We are always inspired and amazed by the extraordinary lives of those within the Dia community. Over the following weeks, we'll introduce you to the first in our Style Tastemakers series along with their favorite styles available at dia.com.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Courtney began her fashion career working under Tracy Reese in New York. Since stepping out on her own, Courtney has shown the power of fashion and has helped her clients use their style choices to empower change. Her extensive knowledge of designers, emphasis on emerging talent, and passion for HBCU’s, sets her apart from her counterparts.
Courtney’s work can be seen on icons like Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan, Anthony Anderson, Mookie Betts, and so many more. Her work has graced the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, ESPN Magazine, Haute Living, and The Zoe Report, and can be seen through historical movements such as the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
Courtney is passionate about supporting small and Black-owned businesses and strives to spread awareness and social change through her work.
Get to Know Courtney
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I'm most comfortable and most myself when I lean into an oversized, monochromatic, layered, and overly accessorized look. Comfortable but elegant. The lovechild of Erykah Badu, Jenna Lyons, and Jerry Lorenzo. I'm a fan of a wide-leg pant, a slouchy sweat, a white Oxford shirt, and an overcoat.
I normally stick to all black or denim, but sometimes my eye goes straight for the bit of sparkle or neon. I love turtlenecks and unquestionably always have enough jewelry on to make Mr. T or Diahann Carroll proud.
"Being 'plus' does not mean a lack of interest in being stylish. A girl just wants to be a street-style icon!"
What outfit makes you feel the most powerful?
A menswear-inspired suit always makes me feel powerful but also confident. The ways to style a suit are endless!
I am a firm believer (and preach this to my clients) that if you look good, you feel good. With that being said, it's about leaning into the things that make you feel confident. Sometimes on a day when you do not feel your best, a good outfit, a red lip, and some jewelry can turn your day around.
What's been the highlight of your career thus far?
Driving in Downtown LA to see myself on a Jumbotron in a Nike ad and being able to talk about my experience in the fashion and sports community as a plus-size woman was so empowering and magical.
Experiencing NBA All-Star in my hometown (Cleveland, Ohio) as a panelist and thought-leader.
Creating the HBCU varsity jacket for my client, furthering our messaging to be intentional about using style as a platform to highlight social and political issues and celebrate black culture.
Who are three of your favorite brands?
I LOVE the 11 Honoré Collection, Ganni, and Marina Rinaldi... also LaPointe, and that Coyan gown is "chef's kiss" beautiful!
I often mix high-street fashion from ASOS or Target Collabs with more luxury menswear styles that run oversized from Loewe, Raf Simons, and Maison Margiela. Sometimes I even make some custom pieces so I can wear EXACTLY what I want!
Is there a brand or style you'd love to wear that doesn't exist yet in plus?
Khaite, The Row, Celine, hell, Zara lol
How has access to fashion and the evolution of inclusive fashion impacted your own personal style?
My experience with 11 Honoré has shifted my perspective on the business of fashion and size inclusivity. For my entire life, shopping has been a sort of choreographed battle — trying to find creative ways to combat my unwavering desire to be stylish with the lack of choices available to me. Since I can remember, I could never go into a store and find clothes that fit!
As a teenager, I was a strategic shopper in an effort to not be disheartened every time I got dressed. It was a mix of thrifted men's blazers layered over vintage nightgowns. I grew up in a time when oversized everything was on trend so I leaned into both the grunge phase and a 90s hip-hop style — oversized men's clothing that I could make feminine with accessories. Accessories became the answer to my sartorial interests. If I could not find an outfit on my mall runs with my friends. I was sure to find jewelry and hats and even bright lipsticks in “my size”.
Later, fast fashion, specifically ASOS, gave me the opportunity to find trend-forward apparel in my size, but there I compromised on quality. Hello Polyester!
11 Honoré opened a door that previously did not exist AT ALL — luxury style in all sizes. It has always been amazing to me how the fashion world excluded and continues to exclude plus-size bodies. Even if we omit the obvious connotations of discrimination and body shaming; we could talk for hours alone about the amount of money left on the table. Being "plus size" does not mean a lack of interest in being stylish. A girl just wants to be a street-style icon! Ha! I want access to the same product offered to my "straight-sized" counterparts. This evolution, this surge of understanding about inclusivity, I believe, initiated by the 11 Honoré team has reinvigorated my relationship with fashion and reminded me to stand in my style sensibility and to take up space! Kinda makes me want to get up and get dressed every day!
What do you love about 11 Honoré | Dia & Co integrating and becoming the premier destination for plus fashion?
The integration unquestionably exposed me to brands that I did not previously know.
I also love the diversity in price points. I think sometimes we as plus size consumers go into sticker shock with luxury pricing as we have really only had access to fast fashion styles that thrive on affordability. Now, we can see all that is available on one platform.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED TO ADD TO YOUR 2023 WARDROBE?
I am most excited to add more layers. Oversized button-up shirts layered over lacy bras under cozy cardigans and overcoats. I also really want to find the perfect pair of jeans - a good high waist and straight leg that gets better with time.
Also, I love a good uniform! Finding the thing that fits me well and makes me feel my best self and duplicating it every day!
What do you want to see from fashion in the next 5 years?
I would love to see more designers expand their size range for the entire collection and not just the basic pieces. I would love to be able to walk into a retail store and actually leave with a shopping bag because the sizing was available on the floor.