Words & Photos – Justin Howard @jthnomad
Editorial – Black Chalk Magazine @blackchalkmagazine
It isn’t every day that a 19 year old designer gets the chance to open her own store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Well, that is just what designer Courtney Allegra did last night to a fanfare of Melrose’s glitterati including fashion maven Janice Dickinson, pop artist Sham Ibriham, notorious flower child Ava Capra from ANTM 22 with bestie male model Brandon Baley. As a designer Courtney Allegra is no stranger to Hollywood’s fashion scene, having presented four runway shows at Los Angeles Fashion Week.
Courtney Allegra, Opulent Swimwear
Black Chalk – So, you are a week away from the Grand Opening of your store! How hands-on did you get with the design of the space?
Courtney Allegra – It has been crazy. I got myself into a lot more then I thought I would. I am just so thankful that everyone came out tonight and supported my vision.
Black Chalk – What inspired you to open this store?
Courtney Allegra – I have always wanted a store, especially on Melrose Avenue! One day a few months ago, I was walking down Melrose with my family and I just thought “Why don’t we open a store here?” My family and I decided to do it.
Black Chalk – Fantastic! What do you love about the Melrose Area?
Courtney Allegra – I love the people here. Everyone is very forward thinking and they aren’t afraid to experiment with fashion.
Black Chalk – How would you describe your own fashion style?
Courtney Allegra – Really funky. Every thing I design is original, weird and cute.
Black Chalk – Definitely see that ‘cute’ factor.
Courtney Allegra – Yes, every design of mine has to have that ‘cute’ factor.
Black Chalk – How do you define of ‘fashion?’
Courtney Allegra – Fashion is basically self expression. It is different for everyone, so that term ‘self expression’ is perfect for it.
Black Chalk – What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Courtney Allegra – Traveling! My swimwear collection is inspired by the Amazon Rainforest. I can’t wait to unveil it at the Grand Opening. The whole line has a lot of suede, and jeweled earth tones. It is more sophisticated then my other collections. I am stepping it up quite a bit.
Black Chalk – When people wear your pieces, how do you want them to feel?
Courtney Allegra – I want to people to feel sexy, yet not super serious. I want my designs to act as conversation starters. So that people can come up to individuals wearing my collection and say something like “Oh my god. I love this. Where did you get it?”
Black Chalk – Favorite piece?
Courtney Allegra -From which collection? From my swimwear, it is the “UB” top that means “UnderBoob.” It is cut really sexy,and it is super original. People who are buying are like “What the Hell is this?” Because it is designed to showcase the ‘underboss.’ It is made from a material called ‘Rainbow Velvet’ and the style is called ‘Pride.’ It is really good for raves!
Black Chalk – What brands are in the store right now?
Courtney Allegra – I am still looking for brands to feature. Right now the only brands in the store are mine; Courtney Allegra Swim, Courtney Allegra, CA11 and CA11 Exist.
Black Chalk – When you are curating the store, are you going to be changing it over seasonally or doing the ‘fast fashion’ route?
Courtney Allegra – I will be changing it out seasonally. But it depends, if stuff runs out I will be replacing it. I want to always keep it fresh and exciting. The aim is get new stuff in every few weeks.
Black Chalk – Is there something in fashion, you haven’t done yet that you are just dying to explore?
Courtney Allegra – I want to do shoes. My dream is to collaborate with Jeremy Scott and Adidas. I have all his shoes, my favorites are the ‘poodle’ and ‘cheetah’ pairs.
Black Chalk – So Janice Dickinson dropped by tonight to scoop the place out…
Courtney Allegra – She is so nice!
Black Chalk – She is definitely an interesting character to be sure.
The all white 2,500-square-foot store on Melrose Avenue is showcasing her ‘Made in LA’ line which features bikinis for $40 and $120 one-piece swimsuits. Courtney drew her inspiration for the 2017 Resort Line, from the Amazon rainforest and her obsession with earth tones and microsuede. One of her favorite pieces is the “UB” top, a new bikini top that features a high-neck halter top that is designed to reveal a girl’s “under cleavage.”
Being a young designer Courtney has built quite the celebrity fanbase with young starlets like Janel Parrish of “Pretty Little Liars,” the “Today Show” reporter Tamron Hall, Eve of E! Networks’ “Fashion Police.”