• at home with
    AT HOME WITH IAN VELARDI
    Menswear designer Ian Velardi gives us a peek of his NYC apartment - a smartly staged studio that strongly resembles his style as a fashion designer.
    February 25, 2015  |  BY TARIQ DIXON
    When I first stepped into Ian Velardi's Gramercy apartment, it felt oddly familiar - as if I had previously experienced the space, but couldn't remember when or how. But in reality, I had never seen as much as a single photo, or had even met the designer in person.

    As I continued to peer around the one-room apartment, I slowly began to make sense of the seeming familiarity. From the menswear fabric remnants used to create throw pillows, to the model cars carefully placed on his bookshelves, his home and work clearly shared the same sets of inspiration. Both timeless, with hints of nostalgia and sport, Ian's home was a perfect reflection of his work as a designer.

    While all designers hope to one day realize a fully resolved and distinguishable point of view - one that translates across varied mediums - Mr. Velardi has already achieved clarity in his vision, even despite his relatively young age.

    A GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America alum for work on his eponymous label, Ian has since joined the ranks at Bonobos as Design Director for outerwear, tailored and their golf collection Maide. Known for injecting a bit of edge into classic and wearable clothes, Velardi's move to Bonobos seemed natural - his values aligning closely with the pioneering, online-based brand.

    But, as we were pleasantly surprised to learn, Ian considers his personal brand to merely be on pause, not abandoned. With tentative plans to soon resurrect his much-admired label, Ian has only scratched the surface of his potential as a designer, with decades more of creativity still left under his belt.

    Tour Ian's perfectly placed studio apartment, and learn how he transforms a single room into a space that's equal parts functional and tranquil.
  • We were big fans of your eponymous label, but never heard the story on what happened to it...

    I had my collection for four years and it was always a one-man operation. I did all the design, the sales, the production, the merchandising, the logistics, the operations. I was making everything in Italy and there was a ton of travel. It was crazy! I needed to take a break for a bit, but I do plan to relaunch it one day. Not sure of the timing yet, but you'll hear about it soon enough.

    But the guys here at Bonobos are great. They're really supportive of my personal projects, so long as they don't interfere with my job.

  • Was a career in menswear design always in the cards?

    Clothing has always been my passion, ever since I was really young. But I've never actually studied design. I studied marketing in college, and entered a rotational training program at Hickey Freeman after graduation. I spent a year in sales, another in merchandising and then eventually design.

    As a design assistant, I spent a lot of time at the factory in Rochester - that's really where I learned the craft. I got a lot of hands-on training from the tailors, and learned most things on the fly. It was more about curiosity and asking a lot of questions.

  • You also seem to be a big fan of cars...

    Yea, for sure. My dad is a big car lover and he kind of passed that onto me. Porsche has always had a special place in my heart. I just think it's the most beautiful design. The shape and the body of the Porsche is something I always reference when I'm working.

    I actually used to have a blog called 'Man on the Move.' I started it with a friend, and did for about 3 years. I have no involvement in it anymore, but he still runs it. We took pictures of cars on the street - sort of like the Sartorialist for cars.

  • I'm really digging the backdrop. Are you also big into the outdoors?

    For sure. I love the mountains. I love the outdoors. I love nature. It's a way to clear my head, find tranquility, but also a great source of inspiration for work. I actually find it kind of hard to be creative in the City. Information is so accessible - it's so shared. The second something is exposed, everyone has their hands on it. For anything authentic today, it's got to be more difficult. Real ideas, real sparks, come to you when you're far from here.

  • ...
    “It's of Big Sky, Montana. I came across the work on a photographer's website, got in contact with him and asked him if he could sell me a digital file that I could blow up and print up on a piece of vinyl. Luckily, I have a friend who does vinyl printing for billboards, so essentially, I have a billboard on my wall.”
    - Ian Velardi
  • I like order because I usually have a lot going on at work and in my head. I feel like my environment needs to be like structured. Otherwise, I just can't focus.

  • “I love the mountains. I love the outdoors. I love nature. It's a way to clear my head, find tranquility, but also a great source of inspiration for work. ”
    - Ian Velardi, Menswear Designer
  • shop the story
    BLACK, GREY AND BEIGE
    One of our favorite aspects of Ian's home is it's calming color palette. He pairs graphic greyscale patterns with warm, neutral tones. Check out our selections inspired by Ian's color story of black, grey and beige.
  • ...
    “I actually designed the table and worked worked with a lumber yard on 25th St. to build it. It's a small, family run operation, and it's not typically what they do. But if you go to them with a design, they'll build it! ”
    - Ian Velardi
  • The apartment has a great flow. How did you think about function when planning the layout?

    When I first started thinking about the space, the one thing I was certain of is that I wanted a communal table. I wanted some place to invite people over and hang out. Nothing too big - enough for four or five people to drink a bottle of wine, throw some records on...Chill. I wanted to find a place for the table before I did anything else because that was most important to me. I also thought it would be a nice separation between the bed and the couch. I considered putting up a screen up, but then it would block the light, and I didn't want to do that. I wanted it to be an open space, and to be as airy as possible, for a small room.

  • Is your bed always so perfectly made?

    Yup, I make it everyday. I can't leave my apartment without making my bed. I just can't. It helps me start the day, helps me end the day. I'm a bit of a neat freak, so this is how my apartment looks all the time. It's not just like this because you were coming to shoot, haha. I like order because I usually have a lot going on at work and in my head. I feel like my environment needs to be like structured. Otherwise, I just can't focus.

    I'm not really a minimalist though. There's a lot of stuff in here, but it's all organized. I still want for the place to feel warm and personal, even if it's very placed and precise.

  • There's a lot of stuff in here, but it's all organized. I still want for the place to feel warm and personal, even if it's very placed and precise.

  • ...
    “They're original screen prints from Warner Bros. I picked them up at Brimfield. I was told that they're from the early to mid-60s. I just love the colors. I think the colors are incredible.”
    - Ian Velardi
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