Red Carter Talks 'Lucite Magic', Rudy Gernreich, and Skinny Dipping at the Raleigh

The L.A.-bred, Miami-based swimwear designer talks inspiration, future plans, and what he's going to do when his show is over

By Janie Campbell
|  Sunday, Jul 17, 2011  |  Updated 11:15 PM EDT
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For someone about to send a new collection down the Raleigh penthouse runway, Miami-based designer Red Carter was notably calm when we caught up with him Sunday afternoon. It must come with experience: Carter is a Swim Week staple, having shown each year since MBFWS began in 2005.

While a hectic July may be old hat, that could never be said of the designer's always-exuberant collections. Last year's pop art-inspired show featured feathered bags, gold tulle capes, and the superb fit for which the LA-born craftsman is famous. What's he got in store this time? Carter gave us a hint with the words "lucite magic" -- and says the collection received a dash of inspiration from the infamous Rudi Gernreich, inventor of the monokini.

"As a kid growing up in L.A.," Carter said, "he was one of my inspirations."

While Carter is already in the "postcard stage" for his next collection, gathering fabrics and inspirational ephemera, he says he's most excited about jetting off to work with students at his alma mater, the Otis College of Art and Design.

"We're taking Yves Saint Laurent's beautiful home in Marrakesh, and turning out a beautiful theme of stripes and mixing it with cheetah prints," he enthused. "I can't wait to work with the kids there."

First, of course, comes a new collection's debut. And after that, you might just catch Carter in a suit that's all his own -- a birthday suit, in fact.

"[When the show's over] I'm going to go skinny dipping in the Raleigh's pool," he joked. "You may see me doing the backstroke, but the breast stroke may be more appropriate."

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