Color Me Kicks

13th September 2017

FullSizeRender 47FullSizeRender 51FullSizeRender 45When it comes to dressing up sneakers and rocking this sporty trend, I think more is more! So today let’s talk about 3 ways to nail sneakers for fall, all while keeping things fun and colorful of course.

I’m so happy that sneakers are in style. I actually think this trend has overstayed its welcome in our world, but obviously fashionistas aren’t ready to give it up and I couldn’t agree more. Heels are fun, but nothing beats the comfortability and flexibility you get from spending the day in sneakers, like these pink pretties I picked up a Finish Line. We’re also having a major throw-back moment in fashion, so I was so excited to get my hands on these Reebok Classic Leather shoes for me to style the Color Me Courtney way.FullSizeRender 55FullSizeRender 50FullSizeRender 54

So now that we know what we’re working with south of my ankles, here’s three ways to win at the sneaker trend, and really take this must have style to the Finish Line 😉

1 – GO BOLD – when you’re wearing sneakers, you’re already making a statement but one way to take your look from casual to fashion forward is you have to go bold. Try an intense color combo like I did or pair your sneaks with more statement pieces.

2 – KEEP IT FEMININE – Since strutting in sneakers is more of a masculine move, you gotta keep things feminine with girly details or pieces. I paired mine with  pretty pleated skirt to give me movement and a flirty feel.

3 – HAVE A MATCHY MOMENT – You know how sometimes putting sneakers on with an outfit can make you look like a city commuter with your pumps in your purse? Well we’re trying to avoid that with this last tip. If you really tie your sneakers into your look and make the pairing look intentional. I paired my sneakers with my top, so you know this was an intentional outfitFullSizeRender 48FullSizeRender 52FullSizeRender 46FullSizeRender 56

ABOUT THIS LOOK
So I used all three of my tips together while styling this look … because I’m extra. I also made my sneakers pop by pairing them with this fun pink and yellow combo! I picked up my sneakers at Finish Line, because they had a great selection of classic sneakers like my new Reeboks, athletic shoes for running and fashion sneakers for fall!FullSizeRender 49


Reebok Women’s Classic Leather Shoes • $39.98–79.99
Pleated Long Skirt • $126
Short Sleeve Sweatshirt • $75
Reebok Women’s Classic Leather 
Mini Mini Sun patent leather tote • $395FullSizeRender 53

Thanks to Finish Line and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own

Mastering the Open

13th September 2017

IMG_9239I came for the tennis, but I stayed for the Waffle Fries!!!

GUYS! I had the best time at US Open with Chase! I grew up playing tennis, but had never been to The Open so when they extended the invitation I was pretty pumped to attend, and eat my way through this event.

Chase really knows how to let you master the open, with the ultimate user experience. With everything from the Chase lounge – a really cool space where you can unwind and watch without the heat of being outdoors … plus they have pretzels :) to cool interactions like the Automated Tennis Machine (get it?) where you can win a prize, weee! One of the coolest things that Chase offered US open participants was the portable chargers you could pick up and use for free all day long, plus they had streaming capabilities where you could watch matches on your phone without using data!!!! #ChaseGetsMe

While I was there we took over the Chase Instagram story, used the custom Chase snapchat filter that we paired with cool chase snapchat spectacles, ate everything and just had a blast.

If you’re attending the open be sure to stop by and see what all Chase has to offer, they’ve been one of the biggest and best partners of the US open for over 20 years and will continue to do so in the future!

Before you go, be sure to click here for more info on Chase’s partnership with the Open and to see a really cool interview with my girl (a very pregnant) Serena WillamsIMG_7994

I’M WEARING:

Thanks again to Chase for partnering on this post and hosting me at the US Open!

Roller Fail

3rd September 2017

FullSizeRender 27FullSizeRender 22FullSizeRender 23Rainbow T-Shirt • $24.99  || Rainbow Clutch • $395  || Skort • $62  || Skates • $299 
I am known for having these big fun ideas, but they don’t always translate IRL the way they do in my brain…. and this day was one of those days.

Every august NYC does this thing called “Summer Street” where they shut down almost all of park avenue so you can ride, bike, run or do anything you want with no cars in sight! It’s really cool! I got the bright idea to go roller skating with Paris, and here’s what happened….

SO YEAH! Maybe not my brightest idea, but hey at least it makes for a good story!FullSizeRender 24FullSizeRender 25

SHOP THE LOOK:IMG_5845FullSizeRender 28


Rainbow T-Shirt • $24.99  || Rainbow Clutch • $395  || Skort • $62
Roller Skates • $299  || Tube Socks • $6  || Bomber Jacket • $49.99 FullSizeRender 26

Thanks SJP

2nd September 2017

FullSizeRender 13FullSizeRender 10When I was young growing up in Arizona, dreaming of New York City, TV took me there.

Later on, Blair Waldorf became my move muse by my original inspiration came from Carrie Bradshaw.  From watching on TBS in my bedroom to binging with my SF bestie in grad school, Carrie Bradshaw and ultimately SJP became a pivotal force in my life. She lead me here.FullSizeRender 9FullSizeRender 14FullSizeRender 17

I’m Wearing 

Sjp Dress • $395  ||Rampling Shoes • $281.99  || Similar Nirvana Shoes • $385  || Clutch • $295

In 2014, my first year living in the city, SJP launched a shoe line which has become not only one of my favorite shoe brands but also kind of a metaphor for my time here. She hosted an event in soho to celebrate the launch including a meet and great, so naturally I went down and waited in line for three hours with hopes of meeting her, only to get the line shut off two people in front of me. Disappointed, but not yet defeated I came back the next day stood in the now rain and cold for another two hours with the same dream. This time I was that day you couldn’t meet SJP unless you were buying shoes…  

I’ll stop here for a second to say that the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker collection is a collaboration between Sarah Jessica Parker herself and George Malkemus the 3rd (who you may know from a little shoe brand call uhh MANOLO BLAHNIK). These shoes are top notch, high quality, comfortable, glamours, well designed and meant to last. Now that I own a pair (spoiler alert), can say with confidence they’re worth every penny and give some of my designer shoes that cost double a run for their money. But I’m at a very different place now then I was when this collection launched. 

Back to 2014 – there I stood 10 feet away from SJP with a chance to meet her so I could finally thank her for all she’s done for me (corny I know). All I had to do to make this dream come true was buy a pair of $350 shoes that I couldn’t afford… at all. I had blown through all of my savings in the first month of living here because I lost 5 thousand dollars on the first apartment due to a “friend” who flaked out on me (more on that below), and then had to put another 10 or so down on my second & actual apartment (first months, last months, security deposit, broker fee – New York is expensive guys). I was living off ramen, Halal truck and cheap pizza because that’s all I could afford, so the idea of spending the money seemed crazy and a little irrational. Although I really wanted to, I walked away that day without a thank you and without new shoes.

I had 3,500 instagram followers at the time, most of which were people I went to high school with and have since unfollowed. Later that night scrolling through my feed, I saw that @Carly of The College Prepster (who I didn’t know personally at the time but have since met and she’s darling) took a photo at the event, I remember thinking that she probably was there to help promote the event and partner with the brand, and that maybe one day I could do the same with brands I loved. Instead I ate ramen and spent the next day in bed with a cold I got from standing out in the rain. 

That first year in New York was a lot like that. I moved here with a friend, and after we signed the lease on our apartment and put down a deposit, he decided he couldn’t take NYC and moved back – unable to get out of the lease, this bait and switch drained me of my savings on an apartment I couldn’t afford without him and setting me back about a month. My first night in my New York apartment, I had nothing but an air mattress and some clothes. As I was getting ready for bet my air mattress popped so I ended up sleeping the floor using my coats as a bed. I went to a grocery store next door a bought mustard, pretzels and some lunch meat that I lived off for the first week. That same year I was assaulted on the street by a man who put his hand up my skirt and tossed me to the ground before running off, I sold most of my favorite clothes or vintage collectibles to help afford rent, and ended up rented out half of my tiny apartment to make it more affordable. I felt more alone than I had in my entire life – I’m not complaining. Despite all that I loved New York but the first year here wasn’t easy. 

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Okay, okay so before I share my final chapter of this story, I want to share a little bit about this brand. Founded in 2014, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker is a designer shoe & handbag house who sometimes dabbles in ready to wear (like my very carrie dress you see me wearing here). Every shoe has a grosgrain ribbon featured somewhere on the shoe, usually on the back which is not only a darling design detail but also a nod to her childhood memories of wearing a grosgrain ribbon in her hair SO CUTE RIGHT! On my dress, the dividing piece between the top and tulle is also the signature grosgrain detail – plus it’s designed to look like the famous carrie bradshaw opening scene of sex and the city look, so I la la love it!

SHOP SJP BY SARAH JESSICA PARKER
ONE: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Fawn Satin Point Toe Pumps • $350
TWO: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker – Rampling Women’s Shoes • $355
THREE: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Minnie Shimmer Boots • $485
FOUR: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Trance Satin Point Toe Bow Pumps • $395
FIVE: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Minnie Velvet Booties • $465
SIX: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie T-Strap Leather Pumps • $355
SEVEN: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Tartt Shimmer Mary Jane Pumps • $154–385
EIGHT: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Daze Velvet Pumps • $365
NINE: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Minnie Glitter Booties • $485
TEN: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Lucille Satin Bow Pump • $395
ELEVEN: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Trance Candy Pumps • $395
TWELVE: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Katrina Sequined Point Toe Block Heel Pumps • $365

Pictured, I’m weaning the rampling shoe which is a classic pump with a front d’osay design making it perfect for wider like feet (like me), anyone with bunions and just more comfortable and wearable in general. This scintillate silver color is a favorite of SJP’s and one of the most iconic fabrics in her collection. So now that you know a little more about SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, I’ll finish my saga.

We left New to New York Courtney having a tough first year in the city – she’s pretty broke, a little beaten but still pretty dazzled by NYC. Fast forward to earlier this year, at this point I had landed my dream job making handbags at Coach, only to walk away from it two years later because my “hobby” had grown so much. At this time, I’m running my blog and business full-time, plus I moved into a newer, bigger apartment and could actually afford it – yay!. I started thinking and making plans buying a place and making plans for the next few years (read more about it here). My closet had three pairs of SJP heels that I purchased only own (not gifted, not at a discount), and I wore these pairs with pride. Paris had seen SJP IRL multiple times because she was living around the corner from us, but I hadn’t ever had the pleasure because you know that was my luck. So earlier this year, I treated my friend to broadway and as the usher was showing us our seats, I saw SJP and Mathew Broderick being seated … only to find out our seats were directly in front of theirs. Overwhelmed, by a different type of emotion, I was excited but also at peace. I felt complete that I could finally thank one of the driving forces that brought me here, to New York, to push from my dreams and become who I am today … but most importantly, I was so thankful for New York for completing this story in such a serendipitous and magical way. 

I’m not sure why I shared this story, or what you guys will think of it – I guess I just found it almost ironic that my relationship with the brand, SJP and my relationship with New York has flowed in similar ways. I know the story isn’t over, if anything it’s just getting started. I see this as a shoe & brand that continues to live and grow with me and take me new places year after year. As my collection expands, I’ll always remember that first feeling and where I was in my life the first time I saw these shoes, from where I am now and how they’ve taken me places even when I had yet step foot in a pair. 

FullSizeRender 15FullSizeRender 8IMG_7575

I’m Wearing: 

Shoes: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Rampling • $281.99 
Also love: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker – Nirvana Women’s Shoes • $385
Dress: SJP Collection by Sarah Jessica Parker Sjp Title Dress • $395
Clutch: MILLY Constructed Rainbow Clutch • $295FullSizeRender 11

Thank you to SJP and SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker for all you’ve done for me, including partnering on this post. I’m not sure words do it justice, or properly display my appreciation, but I really did try. XO

Wish you were here!

30th August 2017

   IMG_0922       Shop the look:IMG_0930

I was really hoping to visit Italy with Paris (my boyfriend) this summer but our schedules sadly didn’t allow it.IMG_0860IMG_0881

As the next best thing (well, idk next is kind of a stretch) I went crazy for this post card print and bought a lot of it! The shirt, matching top and so much more … oops! Anyways, before summer skips away I wanted to style this print to ways for you – ready go!IMG_0912IMG_0916

Both looks feature shoulder tops – one has a one shoulder silhouette where the other is more of a convertible off the shoulder style where you could wear it off the shoulder or more on the shoulder vibe depending on where you’re wearing it! One is print on print (which you know I love) and the other is a little bit of a more simple look with a bold color to break up the print.IMG_0918IMG_0841

This print screams summer, but with Fall around the corner I wanted to share how to style it for september and october – here’s how:

1 – Pair the skirt with an off the slouchy white sweater

2 – Try the print on print look white booties and an oversized cardigan

3 – Pair the top with denim culottes and colored flats

4 – Try the top to the office with black cigarette pants and a blazer

5 – Try the skirt with a black off the shoulder sweater or cropped sweaterIMG_0854IMG_0951

I’M WEARING:

Postcard Skirt • $53.70  || Postcard Print Ruffle Top • $41.70  ||  One-Shoulder Top • $31.49
Wedge Sandals • $160  || Drop Earrings • $88  || Red Bag • $1,095 IMG_0864

Rainbow Closet

27th August 2017

GUYS! I’m so excited because I’ve designed my rainbow dream closet – and I can’t wait to show you!

Press Play to See my Rainbow Closet! & don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!

Don’t forget to subscribe!

P.S. If you follow me on instagram stories, you might remember last week when it was raining and I was having like one of the worst pain / sick days I’ve ever had since getting diagnosed with fibromilagia 5 or so years ago … well this was that day – hence why I look gross :) so don’t judge me. Oh and if you’re ever feeling awful, a dance party and a rainbow closet are the best fix!

So you might be wondering – why did you build a giant rainbow closet? if so, I wanted to give you a little background!

So earlier this year Paris and I moved into a loft! It’s totally different from what we were looking for when our apartment search began. Originally we wanted a old / historic building (not a luxury one with a doorman) in the west village. We needed and elevator because of Waffles, but didn’t want any other amenities. We needed a two or three bedroom depending on the size because one bedroom would become my cloffice (office / closet) and one would be our actual bedroom. I found a lot of places (over 40) which is crazy for New York because most people decide after 3 or 4 and usually on the same day.

In the end, I found two awesome apartments that checked 85% of our boxes. One was on the ground floor and had an external door, no doorman and in an area similar to our old place. The apartment felt more like a house, but because of the external street door but then it also had some safety concerns, especially because it was in a more “active” part of the village very close to bars and nightlife. Pretty soon, I started calling it the SVU apartment for obvious reasons lol.

The other place was a two bedroom in a converted building, the guy who showed it too us dressed ridiculous with like 90’s sagging pants and a grill, even walking with a pimp limp – it was weird. So thats how we identified that apartment. Also no doorman, no amenities, it did have some shared outdoor space but nothing amazing. 

While we were deciding between the two apartment and comparing rent costs, I started to look at buying an apartment – just for fun. And realized, I was in a decent place where buying in New York wasn’t off the table. The only thing that would be difficult would be securing a loan because at that time I had been self employed for about a year, and I could get a lower rate if I could show 3 years of successful self employment. So then the conversation changed, instead of looking for that perfect apartment we could live in for the next 5-10 years, we started to look for a fun and different apartment that was unlike anything we would ever live in, so we could try something new for 1-2 years before we try and buy … and shortly after we found our loft!

Our loft is outside of our desired area, its a luxury 24 hour doorman building with probably 600+ units and it used to be a refrigerator factory! The ceilings are super tall, we have a luxury rooftop, laundry in the budding, a gym plus a kids place place & daycare center. Our apartment is essentially the largest studio you’ll ever see. Its one giant room with the exception of the bathroom. There’s an alcove bedroom, a corned off kitchen, a crazy long hall way and a living room twice or maybe three times the size of our old apartment – probably like two and a half. It’s crazy, but it’s taken us a while to get our lives together and get organized – mostly because its an all or nothing thing. You either organize it all at once, or none at all.

The first thing we knew we had to change in our apartment was the closet situation. The apartment comes with a decent sized walk-in in the alcove bedroom, that would work for any normal person … but not me. Paris moved his stuff into the closet and it barley fits (he has alotttttt of stuff) so we needed a solution for me. Since the living room is three times the size of anything we actually need, we decided to turn one of those thirds into my rainbow dream closet (as pictured in the video) and section it off.

After assessing my options of creating the closet, I found Contempto Space and started exploring their custom closet designs! Together (and with the help of my mom) my rainbow dream closet was born! Most of their closets are less candy colored, but they’re all super cool and can be totally custom. Check them out if you’re in the market for something magical! And stay tuned to see how I style my closet and the rest of my loft, weee

HEY don’t forget to subscribe to my channel! please & thank you!!!!

Sporty Style

22nd August 2017

IMG_3433       Summer is almost over and I haven’t been to a yankee’s game! Like what – what’s wrong with me. Actually since moving to NYC, I have yet to participate in this iconic franchise. No, I’m not a Yankee fan, truth be told I’m not even a baseball fan, but I kind of feel like its a nyc right of passage or something? Am I wrong?IMG_3476IMG_3455IMG_3468

Well since I have baseball on the brain I wanted to share some cute “sporty” looks that you could wear to your next big game & some of the sportier looks of mine in the past to get you inspired. Take a peek!Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 3.24.08 PM

I grew up in a football family, but we went to a lot of basketball games too. So I learned early on how to look cute & show your spirit! It can be hard to do, and truthfully they’re aren’t that many cute athletic brands for women. Most of them are tacky, gaudy or clearly designed by a man, gross. But Alyssa Milano’s line Touch available at Macy’s walks the line between cute & comfortable while letting you look the part of the sports fan! If you’re interested in seeing more of the line in person, Macy’s is hosting a fun event to celebrate 8/23 at 6pm at their flagship store! I’ll be there, and hope I see you there too!

IMG_3449I’m Wearing:IMG_3491

The Sweetest Birthday Bash

20th August 2017

FullSizeRender 24Happy Birthday To Me!FullSizeRender 12My birthday may have come and gone (boo) but doesn’t mean the party has to stop! I recently celebrated a very adult birthday with a candy themed party at Dylans Candy Bar weeee and you’re totally invited! Press play to RSVP:

Okay, now I’m hungry :) so lets dig in!IMG_0103

It’s no secret I’m obsessed with sprinkles – my insta feed is totally candy coated, I own more “rainbow colored” things than I do black (or white) and my favorite color is all of the colors. When given the chance to design a phone case, I went with sprinkles & rainbow stripes obvi. So when I was trying to decide a fun theme for my party, I looked no further than my favorite snack – you guessed it, sprinkles!FullSizeRender 23FullSizeRender 20FullSizeRender 17FullSizeRender 21

If it wasn’t really clear, I’m a Leo! Known for our big personalities & over the top style (naturally) and coincidentally I have quite a few leo friends too! So a few of us trekked uptown to Dylan’s Candy Bar for the sweetest of birthday celebrations!0C0963CE-09C5-4BD2-B2CD-A4FBE992516FB68908FC-5B6E-4C16-8F1B-5E17A215E14AIMG_0105FullSizeRender 16FullSizeRender 137A024218-F490-4C0A-8C6E-273C554CCEFAIMG_0106C718AE2D-18EA-4E8A-96EC-3F7DEEC3D777IMG_0104

My friends (some bloggers, some not) showed up and ate their weight in rainbow sweets (I was so proud). Everyone enjoyed our berrylicious signature cocktail and the do it yourself waffle bar! My favorite part, was the sundae celebration, where instead of cake I got the worlds largest sundae filled with rice crispy treats, chocolate sauce, cotton candy and more than 20 different ice cream flavors – UHM YUM!! Needless to say, I ate the whole thing and didn’t share 😉FullSizeRender 22FullSizeRender 18

I’m Wearing:

orange Sash Tie A-Line Dress • $110
Also comes in green (I have both) • $110
Pink Bow Block Heels • $248
Also come in more colors • $198–245

Look for less:
 Bow sandals • $44  || Dress • $79.99
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Fun fact I was heading to my party in this dress: but the zipper was giving me issues in the uber and started splitting!!!! So actually had him bring me back home and change into this sherbet colored stunner. Although I would have preferred my pink party pick, I was probably much more comfortable in this orange one, plus I dressed it up with a big candy necklace… obviously.

if you’re interested in booking a bash at the candy bar (birthday or otherwise) hop to dylanscandybar.com/parties/ for more information … and don’t forget to send me an invite K THANKS! :)

 Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to come to my party, from the sweet followers (I loved meeting you) to my awesome friends! And a big giant thanks to th Dylan’s team for throwing the most epic of parties for me!!!! I hope your next birthday is a sweet one, celebrated at a giant candy bar like all adults should do!FullSizeRender 15

Fashion Week Q&A

19th August 2017

  IMG_6685    OMG it’s almost September and that means SO MANY THINGS. NYC pretend’s its Fall even though it’s like still summer weather, everyone instagram caption turns to “it feels like fall” even tho it doesn’t (me included guys, me included), and you start to see pumpkin flavored everything pop up – oh yeah, and it’s NYFW.

aI’ve been lucky enough to attend fashion week on some capacity for the past 5 years, with experiences ranging from standing room only, to a front row seat or a brand ambassadorship to standing outside & people watching … and everything in-between. 

As this time of the year approaches, I thought back on my fashion week experiences and all I’ve learned over the years and wanted to share it in hopes of it helping others. I’m so proud that my following is built up of a large community of bloggers as well as well as people outside the industry, so in preparation for this post I asked my community to submit any queries they had about

IMG_6684IMG_6686I’M WEARING:


Let’s jump right in! First we’ll talk about what to expect during FW:

EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

So how does NYFW work?
Well it depends on who you are and how you approach it! If you’re kind of new in the bloggersphere or working with a smaller following, all of the planning is going to fall on you – and thats okay! I still take this on myself because I like to be in control of it. To be honest – It will be a lot of research, work and requesting for a little reward. I don’t mean to intimidate you, but thats how it goes! You’ll get a lot of unanswered emails or denied requests, but some people will say yes!

I will be attending NYFW for this first time this year so I don’t really know what to expect.
Attending for this first time is always going to be tough, especially if you’re expecting a big fun love fest. I walked into my first one with no expectations. I had moved to NYC 2 days before it started, and was living on a friends couch in Harlem so I didn’t have time to build up expectations. Now its a different world, instagram makes it look like a very glamorous experience of blogger bonding and street style photoshoots. That’s never been my experience, but if that happens to you roll with it!!! For an uncensored documentation of my expectations and experiences, read this post.

I am wanting to attend fashion week and not sure where even to start. Do you have any tips for me?
If you have no idea to start, I would dream big and then select small! Start by making a list of all of the brands you’re interested in working with, any shows you want to attend and any brand you love that might be doing something for fashion week, because you never know! I’ve attended events with non fashion brands like Dunkin Donuts, Essie and more because everyone finds a way to involved on some level. After you’ve made a list and prioritized, reach out to those brands  you’ll have an idea of how to start your outreach. After you get your invites, don’t RSVP to everything. Pick 2-3 events a day max if you’re doing this fulltime, or 1 event a day if you’re planning on working during the week. IMG_6689

GETTING INVITED
The biggest question I got was something along the lines of how do I attend or get an invite?

I haven’t seen the schedule for the shows, do you know if it is available yet?
I like the CFDA schedule best it’s available here, and the official FW schedule is available here. These are the “official” schedules meaning these are everyone who is showing in an official capacity, but a lot of designers show on their own terms and aren’t listed here. Plus non on the “events” will be listed online, they are all by invite. This is why its so important that you make your “priority list” as I mentioned earlier. 

Do designers send you invites or do you approach the designers?
This is probably my most asked question. People think that some how all the brands and designers are going to magically know you want to attend their show and are traveling for fashion week, and also how to get in contact with you. Then these brands are going to reach out and invite you to the show … sounds like a lot right? Oh and keep in mind that most of the out reach is done by a PR company who is managing anywhere from 5 to 10 events and shows that week. Its just unrealistic to sit back and wait for invites, if you want to go to a show or an event with a brand, you have to reach out. I reach out to at least one brand a day, every day of my blogging career and think you have to put yourself out there and be proactive to be successful in this industry, the wait and see approach doesn’t make sense to be in the industry nor at fashion week. 

Mainly, I wanted to get your advice on how a blogger with not such a huge following can increase the likelihood of being invited to attend shows?
Offer something different! This is my answer to so many things in the bloggersphere. As this industry grows, there can be room for everyone. But if you expect to walk in and replicate what someone else is doing, or even improve it, I think you’ll have a tough time. Carve your own niche, be different and offer a unique experience. That’s how you’ll grow in the industry and that is how you’ll get brands to notice you! 

I’ve always wanted to attend NYFW (especially the ——- presentation) but I was always turned down when I requested an invite. After being rejected, I stopped trying a few years ago. What advice would you give for me  get my foot in the door?  What should I be saying in my email to get an invite? ….
Your emails to brands should be short and sweet, straight to the point. The managers are getting  flood of emails, so don’t take up too much of their time here. Here’s what you should include:
1 Intro – Start by introducing yourself & your brand – sharing who you are and what makes you different
2 State your business – Let the brand know why you’re emailing them & that you’re requesting access to a show
3 Why you – sell yourself! You have to prove why you should be able to attend and cover the show, do you have a unique relationship with the brand? I would share it here and also any metrics you can show to demonstrate that your followers are fans too. This is where you share what you can bring to the table in exchange for an invite.
4 Thank you & keep the door open – I like to close by saying if its not a good fit for FW, I would still love to work together in other ways. So the brand knows my interest in genuine and I’m not just looking for a seat.

I also make sure to only reach out to brands that are an actual fit for me & Color Me Courtney, use a catchy email subject that includes the word Fashion Week or NYFW and I don’t like to send mass emails. I’ll be honest, it’s a lot more work to do each email individually, but I think it’s worth it. It turns into more invites and more paid opportunities when the brand sees that I’m willing to take the time to invest in them.

… and How do I find the correct PR emails to send my request to?
Google is your new BFF!!! So for each brand I start by searching my inbox, looking for a contact. Then I go to the brand directly, their website and social platforms usually provide an avenue to connect. If I’m still out of luck, I turn to my bestie and google the brand to see who is representing them, then I can usually find a contact from some light online stalking or a good linkedin search. If all else fails, I would send the brand customer service team an email asking for a way to connect with their media team or even send them a dm asking if you guys can chat over email about collaborations.

& My favorite question: I’m still “up and coming” I guess you could say in the blogging world. So my question is, when do you think it’s appropriate for bloggers to start reaching out to events such as NYFW.
First of all, thank you so much for asking this. I think its easy to assume everyone belongs at fashion week or deserves to be there. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a place for everyone but you have to carve it out for yourself. For a blogger like me, I’m not appeal to designer brands right off the bat. My followers love a good deal, or that a piece that’s affordable and will splurge every so often. I sold out a $9 dress in 30 min from one instagram post, but if I wear a more expensive piece the response isn’t always the same. As a result, you have to make FW work for you and your brand and the brand you’re trying to represent. If you’re reaching out and asking for them to invite you to their show, you have to willing and able to provide something unique in return … and a live stream on instagram stories ins’t unique. If someone wanted to see the show live, they could watch it live online – so your instagram story stream isn’t enough to warrant an invite. You need to be able to offer a unique and creative piece of coverage for the brand, and follow through on your proposal to the brand.

In the past, I’ve done things like offer to wear a piece from their current line to the new show and showcase 4 ways to wear it (one for each season) and include that coverage in a blog post along side a review of their new show. I’ve also leaned on my MBA & Industry experience to offer a review from multiple angles: the blogger, the customer, the fashion pro & the corporate woman to give a multi-dimensional review of these collections to name a few.

This year, I’m doing some other bigger projects that I’ve been working on for a while. Things like working with one brand throughout the whole week and ideas that I’ve developed on my own and pitched earlier in advance.

SO YOU’RE INVITED, NOW WHAT?
One question I didn’t get, but think it is important to talk about is what happens after you’re actually invited. Make sure you RSVP promptly with your full name and information, be gracious, be timely and be thorough. Ask for any information about the show prior to attending such as hashtags and the brands correct social media handles, I like to include these in my calendar. And finally, make sure you deliver what you promised to get in the door after the fact, and send it on to the brand with a kind thank you note.

NO INVITES? NO PROBLEM
So what happens if you don’t get invited to anything you’re interested in attending? Then what? Here’s what I would do – find some bloggers with similar or smaller followings than you (otherwise they might think you’re taking advantage of them) and reach out on Instagram. Ask if they’re attending FW and would be interested in teaming up or tag teaming. You can even start working together for the beginning, and split your out reach in half by contacting brands as a pair. If you two start to share invites and the work, you will be able to contact twice as many brands and secure twice as many events – plus it’s lot more fun when you’re not at FW alone.

OKAY SO THAT WAS A LOT! But we’re not done yet. IMG_6688

Here’s your goto timeline for FW prep Don’t be intimidated if you missed a deadline, just do what you do when you’re late to a party. Show up anyways & pretend you’re online.

8-10 Weeks before – If you want to do something bigger with a brand like a custom collaboration that you pitch, you have to start early! Create your deck, develop your ideas and start pitching
4-6 Weeks before – Start to compile your list and reach out to brands requesting invites.
3 Weeks before – Follow up with brands you haven’t heard from
2 Weeks before – Start outfit planning, and share your calendar with your industry friends to see when you can team up.
1 Week before – Location scout for shoots during the week and set up any last min appointments. Plan your non NYFW content for during the week so you wont have to worry about it.
2 days before – Steam your looks and plan everything out, PACK SNACKS and make sure your calendar is up to date. Get your nails done, hair done and get lots of sleep.

Alright that was a really long post, if you made it to the end THANK YOU FOR READING & I hope this helped you! Let me know if you have any follow up questions and I’ll answer them for you!IMG_6687

OH YEAH and if you’re going to fashion week and looking for people to meet up with, connect with or maybe even attend events with – share your blog and instagram handle below in the comments! Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new BFF.

Fruit Salad

17th August 2017

IMG_6375Fruit Prints for all!!FullSizeRender-11

I’ve always been a fan of fruit print dresses because they’re just SO FUN, but until this year I haven’t owned a watermelon dress (like what). So when summer started I sunk my teeth into two fun watermelon dresses that I wanted to review for you.FullSizeRender-7FullSizeRender-1

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I’m all about a summer dress, but there are three things that I kind of, sort of, need in a dress so it can make the cut:FullSizeRender-6

1 – Pockets! Why would you make a dress without pockets, like why. Both of these features have hidden pockets, which is a game changer for a dress.
2 – Fit and flare! This will forever be my go to shape for summer dresses, because it’s the most flattering.
3 – A fun print! Boring dresses are just that, boring. Why would I were a plain dress when I can watermelon one?
Both of these featured watermelon dresses are from modcloth – which is pretty much my go to for anything vintage or fun!FullSizeRender-12FullSizeRender-8FullSizeRender-2

So remember when I said I’ve always been a fan of the fruit print? (If not, go read the first sentence of this post … I’ll wait) Well here’s the proof! Baby Courtney, coming at ya!FullSizeRender

SHOP THE LOOK:

Ready for a sweet treat?
Fruit prints are like sooooo summer! From a cherry off the shoulder top to a lemon printed dress, these fresh prints are in serious rotation for me all summer long. Press play to see some of my favorite fruit prints in action, then shop the looks below:

In the video:
Similar Pineapple Top  & Similar here || Lemon Printed Dress
Cherry Top (also here) || Fruit Salad Skirt  (similar here)
Watermelon Dress (also here)

Culottes || Yellow Shoes || Red Shoes || Pink Shoes (also here) || HatFullSizeRender-4