CEO and founder of Carter Young USA, Carter Altman, is an up-and-coming visionary who recently launched his first collection of ungendered fashion designs.
“We had a soft launch of the brand itself at Linda Dresner. I’ve always loved going into Linda’s,” said the Birmingham native. “That was a huge treat for me.”
Altman’s creative ingenuity emerged at a young age. His parents graciously granted him the freedom to develop his ideas.
“I used to make knight (costumes) out of sheet metal and folded-up cardboard. My parents were super supportive of everything. If we needed to take over the garage for the day, they’d say, ‘have at it,’” Altman recalled.
Soon, the young entrepreneur became intrigued by fashion. He was captivated by his mom’s vast collection of chic and eclectic fashion choices.
“My mom’s creative in every sense of the word. Her wardrobe is a huge inspiration for me,” he said. “She has old designer, vintage, workwear from the 1800s.”
Altman noted that some of his mom’s pants actually flattered his physique; likewise, his mom liked the way some of his tops complimented her frame. The epiphany inspired Altman to create his own line of ungendered clothing.
“I came to the conclusion that the distinction between what is feminine and what is masculine didn’t make sense to me.”
Altman created his first design, a cargo pant, when he was 15-years-old. Subsequently, he immersed himself in fashion. He interned for Alexander Nash, Kiss NYC and Helmut Lang in New York City. By 16, he had begun formulating Carter Young USA.
“I knew it was something I had to do. I had gotten a lot of street training and worked with people in the industry. That allowed me to get clothing produced.”
Altman has traveled to Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. The exposure to different cultures strengthened his designing ability and imagination.
“I came into contact with a lot of cultures that operate on another paradigm.”
The premier collection of posh, androgynous designs from Carter Young USA was well-received and is in limited supply exclusively on the company’s website.
“We produce from a size 26 women’s to 36 men’s in terms of pants. Everything we make is with men and women in mind. We recognize women and men have different body types, but there are fundamental points that overlap between the two.”
Currently, Altman is a freshman at New York University and his spring/summer collection was showcased at a pop-up event at the Holyrad Studio in Brooklyn, New York on May 20.
This summer, Altman will intern for Alyx Studio in Italy and study under designer Matthew Williams.
“I’m going to be wearing many hats. It will be a mixture of production, samples and wholesaling.”
Altman is gaining recognition in a hyper-competitive industry, but he remains gracious, diligent and focused.
“It was never about making tons of money. We want a loyal and understanding consumer base, and it’s important to me that I retain creative control and produce my vision.”
Photo: Laurie Tennent