Arizona 20 Years: Charlotte Ronson

Published July 11, 2012

MIGUEL ENAMORADO: You studied Studio Art at NYU, how does this influence your approach to design?

CHARLOTTE RONSON: I find NY very inspiring, there is an amazing energy and flow of creativity in NY like nowhere else.

ENAMORADO: You grew up in NY. How do the streets inspire you? Does AriZona feel very NY to you?

RONSON: Just watching the people on the streets of NY is inspiring, there are so many styles and unique points of views. Fashion is very much inspired by the streets, has always been and I’m sure it will continue to do so.

ENAMORADO: Your business is ever-expanding; you recently launched Charlotte Ronson beauty and a handbag collection-what’s next?

RONSON: I am currently working on finishing up Spring13 runway, a bag collection with Artisan House, bikinis with Shoshanna, IHR with JCPenney, and a few more exciting projects are in the works but you’ll just have to wait and see.

ENAMORADO: What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

RONSON: Make sure you love what you do.

ENAMORADO: What do you think every aspiring designer should know?

RONSON: Every designer has to stand behind and believe in what they are creating.

ENAMORADO: What’s the first thing you ever designed?

RONSON: Once I graduated from NYU I started making custom vintage tees for my friends and it just took off from there.

ENAMORADO: Can you tell me a little bit about the mood for your Spring Summer 2013 collection? What’s on your mood board?

RONSON: You’ll just have to wait until our runway show in September….

ENAMORADO: You’ve designed for JC Penney as well as Urban Outfitters. How do you balance your personal style with the style of the store? What do you prioritize?

RONSON: My line is a great reflection of my personal style, I have been lucky because I have worked with such amazing teams on my collaborations and they really support my vision.

ENAMORADO: I heard that your Urban Outfitters line “Play” was named after a mix tape that your sister gave you-what sort of a role does the music you’re listening to play in your designs? How has your sister influenced you?

RONSON: Samantha and I collaborate on music for the runway, I show her the inspirations for the collection and she always finds the perfect music to partner with the collection and tell the story. Music sets the mood and energy of the runway.

ENAMORADO: Do you have a design motto?

RONSON: Less is more.

ENAMORADO: What do you do when you are feeling uninspired?

RONSON: I love looking at vintage for inspiration; go see movies, art galleries, watch people on the street, you have to really keep your eyes open and see how you can reinterpret the old and make it modern and relevant again.   ENAMORADO: 20 years ago you were 14, where were you and did you already have fashion-designer aspirations?

RONSON: I had an appreciation for clothes and style starting at a young age, my mom was always very fashionable and I loved playing dress up in her closet. So I think my passion for design was always there.

ENAMORADO:  Were would you like to be 20 years from now?

RONSON: It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m doing what I love.

ENAMORADO: When you think of the brand AriZona what comes to mind?

RONSON: Variety.

ENAMORADO: If you were to create a collection inspired by AriZona beverages, what colors, patterns and combinations would you choose? Who would be your prefect model to represent them?

RONSON: This is a tough one…There are so many different colors and designs within the brand. It would depend which season I was working with as I always use so many prints each season… A perfect model would be my twin sister Samantha as she is beautiful, talented and a true individual.

ENAMORADO: Why did you choose this particular can as your favorite? Tell us about its color, images, texture, techniques?

RONSON: I choose the Manuel Peon Design. The patterns were very similar to my patterns from the FW12 collection. 

ENAMORADO: How did this can respond to your interpretation of the AriZona brand?   RONSON: The can is colorful and original like all AriZona products. It actually looks as good as it tastes…

ENAMORADO: Has your experience collaborating with different brands influenced how you evaluated the top three AriZona Ice Tea Cherry Lime Rickey can designs?

RONSON: I love the Cherry Lime design! Having collaborated with multiple brands in the past I have a true appreciation for blending two ideas. It was fun to see his each designer’s interpretation.

ENAMORADO: What’s your favorite AriZona drink?

RONSON: The Arnold Palmer!

ENAMORADO: What’s your first memory of AriZona?

RONSON: I have always loved they’re oversized bottle—always delicious and refreshing.

ENAMORADO: Which AriZona can design is most attractive to you (besides your choice for the Cherry Lime Rickey)?

RONSON: Cocozona. I always have florals in my collections.

For more from AriZona’s design panel, click here.