Designer Darren Trentacosta Creates Beautiful Clothing Lines and Celebrates Plus Size Women!

Darren Trentacosta

Walk into the plus-size clothing department in any of the big-box department stores across the country and you will find racks of clothing that plays it safe. Trentacosta New York is about contemporary looks that break the rules when it comes to shopping for sizes 10w to 24w. To do this, Darren Trentacosta derives most of his influences from his early years in his beloved hometown of New Orleans, his time spent abroad in Europe, and from his now everyday life experiences in New York City. His garments are steeped in the old-school charm of the South and mixed with the brash modernity of Manhattan.

A graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Darren received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in fashion and photography. It was while attending school in the Windy City that Darren was introduced to the plus-size fashion industry. Like most photographers, he started out testing models at local agencies to build his book, and although he enjoyed working with all divisions within those agencies, the plus size division really intrigued him. “The girls were gorgeous, but they were being shot as though they were sex-less old maids!” He could not understand why so many people, particularly those in the fashion field, felt the need to dumb down or make unattractive the concept of fashion for this segment of the shopping public. He made it his raison d’être to do the complete opposite: to celebrate the plus size woman and market to her in a way that is befitting a more fashion forward woman. 

How, why, and when did you decide you wanted to be a plus-size designer?

I think it was a culmination of events in my photography career that lead me to seriously considering designing for this market. One specific event that really comes to mind was shooting a catalog here in NYC for a clothing company; It was all the models and I could do to keep from laughing at how awful the clothes actually were! I remember thinking how beautiful the models were when they arrived…young, fresh, and actually prettier without hair & make up and within the span of two hours they were converted in to someone’s grandmother! It was awful! But, the models reminded me that this was de rigueur for them and par for the course of being a plus size model.

Tell us about your Trentacosta New York plus-size clothing line.

I found that what was missing in the market was an outreach to the “uptown/downtown” working girl — finding pieces that would fulfill her workday schedule that could be broken down and rearranged for evening. My three favorite stores are J. Crew, Anthropologie, and Club Monaco. Walk into any and you will see an array of classic styles rearranged in a new fresh way. That was my goal…natural fabrications, sharply tailored cuts, and the ability to dress up/dress down…never too trendy, so that they would be able to reappear next season.

Where is Trentacosta clothing available to purchase?

We sell both online at www.trentacosta.com as well as boutiques in the US, Canada, Germany, and Australia. You can find the stores listed on our website at http://www.trentacosta.com/storelocation.html 

Where do you find your inspiration while designing?

Street life! Just sit at one of those new outdoor seating areas in NYC’s garment district, the places they carved out on Broadway between 34th & 42nd …and watch how cool NYC hipsters dress; it’s like a mini focus group.

What designers inspire you?

Jeanna Lyons of J. Crew for how she mixes things up, Narciso Rodriguez for his clean lines, Rodarte for technique, Proenza Schouler for how they think outside the box, Prada for referencing Art, and Catherine Malandrino for fabrication…

How did your involvement with the first ever runway show for plus-size models, CurveStyle, affect your career?

Wow, in every possible way. I mean, I was given an opportunity to create something with a goal to get as close to a real fashion show as possible. Real as in what you see at the tents during fashion week in NYC. It showed me that in fact curvy women do indeed have a craving for both fashion and for being represented as consumers of fashion.

Tell us about your newly launched Spring/Summer collections. How would you describe the collections?

Clean, crisp, and tailored. Each of the items offers a fresh step into Spring/Summer. Cotton Sateens, Poplins, Voiles, and Piques are some of the fabrics I used this season. What I have to mention, and this is another topic entirely, is that the one color that many thought would never be bought: white, turned out to be the number one seller in my suit collection! The collection is as always made up of your staples, Blazer, Skirts, Pants, etc…and can be worn as a group or broken apart and worn in a street/trend friendly way.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Professionally?…Staying in business despite the economy the last two years! And showing women that wearing tailored clothing actually makes you look more shaped, put together, and youthful.

What is your favorite piece that you have designed?

My Winter London inspired coat.

How does it feel to be receiving such great feedback regarding your designs?

It’s always wonderful to receive positive feedback from my customers and even not so good feedback keeps me on my toes!

What are you excited about right now?

Shipping out my Spring Summer 2010 line and showing my new Fall Winter line to the press and buyers! Oh, and a week away on the beach!

What goals do you have for the future?

I hope that we will be expanding the line with new silhouettes and designs and a possible storefront!

How do you define beauty? 

Something that brings me happiness! Food, wine, music…

*Thank you, Darren!

**Who is your favorite designer? Where do you buy your clothes? Do clothes affect how you feel about yourself? If you could talk directly to a designer, what would you request? What is your personal style? Do you follow trends? Do you compare yourself to how other woman are dressed? How do you maintain your unique style?

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28 Responses to “Designer Darren Trentacosta Creates Beautiful Clothing Lines and Celebrates Plus Size Women!”

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  17. I would like to know how to get your collections in my Boutique

  18. Sharon Beech Says:

    Can’t get to your Website! Please advise…

  19. Good Evening!

    I am unable to get to your website, http://www.trentacosta.com.. please advise. Thanks. Denise

  20. Shirley Says:

    Is the website http://www.trentacosta.com still a live web site? I can’t get to it on my browser – Internet Explorer.

  21. Theresa Comeaux Jackson Says:

    Love your easy classey style! I was born and raised in New Orleans too. I wish you well and lots of success! Can’t wait to see more.

  22. Sherri Daugherty Says:

    I would like to look at what you have to offer smaller boutiques and consider bringing the line into mine in PA!
    Please send a wholesale catalog for what is available now and this fall.
    Thanks!

  23. Diane P Says:

    Where in Southern California can I purchase your clothes.. I love your style, it’s sexy, classey and bears the true essence of a curvation woman like myself.

  24. Kimberly Townsend Says:

    I would love to have your clothes in my boutique. Please send me your wholesale catalog.

    thanks

    Kimberly Townsend
    Curvy Boutique
    Augusta, GA
    706 836 5970

  25. Michelle Says:

    I like the floral dress!!!

    Michelle

  26. Absolutely gorgeous clothes! I love everything on the site, as well, and hope to see your collections in Texas soon!

  27. I really want that red dress. Gorgeous!

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