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As evidenced by any chart-topping ballad, love and loss can be the source of soul-crushing heartbreak and therapeutic creativity. For Cali-bred designer Courtney Ogilvie, the combination of both is what inspired her to create C/CHRST, an edgy-luxe label that's also a touching tribute her late mother.
At her product development agency, Ogilvie has already dreamed up streetwear and menswear collections for brands like The Well, Barneys, and Kanye West x Adidas. For her first foray into womenswear, the designer found inspiration from her mom's rose gardens—represented in her brand's bold floral prints—and rock 'n' roll style icons. The result: wide-leg trousers ($330) made for a modern-day Bianca Jagger, dark floral tunics ($130) fit for a Millennial-era Stevie Nicks, and pristinely-tailored moto leather jackets ($1550) finished with vintage concert tees, among other edgy-cool wardrobe staples.
Given that you cut your teeth in menswear and streetwear, what inspired you to start designing womenswear?
It was a series of life events that inspired me to develop a womenswear brand. Creatively, I'm drawn to produce items and design for a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It's very important to me that I'm doing creative things regularly.
I'm very engulfed in the men's market and sometimes get drained creatively, so it was only natural for me to sit down and draw out a womenswear line. It was a fresh view to me, and my brain couldn't stop. My mom was my best friend and I thought she was so fly, it is no accident that I recreated her vibes from the '70s.
How would you describe your brand, and what's your design process like?
I would say it's a very California approach to fashion; it has hints from '70s and '80s with a feminine punk rock vibe. When I'm building my line, I first design what I want and like with no other thought in mind. Then, I look at the line and focus on my categories and how to give them purpose.
I like to always have a few staple bottoms and signature tops and outwear pieces, such as the signature Ride Or Die Moto. It is always important that the collection merchandises well and fulfills me creatively.
Which celebrities or style bloggers would you love to see wearing your pieces?
I don't entirely think that way, but some people's style I love and would like to see their personal approach to my designs include Nicole Richie, Chloe Sevigny, Zooey Deschanel, and whoever else catches the vibe of my line.
Which piece do you think embodies your mother's style the most?
Where do you go in LA to relax and find inspiration?
To be honest I get the most inspired when I leave LA. Once that plane hits the air, my brain just moves a million miles a minute. I have so much responsibility here in LA with Fit & Supply and LA Makers, my product development and manufacturing facilities, and all the brands that I'm responsible for producing under them. It's hard to ever disconnect here. I find lots of inspiration when I get to leave.