Leave it to fashion designer Charlotte Tarantola to make Disney inspired clothing wearable. Her eponymous line, Charlotte Tarantola and her second, edgier line Laquette are both filled with touches of sparkle and color added to sustainable key wardrobe pieces. Tarantola’s inspiration revolves around designing things that make her smile while insuring that all business ethics are intact. For Charlotte Tarantola the look is about getting noticed, consisting of tees that start conversations and sweaters in unconventional color combinations and various innovative treatments. We spoke with Charlotte about her love of design, inspiration and her collaboration with Disney.
1. How long have you been a fashion designer and what inspired you to go into fashion?
This year marks my 20th anniversary (I graduated from F.I.T. in 1989)! OH BOY! I went into fashion initially because I wanted the freedom to wear what I wanted to work.
2. What regions of the world that you’ve traveled to have inspired your designs the most? Also, what region of the world offers the best shopping?
Tropical resorts and fabulous locations, the places dreams are made of and fantasy rules…
Japan, it’s so creative, fun, over-the-top, and eternally young, hip, and cool (even “oldsters” dress cool there).
3. What are the differences between the Charlotte Tarantola range and Laquette?
Charlotte is fun, flirtatious and well behaved. Laquette is edgy, fabulous and a little dangerous.
4. What’s your design philosophy?
I respond to things that make me smile, or feel good, it’s all intuition. When I started I focused on making sure I knew what was going on, never wanting to make a trend “misstep”. Now, after 14 years in business I trust myself more, that if I love it, my customer is going to love it too!
5. Who are some of your favorite designers?
I love Lanvin for his embellishments and details, I love McQueen for his theatrical presentations, I love Narcisco Rodriguez because I want to be “that girl”, and of course Karl because he is perfect and smart.
6. What advice would you give to a young person who wants to launch their own label:
Work for someone before you go out on your own (and do everything, work tirelessly, learn everything you can), and arrange to have some very deep pockets around for when you’re ready to swing open the doors!
7. How did the collaboration with Disney come about?
I was approached by Disney to take my product classification and translate Disney’s fantastical artwork into contemporary fashion. Because I am a print vendor and known for whimsical, girly looks, it was a perfect pairing!
Who is your personal favorite Disney character?
Ok, my favorite character… oh, it’s an impossible question… aren’t they all magical?!!! I can’t answer to that, I find the entire world of Disney mesmerizing and amazing… so creative and clearly influenced by surrealism and fantasy… my ultimate favorite characters!