Countdown to Velardi Fashion Show at Invesco

Gino Velardi is a Colorado native, fashion designer extraordinaire who is self taught, self made, and a top shelf local designer. You have exactly one week to get your tickets for his show at Invesco. I was able to do an e-mail interview with Velardi; he’s in crunch time which didn’t permit a face to face over lattes. Hope this gives you a glimpse of his passion and dedication to design, and perfection in his craftsmanship, but to really get a flavor and feel for his talent you and I will have to sit runway-side next Friday. Can’t wait to see it live! I have the perfect LBD! Click here for details on his upcoming show. Read the full interview below.

Fashion Folio: When did your fascination with design and fashion begin?

A: As a kid, I watched my mother getting ready for events and how glamorous she would be, and that charged my desire for fashion. She would instruct me on how a woman should dress and what she should focus on, then once she showed me a fashion magazine…that was it! I knew what industry I wanted to be in. I worked as a make-up artist, hairstylist and an event planner…and all those experiences made me decide to do fashion design. I knew what kind of woman I wanted to design for and that I wanted to create my own business and it’s been a long, long road…but worth every experience.

Fashion Folio: Who is your muse for your designs? If a celebrity were to wear your designs, who would you love that person to be?

A: My muses are the old Hollywood heroins of the 1940’s. To me, that was a true epitome of a glamorous woman…that cared about how she dressed and how she was perceived by others. Their grace and elegance filled the screen with confidence and beauty. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I was hypnotized by their presence. But the celebrity I would love to design for is Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman.

Fashion Folio: Did you go to school for fashion design?

A: No, didn’t attend school for fashion design. I didn’t have that option as a kid growing up. I come from a large family and had to make due with what I had. I’m completely self-taught and through time and determination…I developed my sewing skills and with every show I push myself to create something new that I was afraid of doing before. I’m a perfectionist and anything less than that was not acceptable. I look back at my history, I see how much I grew as a designer and as a person. It’s invaluable to me.

Fashion Folio: Which fashion designers out there today inspire you and why?

A: Valentino is my favorite designer. I feel his attention to detail and the tailoring of his clothes are amazing. Versace was my first love at the time and that developed my interest in fashion design. His daringness in his cuts and sex appeal was very alluring to me. I also love Alexander McQueen…his visionary creations are jaw-dropping and he amazes me every season. He doesn’t hold back and his ideas of what a woman should wear is undeniable. Plus…I love all their fashion shows every season. Very inspiring!!!

Fashion Folio: What made you want to design for women? Would you consider a men’s line?

A: When I design a collection…I always have my mother, sister and grandmother in mind. I want to make clothes for every type of woman and they all can pick something from the collection that works for them. I do men’s wear and had a full men’s collection about 5 years ago, but most men don’t consider having something made especially for them. But I sew things for myself all the time. And I have men ask me where I got my suit or shirt and I tell them it’s my design, but again…they don’t special order anything. I plan to do one again, but my focus is woman’s wear for now. My new venture is developing a line of handbags…so keep a look out for them! J

Fashion Folio: What is this line’s inspiration/theme? Where is it sold? Where can readers find it?

A: My inspiration for this show was elegance! I’m very proud of this collection because it’s representing a new maturity in my designs and myself. This show is the most detailed and focused on collection I’ve ever done. All my clothes are custom made. BUT not expensive. For what you would pay at a high end boutique or major department store…I can do it for them, but make to fit their body perfectly. I love tailoring a garment to make it look its best on every woman. Anyone that wants a custom made dress can contact me on my website . It’s a real couture process. We have a consultation and discuss the garment, shop together for fabric and in the process of fittings and the end product…women love that level of attention. I want to make them feel special and unique.

Fashion Folio: Are you a Denver native? If not, when did you move here and why? Where else have you lived? Talk about Denver ’s style and if you design for Denverites and incorporate that style or not.

A: I was born a Colorado native and very proud of it. Never lived outside of Denver , but I know that day is coming to branch out and be in the city that affords me more opportunities. I’m really a big scardy cat, to be truthful. But the Denver fashion and art community has such great support for its local talent. We have some amazing designers here and that just fuels my desire to do more. I think Denver has a strong fashion outlook, yet it’s small, but we’re not a cow town anymore. My clients are local celebrities and socialites. But I dabble in everything…from my evening wear to sportswear…lingerie to swimwear…costuming and children’s wear…just everything. I’m always pushing myself and my creativity to the limit.

Fashion Folio: What are your favorite local boutiques/retail spots and why? Favorite coffee shop, restaurant/bar or other? Fave Denver places and faces

A: I’m a little bit of a recluse, but I enjoy dining out at a nice restaurant or even a local dive. My favorite is Sushi Den…love that place!

Fashion Folio: How do you dress day to day? What are your go-to wardrobe staples for yourself and what would you suggest for women to have?

A: My dress changes from day to day…depends on my mood. I love dressing up and being fancy and then the next day, I have a baseball cap on and flip-flops. But my fashion staples are a great pair of jean, of which I found at Target, and a great watch…then I build an outfit around that. My fashion suggestions for women is to focus on accessorizing. Woman can wear a simple pair of jeans and a tank top, BUT with the right accessories…can make an outfit. Be daring and have fun! There are so many fun things out there a woman can get away with, rather than men, but a true gentleman is always a woman’s best accessory!!!

Fashion Folio: Last words before show next Friday!!!!

A: I’m just excited about the show!!! I don’t have much to say, but I hope tons of people show up and enjoy an evening of high fashion and a fun event. It’s my biggest one to date and on top of that…it shows my maturity and dedication to fashion. I want to show the people an “experience” with fashion!

IMG_6420 done glam_Houndstooth swing coat

Gino Velardi Designs- Photo Courtesy of Chris Hibner


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