Woman Power Wednesday: Courtney Smith

Woman Power Wednesday: Courtney Smith
For this week's instalment of Woman Power Wednesday, we had a chat with super stylist Courtney Smith. Courtney is a stylist, creative director, writer and presenter, who has worked with clients such as Louis Vuitton, Brown Thomas and Tommy Hilfiger. We caught up with Courtney to grill her about all things fashion. Enjoy guys! 

Photo from courtneysmith.ie 

-What sparked your interest in fashion and styling?

I think it’s always been a part of me. As a child I loved to play dress up and would create fashion shows for my parents with outfits concocted out of just tights! It grew from there; as a teenager I used to spend my summers in the Grafton Academy doing pattern cutting or sewing courses and finally I studied fashion design in Sallynoggin before going on to do a postgraduate in London College of Fashion in Fashion media. I also worked in fashion retail from the age of 16 and loved styling customers so it all just tied in when I decided to make it my career. It was pretty organic. 

Photo from instagram.com/courtneysmithstyle 

-Who would be your dream client?

For a shoot? Vogue Australia - I adore all their shoots and their fashion director Christine Centenera is my ultimate girl crush so it means I would get to work with her!

Photo from courtneysmith.ie 

-What has been your career highlight so far?

Vogue.com featuring me on their website was definitely a pinch me moment but a defining career highlight would probably be shooting for Elle magazine Croatia. 

Photo from instagram.com/courtneysmithstyle 

-What do you think of the fashion scene in Ireland at the minute? 

I think it's amazing and it's evolved so much too. Irish women have never been afraid of expressing their individuality and personal style and we have such amazing vintage stores and stand alone boutiques so it's easy to stand out from the crowd. I think industry wise we probably still have a long way to go though, sometimes the creative briefs can be a little stifling, brands here are just more safe than they are abroad but we're getting there.

Photo from courtneysmith.ie 

-What's your tips for vintage shopping? 

usually fall in love with a fabric or print first before I even see what type of garment it is and then I usually end up buying it, it might not even fit me at all but I will just get it altered. I also buy key items I know will work into the rest of my wardrobe such as statement coats or kimonos and also a lot of vintage accessories. Vintage shopping in Dublin is easy - we have amazing stores! I have a good relationship with some of them where they will phone me when something amazing comes in they think I will love, which ends up usually being bad news for my bank balance. 

Photo from instagram.com/courtneysmithstyle 

-You play such a large role in the Irish fashion industry and have worked with lots of young models. How do you think the fashion industry affects the young women working in it? 

Well just look at models such as Thalia Heffernan and Kelly Horrigan who are now in their 20s but I have been working with them since they were 15 or 16, both are very strong young women and haven’t let the industry affect them in a negative way but that could be down to their family and friends too and the types of people they are. I think in general the Irish fashion industry is a lot kinder than the international scene, we appreciate and generally prefer our models to be healthy over too skinny. I would be more worried about what social media is doing to young women and their self esteem than the fashion industry. 

Photo from courtneysmith.ie 

-What women inspire you?

That’s a tough question, I’m inspired by many women for many different things. My mum recently set up a blog aimed at women over fifty, I’m in awe of her that after retirement she can just create a new life like that and overcome new challenges like learning how to run a blog and work a computer which she never knew how to do before. Also my sister who is a new mum and literally took to it like a duck to water, I always thought I was going to be the more maternal one, she’s an incredible mum. Then there’s the women in my industry such as Kate Young, Grace Coddington, Grace Woodward to name just a handful who inspire me to create beautiful imagery and to aim high to achieve my goals.

Check out Courtney's website here
Follow her on Instagram here

Ciara x  

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