IN SEASON: Cali-born designer Red Carter in Kingston.
“Why swimwear? Because how better to get closer to beautiful women,” quips the lavishly talented Daniel Carter (fondly called ‘Red’) when asked what initially drew him to designing women’s swimsuits. By his own admission, the barely five-foot-five, bespectacled designer (whose pieces deeply impressed at last Thursday’s The Collections in Kingston) prides himself on being able to flatter a woman’s curves with his supersexy, summer-perfect creations.
With over two decades’ worth of experience in the fashion biz, the California-born Carter started manufacturing swimwear in Miami in 2003. Since then, he has gone on to collaborate with such mega-brands as Victoria’s Secret and Oscar de la Renta.
At the mere mention of the storied Victoria’s Secret, I’m immediately intrigued. “I’ve had experience of both working with them and actually producing product with my own label for their catalogue,” explains Carter, whose fab swimsuits are available in the States via retails giants like Macy’s and locally through Kerrymanwomanhome. “It’s been a great experience for my work to be on some of the most amazing supermodels in the world. And I’ve been very fortunate to be on such celebrities as Rihanna and Katy Perry. It’s just been a great journey.”
True, those pop-Hollywood starlets are indeed stunning and have the bombshell physique to really sell a swimsuit, but what does the designer find appealing about our Jamaican ladies? “I actually like their booties,” he tells me, “because they know how to shake it, and I just love the accents of their bodies. They’re slender and they’re curvy and they’re just beautiful people. And I’m really happy to be here.”
Looking ahead to his next chapter, Carter says the work continues. “I’m just trying to build my brand and reach my customers and just let people know that Red Carter is a person and not just a weird label. So I’m just here to represent.”
You look extremely young, like a 16-year-old, I mention to him. “I’m not young. I’m just young in spirit,” he responds with a glint in his eye. “I’ve learned from Jamaicans how to enjoy life.”
GO FIGURE: Chantal Zaky models a Red Carter design at The Collections.