Q&A with Kortney Hutton
I met Kortney a couple of years ago when I was working at Get Dressed! Boutique in Oakwood, Ohio. As a military officer’s wife who had recently been assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Kortney was exploring the turf and smartly checking out the Shops of Oakwood. Her hip yet easy elegance and down-to-earth manner made me feel as if I had met my style soul mate.
We started talking, and I learned of her passion — and immeasurable talent — for fashion illustration. We kept in touch, and then I realized: Kortney is the gorgeous muse Dakota Diva had been desperately seeking. She became a key player on the Dakota Diva Squad, and I shared my vision for DD with her during several lunches (Lily’s Bistro), dinners (Oakwood Club) and coffee breaks.
Many sketches and revisions followed as Kortney captured the essence of the Dakota Diva spirit: Sexy-smart, glam, well-traveled, vibrant and wonderfully approachable. A bon vivant with a keen eye for entertaining, for instance, or decorating without blowing budget.
Working with Kortney was enormously refreshing and just plain fun, and the leisurely pace allowed both of us to tend to our lives — including the birth of her cute little boy and major surgery for me — yet tap into a shared creativity and quest for perfection.
Collaborating with Kortney, I must say, has been one of the most energizing, rewarding and thoughtful experiences in my career. Truly.
That said, I am more than pleased to introduce Kortney Hutton as the insanely gifted, kind, charming and always sweet fashion illustrator behind Dakota Diva:
- When did you start drawing? I started drawing at age 13.
- What’s your background? I was self-taught. Occasionally I’d look in a fashion book to teach myself how to draw a certain type of fabric, but for the most part it was just practice.
- Whose work as a fashion illustrator do you most admire? Lately I’ve been obsessed with Hayden Williams! He is an amazing fashion illustrator. His style is so fun and chic!
- You’re a mother now. How did that change your style sensibilities? Having a baby has definitely changed my style. Nowadays, I have to strategically plan every outfit. It’s about comfort and convenience. Did I mention that I must also have a back-up outfit? I’m noticing though that even though you are a mom, you can still dress cute. I love bold colors, skinny jeans, sunglasses and a hair bun. That look never goes out of style and it always looks chic.
- What are your career goals? My plan is to be a successful fashion illustrator. Being a stay-at-home mom allows me to work in my free time, which is terrific as I expand my portfolio. My dream would be to have my work featured on the cover of Vogue. (Editor’s note: Yes, we can definitely see Kortney’s vibe in lovely alignment with one of the most-revered fashion mags in the industry.)
- What’s your fashion philosophy? You don’t always have to have chic clothes, you just need to have a friend who does! Borrow from the best.
- What’s your favorite look for fall? Skinny jeans, boots, smoky eyes and curly hair.
- What’s your best tip for looking instantly chic? Pulling my hair up into a bun, adding sunglasses and a Starbucks vente.
Kortney adds: “After I became a mom, I found it very hard to stay fashion-forward. Somedays, I’m lucky if I can get a shower in before dinner. This is the reason I love to sketch so much. I get to live through the fashion of my drawings.”
As you might imagine, I would gladly stand on top of the roofs of the greatest fashion houses in Milan, Paris and NYC to give a huge — and well-deserved shoutout — to Miss Kortney. (If you would like to work with Kortney, then please message me with your contact information and I will happily pass it along to Kortney.)