Red Carter isn’t just a lifestyle brand known worldwide. Red Carter is also a person.
Renowned fashion designer, Red Carter, is the man behind the eponymous company. Born Daniel Carter, in California, he moved to Miami to pursue his dreams of creating his own fashion line. It was near the shores of South Beach where Red Carter’s swimsuits first made a major splash.
A graduate of the Otis School of Design in Los Angeles, Carter understands the importance of education. As a successful designer, his advice to those who want to follow in his footsteps is to do what he did. Carter says, “Learn from a master craftsman. Be patient. Take notes. Don’t be afraid to do the dirty work because nobody stays at the top without the right support team.”
Before launching his own company in 2003, Carter worked for Victoria Secret, Guess, Esprit and Oscar De La Renta.
Learning from the greats wasn’t always easy for Carter, but it was a necessary part of his journey. “I worked for many industry giants, ended up getting fired,” Carter recalled, “So, I needed to prove to myself that I was good enough and decided to start my own business. I traveled the world, became inspired by vintage, and different types of people, that lead to the creation of a lifestyle brand that is now sold across the world: Red Carter.”
The accomplished designer puts his own personality into those designs. He has described himself as, “creative, passionate, instinctive, intuitive, and always humorous.” He creates for the “fun-loving, confident woman who loves to stand out wherever she goes.”
His swimwear philosophy doesn’t end where the concrete meets the sand. The Red Carter swimwear and cover-up line is not strictly beachwear. Carter’s pieces work as well for a Sunday brunch as they do for a midnight stroll on the water’s edge.
Carter believes in fit, form and function. When he launched his initial swimsuit line—which featured the iconic red button with the Red Carter logo--he did so because he felt the market was missing flattering suits with stunning style and a touch of whimsy.
Six years later, IMG Mercedes Benz agreed by naming Carter “Swimwear Designer of the Year.” Within a short time of winning this prestigious award, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Shop Bop and Everything But Water began carrying the Red Carter line.
Carter is humble when discussing his own triumphs. He defines true success as, “A great meal with friends, spending quality time with my family, one drink too many on a Friday night, swapping stories of travels and adventures, sitting under a tree at a lake, and watching the sun set. Nothing is better than being centered in your process!”
But Carter also understands his hard work has paid off in ways he never could have imagined. He explains, “I was a part of an organization, Charity Water, that raised money to build a well in Africa for clean drinking water. Seeing my product in movies, TV shows, on celebrates, and supermodels is always a plus in this business; it’s that ‘wow’ moment.”
Carter credits the people in his life for helping him achieve his goals. He reflects, “The amazing people I have met along the way and my current team who always believes and pushes me to be the best, makes coming into work rewarding. But most importantly, I have made my parents proud, and that is one of my biggest accomplishments.”
The award-winning fashion designer regularly updates his styles and prints to be both fashion-forward and trend setting. Carter is not shy when it comes to his love of fashion. He enthusiastically declared, “I do follow trends, I LOVE fashion, and right now, I am loving ruffles! They’re so flirty and feminine and will always bring a suit alive in a playful way!”
Carter looks back as often as he looks forward in both his designs and his life. His wish is to help young designers who have dreams as big as his. “I aspire to build a big enough foot print in the fashion industry,” he says, “to be able to take what I have learned to share with others, so in turn, they can one day do what I have done.”His advice to a younger version of himself, however, is much more pragmatic. He says he would tell a 21-year-old Red Carter, “Cut your hair and stop putting it in a ponytail.”
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