THE CREATIVE DUO OF TAPP BEAUTY AND THEIR SPIRITED APPROACH TO LIFE, HOME, AND DESIGN.
With its striking patterns, contrasting hues, and tailored fit, Tapp Beautiful is unique in more ways than one. The founders, each with a colorful history in the arts, exude what it means to be an innovative designer—with pizazz to boot.
Bobbie Beautiful and Charlton Alicea-Tapp, aka Cha Cha, began dreaming up their next big idea during the pandemic. As a former champion ballroom dancer, beauty aficionado, combined with the creator of Tapp New York, a 1990s brand featured in the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom, this duo is well acquainted with the industry. Coupled with Bobbie’s home design background and successful clothing company—years ago having Bergdorf Goodman as his first-ever client—the collaboration was a match made in heaven.
So while artists came out of retirement to paint and authors returned to their forgotten novels, the duo began to compile fabrics. Charlton says Bobbie presented him with a selection of prints one afternoon during the initial quarantine. “He said that he was thinking about making some clothes again but only wanted to do it together,” Charlton says. “Tapp Beautiful has now been three years in the making. At first we thought about doing small runs, 12 of this and 12 of that. Then the fabrics and the designs kept rushing in and I knew we had enough ideas to make one-of-a-kinds.”
Bobbie says that the concept was inspired by his former clothing line, featuring combinations of curated prints that were oftentimes reversible. The creative, with an innate eye for beauty, adds that he’s “always loved the gimmick” of a two-for-one piece. The finalized concept? Wearable art, where no two pieces are identical. The pair’s designs include breezy dresses, structured pantsuits, and knee-length dresses with strong collars.
“The silhouettes are timeless and the prints and fabrics will stand the test of time,” Charlton says. “It’s hard to put Tapp Beautiful into trends. Picasso is not just a trend, and a Monet will live on forever.” Together, the designers are complementing forces of nature. Charlton describes their working relationship like “magic, where one presents initial concepts and the other will begin to fill in the details. Their bold approach to life extends into the home, where many of their ideas come to life in a kaleidoscope of color. Charlton describes their blended aesthetic as “exuberant” and like “stepping into Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
“I’ve always been a lover of kitsch and subtle humor which is often reflected in many of the things we design,” Bobbie says. “We have a large vintage portrait canvas of Jackie Onassis in a thick gold frame and a set of life-sized coiffed poodles originally used as store displays in the 50s.” There’s goldfish wallpaper on the ceiling and six different wallpapers in one bathroom. Stepping into their home, there’s no doubt that it serves as a vast pool of inspiration for the pair.
“There are definitely similarities, if not the exact same approach to interiors, fashion, and gardens,” Charlton says. “One thing that always rings true is that if you love it, surround yourself with it and you can never go wrong. The love for that something will be the glue that binds it all together.” As for what’s ahead? The two prefer to keep things interesting. Bobbie had a stint in professional landscaping, and has reimagined many residential interiors. Charlton is a former Spartan runner, won Dancing with the Stars in Charlotte, and runs Tapp Beauty—formerly the Jeffre Scott Apothecary.
“I never ask myself what I want to do with my life,” Bobbie says. “I think more short-term and do what I like to do at that time. It always revolves around beauty.” As for Tapp Beautiful, the path ahead will likely fork into men’s fashion. But the purpose remains the same for the inventive duo. “Continuing to spread the gospel of beauty,” Charlton says. “A beautiful life is everyone’s birthright, just look inside and look around you. It’s always there waiting for you to take hold.