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3.07.2010

Designer Profile: Theo Courtnay

Theo Hackney, of Theo Courtnay NY, is among one of the incredible phenomenons known as an "Indie Designer." Although you may not yet find his designs in between the pages of your monthly Vogue or at your neighborhood Bergdorf Goodman (yes, everyone has a neighborhood BG, it just may go by the name of "Target"), but he can assure you that he has arrived and his Fall 2008 line is a clear indication of that!

Coming from a fairly stylish family, New York raised Theo Hackney, fell in love with the New York fashion scene at a ripe young age and became inspired by the fashion of the city itself. His story is the quintessential American-story, the celebration of life wrapped in high-living and quality lifestyles. His philosophy: the customer wears the clothes, the clothes don’t wear the customer. We were fortunate enough to score an interview with Theo during the hustle and bustle of NY Fashion Week Fall/Winter 08.

What inspires you and how do you interpret that in the construction of your designs?
As an African American designer, I am inspired by the duality of the world that I live in. The culture that surrounds fashion is almost completely foreign, so I live for the rush of bridging the gap between that culture and my culture.
My inspiration comes from the women around me, the styles and fashion individuality of the different types of women in New York. I aim to create designs that appeal to the diverse Afro, Asian, Latin and European markets, all merged in, yet still relentlessly subtle.

Do you have a muse, and if so, who?
My muse is any woman who is at the top of her game and celebrating her life and her style in
her own way.

What other mediums inspire your collection?
Architecture definitely, the world around me, as well as military influences because I see your
style of clothing as a part of your daily attire, a uniform so to say. So I look at how the woman
fits the clothes and the clothes fit the woman.

What is your proudest moment in your career, and why?
I try not to look back on my career as much, I try to focus more on the here and now because
each moment is a new moment and in order to embrace that experience, you have to live in
the present.


Did you always dream of designing?
No, it was a natural evolution. I was always told I had a
great sense of style. I started with corporate retail
management then went on to personal shopping and fashion
styling.

How do you believe fashion has changed since you
started?
Do you still love it as much? Fashion is always changing. Its
about recreating the same thing in a new and innovative
way. I've always loved fashion but I have to battle with focusing on my creativity without
getting engulfed in marketability.

How do you begin your design process?
I get inspired by what I see around me, my environment, cultural influences, shoes and
sometimes fabric.

What will your brand be branching off to next?
Home design, accessories and shoes.

Do you have any advice for upcoming designers?
Do what you love to do and do it well, or don’t do it at all.

Theo Courtnay’s Fall 2008 designer women's wear collection is inspired by the “Luxe Life”, the people who are celebrating their early onset career success. Check him out on www.TheoCourtnayNY.com