Peer Perspective: Donna Petracca, Dreamgirl Costumes
Design Director, Dreamgirl Costumes
PPR: What does your job entail?
I design all of the women’s and men’s costumes and accessories for the Dreamgirl Costume Collection. I do the design direction for the catalogue and write the descriptions and copy. My job also includes fitting the line and working with key customers in selling the line.
PPR: What do you enjoy most about it?
I love the people that I work with. Susan Feldman, our VP of Merchandising, is brilliant. She motivates me every day with her endless flow of inspiration and encouragement. Our VP of Production, Gloria Rosales, is incredibly intelligent and capable making my job so much easier. I have never seen her in a bad mood, even though the weight of Dreamgirl production is literally on her shoulders. I also love working with our mega-talented graphic artist, Bill Springer, who makes all of my ideas come alive in our catalogue. Lastly, I love our CEO, Christopher Scharff, who is always one step ahead of the curve in his forward thinking, and always has time to listen to my ideas no matter how crazy they might be.
PPR: What questions do you hear most often?
Questions I most often hear: What is your design process like? How in the world do you come up with all of this?
My answer: I have such a passion for designing that I go into a euphoric state when I design. (Yes, I know that sounds strange.) I have so much fun designing that the hours fly by. Sometimes I will design all night, looking at the clock and thinking, one more hour then I have to go to bed. In the morning, my office is a complete mess and I have a stack of sketches. My mannequin is draped in fabrics and trims, and swatch cards litter the floor.
PPR: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I spend a lot of time with my daughter, Jessica, shopping, going out to eat, or snuggling up watching our show, “Desperate Housewives.” My son, John, has a YouTube channel and writes comedy. We go to dinner or lunch together and brainstorm about the next video he is going to work on. My boyfriend, Vincent, is an actor and loves all things creative. We often go to museums, musicals and plays, or take a ride down to the beach and watch the sun set with a delicious glass of wine. Enjoying time with friends and family is everything to me, so that is how I choose to spend most of my free time.
(Below is a video interview with Petracca from the 2016 Halloween & Party Expo in New Orleans.)