I remember where I first met designer Courtney Capretto. I was an intern at MHA Media in late 2010 and I was working the door for one of their high-profile, celebrity studded store openings in Beverly Hills. The young Capretto walked in carrying a black Chanel cerf tote, something I had been lusting over for the month. Obviously, I knew her line Capretta in the showroom, but I didn’t know she was the designer behind the line.
Only in her early 20s, Courtney is setting new standards for what women in their early 20s can achieve. Creating new silhouettes and definitions for the classic LBD, her work has been seen in editorials, on celebrities and TV. For Capretta’s latest collection Courtney ventured from the dark side and added rich creams and beiges to the mix.
Poised, determined and superbly stylish, Courtney talks to The Icon Concierge about where it all started, what inspires her and what’s next for her almost eponymous line!
ICON: Tell our readers about your line Capretta.
CC: Capretta is a classic yet distinguished take on contemporary design. The idea behind Capretta is timeless, ageless pieces that can mold to any body type. Most of the silhouettes are form fitting but hug the figure with a slight stretch added to the fabrications.
ICON: You’re originally from Pittsburgh, how did you get started as a designer?
CC: I learned how to sew when I was very young. I used to sit for hours in my basement ripping apart old vintage clothing and using the fabrics to sew new dresses. I would sell them on the weekends on the side for my block or if there was an out door art show you would most likely see me.
At 14 I went into a local boutique with my collection at the time, which consisted of ripped denim and vintage silks sewn together. I asked to speak with the buyer and told him he was making a huge mistake if he didn’t take my line. At this time I was a very driven child to say the least. He took a look at my designs and offered to take them on consignment. A week later they sold out and I continued to send them new pieces frequently.
I graduated from high school at 16 and decided to go to school in London at Intercontinental School of Design. I spent two years there and felt I soaked up enough knowledge to move to LA and start looking for manufacturers to begin working on my line.
ICON: Your clothes are form fitting, sexy and mainly black, what inspires you when design?
CC: A lot of my inspiration comes from the 1940s. The way women dressed really
complimented there shape. But I truly get inspired by just about anything… from art to music to architecture there isn’t an element of life that doesn’t inspire design.
ICON: Your clothes appear a lot on the red carpet and on popular TV shows, when you started were you expecting or hoping for that?
CC: As a designer you hope that the collection you create will be well received by as many people as possible and I am fortunate to have so many wonderful celebrity clients.
ICON: You’re so young and your brand’s already successful, what’s next for Capretta?
Where do you hope to expand to?
CC: I believe that because of my driven nature I will never be satisfied with where the brand is, but will always be looking to grow and expand in different aspects. I feel the next step for me is to now grow outside of the US and continue to create a timeless image for Capretta.
ICON: If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?
CC: This question is particularly hard because I believe in no other option. It would have to be something in the design world, I would feel lost without the freedom of creativity.