun to create a comfy mood for you and your guests. Warm up your living room with throws and blankets.

And finally, the atmosphere is important, so warm lighting is essential. Make sure your usual lights are on the warm side, and avoid white and too-bright lights. You may just need to change your light bulbs.


Left: Invitation with a blue stripe down the middle and two off white side stripes that feature floral designs. Right: Invitation with a maroon background and a green and off-white graphic border. “Luminosa” and “Milla – Hunter Green” by Lisa Corti for Paperless Post.


How do you hope people will feel when they send or receive your Paperless Post invitations? 

I hope guests will feel the joyfulness and elegance we put into creating our designs, and they’ll be excited and curious to attend an event.

Ready to make your own colorful memories this summer? Explore our entire exclusive Lisa Corti collection.


Browse Lisa Corti


Hero image courtesy of Lisa Corti.