Emmett McCarthy was born sixth out of eight children in North Haven, Connecticut, designer Emmett McCarthy and now lives and works in New York City. Emmett’s artistic talents were recognized at age six by Alfred Tulk, who encouraged Emmett’s parents to educate him in drawing and painting. Emmett attended the Educational Center for the Arts, a talented and gifted high school for Visual and Performing Arts in New Haven, Connecticut. In New Haven, teacher, sculptor and artist Anna Broell Bresnick encouraged Emmett to nurture his ability to design clothing. Emmett studied fashion design and earned his B.F.A. at Parsons School of Design. In the 1980s, he met Antonio Lopez, fashion illustrator to the world’s elite designers. Mentored by Antonio before he died of AIDS in 1987, he was one of Emmett’s strongest influences. Emmett went on to work as a photo stylist and editor with photographer Maureen Goss and also collaborated with fashion illustrator Andrea Selby.
After graduating from Parsons, Emmett moved to London and then Paris, working for designers in both cities and cultivating his taste for European style, color and silhouettes. After returning to New York City, he began designing men’s sport and dress shirts for Publix Group, Nautica and Wrangler. Emmett was then hired as Design Director of Sportswear Collections with designer Ron Chereskin and remained there for six years, creating fashion shows at CFDA’s Seventh on Sixth in Bryant Park and overseeing the design direction of licensees and advertising promotions.
In addition to his extensive travels, Emmett is also influenced by literature. He attended New York University to study screen writing where he collaborated on a film script with Nicole Hughes, writer and founder of Plastic Sugar Press. He has also written two memoirs, “My Lips Were Sealed” and “Frankly Stated,” which both recount his experience growing up in a large family challenged with death, illness and his difficulty with coming out to his Irish Catholic family.