If you look up the definition of 'tart', you will more than likely find the following or something similar: 'A tart is a pastry dish, usually sweet, similar to a pie, but different in that the top is open and not covered with pastry.' Although Tart Collections is far from a sugary confection whipped up in your mother's kitchen, it does share some commonalities with its namesake.
For one, Tart Collections (Tart, Tart Intimates, Lemon Tart and Sweet Tart) are sometimes sweet, but not always. The collections range from cute and girly to hot and vampy without losing its signature look and definitive style. Second, tarts are distinguish from their close kin (the pie) because the top is not covered with pastry.
Tart Collections are distinguishable from other contemporary collections in that they don't try to cover the artistic elements of the designers. The company leaves the creative window open to designers like Sherry Wood by allowing them to make designs for fashion-forward women that love to combine elements of sexiness, class and comfort.
I was fortunate to have met the creative and business team behind the label --
Jamie and Dana FineGold, Owners/Chief Finanacial Officers, Sandy Skinner, President and Sherry Wood, Designer -- during their Fall 2007 show for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles, CA. It was nearly 11 years ago that the FineGold's acquired the Tart label and they have been proactively building the brand ever since. In the beginning, the line's focus was on its intimate apparel which consists of contemporary loungewear and sleepwear - 'Tart Intimates' and 'Lemon Tart'.
Success of the Intimates collection and the desire to make a prominent showing in the fashion industry led members of the creative team to begin work on a contemporary sportswear line. This is when Sherry Wood, who had been working with the duo on trend spotting, came into the picture. Three years ago, Wood started designing for what is now referenced simply as 'Tart', and the evolution of the company began.
While the sweet smell of Tart's aroma floated across the noses of attendees, I asked the team what the future looks like for the company. 'Although contemporary sportswear is our premiere line, we are still in the building stage of our brand,' states Dana FineGold. It is important to note that the company also has other designers working on its Junior (
Sweet Tarts) and Intimate (
Lemon Tart) lines.
Sandy Skinner adds, 'We understand that there is a woman that knows what Tart is about, we want to dress her from head to toe, same color story' same styling.' As President of the company, Skinner knows that there is much more room to add onto the Tart dynasty.
So just what is Tart about? According to its designer Sherry Wood, Tart is about being bold and strong and that's just what the designs were for the Fall 2007 season. Bold colors, strong lines with inspirations from the eras of the 20s and 70s. Wood describes the thought process behind the Fall collection as 'taking into account all women' there are parts we [women] want to accentuate and parts that we want to cover up.'
Taking the customer into account is natural for the company who remains in constant communication with buyers and key customers. One of the elements of this collaboration can be seen in the animal print that meshes into the collections rich hues of purple, blue, brown, black and green. 'Bloomingdale's came to us with the idea that they were doing an animal shop concept and it worked perfect for us because we were putting that together in our line' says Dana FineGold.
One of the stand out features of the collection is the timelessness of the pieces and the ease in transition from day to evening. This has a lot to do with the fabric and the fit, the line uses the micro-Modal jersey. But it's not only the fabric and fit that has celebrities like Eva Longoria, Carmen Electra and Jessica Simpson vying for its signature designs, there is an understated sexiness' a je ne sais quoi that allures and tempts the eye. Even Britney Spears couldn't quit her Tart addiction as she recently scooped up pieces from the line.
So with all that said, how can we curb our appetite for Tart? The collections can be found in most major department stores (Bloomingdales, Neimen-Marcus), boutiques (Madison and Intuition) and through the company's own Website (www.Tartcollections.com). If you get a little pudgy after indulging in your Tarts, just remember, there is always something in the collection to make you look fabulous no matter what!
Not only do they have execeptional taste and creative ingenuity, the creative team behind the label are a pleasure!
Interview Photos by Garth Young
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