Close your eyes. It’s the year 1945. You’re dressed to the nines and everyone around you looks like they just got off the set of Casablanca. It’s a simplistic time that’s full of etiquette and poise.
Meet fashion designer based out of Austin, Eric Renteria, owner of Etiquette Vintage Design. Whenever Renteria comes up with designs and what to focus on for his next fashion project, this is the image he sees.
“If you go back and look at it, it’s a classic look,” Renteria said. “ The ’20s up to the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s have been a big, really classic look and I thought, ‘these women looked amazing!’ It goes back to the Tech yearbooks — if you go look at them from the 1930s and ’40s and look at the homecoming queen, I mean, she looks like a movie star. “
Renteria is known for his old-school fashion letterman sweaters. While he may envision his targeted market to feel like a socialite from the era, many modern-day starlets are fans of his work as well. Renteria said Allison Williams from the hit HBO series “Girls,” rapper Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover from “Community”) and Zooey Deschannel are some of his famous fans. Not to mention his designs have been featured in Playboy and Vogue Italia as well.
Renteria will tell you that his success did not happen overnight. In fact, Renteria said, it all began during his time at Texas Tech. Renteria said he attended the University of Texas at Austin and studied nutrition and then continued his education at Texas Tech studying exercise science. He said he has no fashion background whatsoever and has never studied the craft a day in his life.
“You know, I made my original sweater when I was freezing my ass of there at 28th and Boston by J&B,” Renteria said.
He continued to explain how after the sweater was complete he would wear it around campus and then extended the stylish sweater to Austin. Renteria said many of his good friends who are in the fashion business reside in the Capital city.
“They started asking me, ‘Hey can I use your sweater to style something or for a photo shoot?’ he said. “That’s kind of where it picked up.”
Not only has he achieved success in the state of Texas, he’s recently caught the Big Apple’s attention. Renteria said he will attend New York Fashion Week (NYFW) and his show will take place in Times Square on Feb. 9. He said he plans on showing 25 to 30 looks and he is the only one constructing and designing all of them. Renteria said he really enjoys personalizing his shows and being hands-on with the production of it all.
“I always play Buddy Holly songs every runway show that I do because I went to Tech and I’m a huge Buddy Holly fan,” he said. “I lived near Tech Terrace, which is kind of like where he used to hang out. That’s kind of my inspiration.”
Renteria said his NYFW show will be divided into two viewings. He said the first one will display his earlier material, including his letterman sweaters. The second will focus on what he is doing now, which includes dresses, skirts, men’s blazers, ties and bow ties.
So how could Renteria possibly top NYFW? While in New York, he said, he will be meeting with producers for fashion and reality television shows. He said not only would his clothes get to be exposed on the runway, but he too would get recognition as a designer.
“It’s supposed to be hosted by Rihanna. It’s this new designer/stylist show. I auditioned for ‘Fashion Star’ and ‘Project Runway’,” he said. “I made it to the last round and I’m assuming that’s where they got my number. “
Renteria said the fashion industry has been fun so far and he cannot wait to see what happens in the upcoming years. He said when people ask him where he sees himself in five years, he cannot even imagine what he will continue to accomplish.
Renteria said in the past two years he and his best friend, who handles his public relations, have achieved so much as it is. Renteria said they are currently looking for an investor for their brand, so that they can dream bigger for a better future.
For viewing fashion design as only a passion and hobby, Renteria has made quite the name for himself and he said he only has Tech to thank for helping make all of his success possible.
“I used Tech and I made a lot of friends, and I love the university,” he said. “It’s a very interesting network.”
Be sure to check out Etiquette Vintage’s newest ad in the video above!