Since January of last year, ASU senior Courtney Larsen has contributed her eclectic taste for design and art to the eco-fashion friendly accessory company, Hearts.com. Graduating with concurrent degrees in business marketing and fine art drawing, this Phoenix native intertwines her artistic skills and design motives to serve as both ethical and responsible.
Inspired by '90s grunge and vintage, Courtney applies her second-hand style by dedicating most of her shopping trips at trendy thrift shops and vintage apparel boutiques sprinkled around the valley. Her young, aspiring taste is demonstrated through her designs at Hearts.com.
What are you wearing right now? My everyday uniform -- skinny jeans, knee high boots, tank top, flannel overshirt with a long chain necklace and stacked bracelets.
What is the last item of clothing you purchased? A vintage 1940s dress in sky blue from one of my favorite antique shops in Scottsdale.
What sort of fashion do you create? For Hearts, I get to design for six different collections, which means I get to be inspired by six different styles. Our six styles are: Historian: vintage look, Peacemaker: Hippie-chic, Ambassador: classic/sophisticated, Advocate: boho-chic, Rebel: rocker look, Explorer: the ethic, world traveler look. Everything is handmade and ethically produced by talented artists around the world, so every single piece has a story and a community it positively impacts.
What's the last thing you designed? I designed and made a clutch for my sister using leather from a thrift store jacket and silver and rhinestone beads from an old bracelet of mine.
What's your favorite thing you've ever designed? It was one of my first designs for Hearts, so we named it the Courtney Clutch. It's made from natural palm fibers and traditional Indian batik for the lining. It's one of those clutches that goes well with everything, and is definitely an attention getter.
Can you tell us a little bit about your own style? I would describe my everyday style as '90s grunge with a feminine touch. But if I'm dressing up, I like to channel 1940-50s, because the silhouettes are timeless and effortlessly flattering. I'm a total thrift store junkie, so most of my clothes are vintage or second hand.
What's your favorite item of clothing in your closet? A emerald colored velvet dress that my mom wore to her high school prom.
What's a fashion trend you can't stand? The skirts and dresses that are short in front and long in back. It just reminds me of the clothing version of a mullet.
Give us a childhood memory of you and your clothes. In middle school I was obsessed with Lizzy McGuire and her style. She would wear capris with the craziest patterns on them, and mix it with shirts that had logos or rhinestones or more crazy patterns. I honestly thought she had the best style, so in 6th grade I owned about eight pairs of crazy looking capris (I don't think I owned a pair of normal jeans). I remember this one shopping trip with my mom where I found a pair of pink capris that had images license plates ALL over them, and I begged and begged but my mom wouldn't buy them for me so I left the store really bummed. Looking back, I'm so glad she saved me from the embarrassment those pants definitely would have brought.
What do you like to accessorize with? Lately I've been in a big scarf mood. I love wearing scarves with sweaters and coats for the layered look. But now that it's warming up, I'm starting to wear more necklaces. I like layering short, simple necklaces with one or two longer ones.
Name five items every woman should have in her closet: - Black leather jacket - White summer dress - Brown knee-high boots - A statement necklace - High waisted black pencil skirt
What's your piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? Don't be afraid to dress a little crazy. I always hear people say "I could never pull that look off," but it's all about the attitude behind an outfit. If you wear it with confidence, you can pull off any look or style you want to.