It’s safe to say that Courtney Quinn is the color queen of The Big Apple. Known for her bold sense of style and candy-colored content, Quinn started her blog, Color Me Courtney, as a way to get her foot in the door of the fashion industry. Now, with over 705k followers on Instagram alone, Quinn is inspiring women everywhere to “dress outside the lines.” 

As a part of Rent the Runway’s exclusive tastemaker line, which partners with the industry’s leading style stars on exclusive collections, Quinn designed a 16-piece capsule complete with bold patterns, quirky prints and vibrant colors–just in time for summer. 

We caught up with Quinn to learn more about the launch, which hue is her absolute favorite, and the must-rent styles she can’t go without.

To start, tell us a little about yourself. How did you start your blog, Color Me Courtney?

Hi, I’m Courtney Quinn, a NYC-based blogger obsessed with all things color! I grew up in Arizona in a very beige suburb before moving to San Francisco to get my MBA. After graduation, I relocated to New York to work in the fashion industry. I started working various retail jobs and decided to start a blog, Color Me Courtney, as a resume booster/side hustle.  Eventually, my blog landed me my dream job–making handbags as a product developer at Coach. 

Color Me Courtney continued to grow over the years, so much so that I found myself working two full-time jobs. I ultimately decided to quit my corporate job to focus on my blog, and I haven’t looked back since!

A lot of my job is sharing colorful clothes and positive inspiration with women online. I love connecting with my followers on my blog, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Twitter. I wear a ton of different hats–I consider myself the Color Me Courtney intern, photographer, editor, creative director and everything in between.

Tell us about your collection. What inspired it and why are you so excited to be collaborating with Rent the Runway?

The driving force behind my collection (and probably anything that I will ever do) is color and happiness. I’m a firm believer that wearing a colorful outfit can really change your mood and the mood of those around you. 

When I decided to collaborate with Rent the Runway, I knew that it had to be a vibrant collection. Although you can find a fair bit of colorful pieces in the marketplace, it’s much harder to find colorful prints. The goal was to create a lot of really fun, happy styles that could be worn year after year.

How would you describe your collection in five words or less?

Vibrant, fun and uplifting. There’s also a definite feeling of hopefulness to the collection, which I think is perfect for the time we are living in right now.

We know you love them all, but do you have a must-rent piece? 

Of course I love them all, but I think the must-rent piece of the collection is the Coco Shirt Dress. It comes in two colorways–a polka dot print that reminds me of those Dippin’ Dots candies, and a vibrant red that definitely gives off a more flirty vibe. I like how this one silhouette can really tell two different stories depending on the colorway. 

Browse the entire collection on Rent the Runway

Tell us about the design process. What went into creating your collection from start to finish?

We started the design process by going through my closet and pulling out my favorite pieces. Not because we wanted to recreate them, but because we wanted to understand why they were my favorites. Was it the pattern? Was it the color? Was it the memory associated with it? What made me love those pieces? We also looked at some of my top selling styles from my Instagram because we wanted to know what my followers liked. From there, the collection really came to life! 

Now, let’s talk about you. How would you describe your personal style? Have you always loved color? 

Oh yes, ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved color. I was obsessed with orange growing up and I’ve always been drawn to warmer colors. You’ll see a fair bit of warm tones in my collection. 

Does your style evolve with your mood, season, time of day, etc.?

Regardless of my mood, I always tend to wear color. Even when I go through a rough time, I don’t wear black because that’s just not me. I think if anything, when things are sad, what better way to cheer yourself up than by putting on a bright, fun outfit? However, I do switch things up depending on the season. I like to go from lighter tones, maybe like a pastel version of a color in the spring, to a more vibrant version in the summer. 

Are there any colors you’d never wear?

I don’t wear brown much–I have a brown belt, maybe a pair of boots that have some brown in them–but that’s really it!  I don’t think I ever wear gray at all either. Overall, I just don’t wear neutrals because why would I wear neutrals when I could wear a rainbow? 

Has your style or attitude towards clothing changed at all since the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, how?

Clothing-wise, it hasn’t been that much of a shift for me. Before COVID, I had maybe three or four in-person meetings a week that I needed to get dressed up for, but the majority of my time was spent at home in sweatpants because I work from home. There are actually a lot of WFH-friendly styles in my collection! I did a whole day of work in the Coco Shirt Dress the other day and it made me feel wonderful. It has these giant pockets that you can throw your phone in and it’s so comfortable and durable. The Sheree Jumpsuit is another style I could live in–it’s basically like candy-colored pajamas.  

Last but not least, what are some of the things that you’re doing to bring a sense of joy into your day-to-day routine during this time?

My first (and most obvious) tip is to wear color. If you’re wearing the same gray sweatshirt and black leggings all the time, you’ll feel bored and uninspired! Trust me, this is the easiest way to literally brighten your day. 

Lipstick is another huge thing for me, it makes me feel so put-together. There are a lot of days where I have very few eyelash extensions and maybe a few too many pimples, and I’m still wearing lipstick because it’s just something that can add a little vibrance. 

I’ve also found it helpful to try to focus on the things you can actually control in life (like your attitude, the way you treat others) versus what you can’t (all those plans that got cancelled). This is definitely easier said than done, but it does help put things in perspective. If I didn’t do this, I’d go crazy!

Finally, I made a big quarantine to do list–a list of 50 different things I can do to fill the time and keep me happy. A few weeks ago on my blog, I wrote about my best Hulu recommendations. My friends and I had a Disney-themed Zoom party the other week which was really fun and helped me find the joy during this weird time!

See how Courtney styles pieces from her collection on our Instagram.