If you had to sum up the interior style of Fernando Garcia, his designer Robert Stilin has a few words to offer: “It’s soulful, it’s moody,” he says of Garcia’s SoHo loft. “It just has an edge to it.”
As the creative director of Oscar de la Renta and Monse, it’s expected that Garcia’s space would be original and interesting. But while pop culture has taught us to expect a sort of aesthetic austerity from the homes of our fashion designers, such as Halston’s glass-walled, floating staircase townhouse on the Upper East Side, or over-the-top opulence like Coco Chanel’s residence at 31 Rue Cambon, Garcia’s space is cool, laid back, and well, personal.
The couch is adorned in a taupe Loro Piana cashmere, with cushions so sink-into-able that Garcia jokes “everybody who I have had here agrees the Robert Stilin couch is why they come to my apartment, not so much for myself.”
On a desk sits a Paul Morehouse sculpture, on the walls hang Mark Seliger’s Vanity Fair Oscar portraits of Brie Larson and Scarlett Johansson, who both wore Oscar de la Renta gowns to the annual Hollywood affair. On a coffee table, done in the style of Aldo Tura, sits a book of Ed Ruscha paintings. A corner is adorned by a vintage leather chair from the 1960s, whose previous owner seems likely to have smoked Cuban cigars and swigged cognac from its very plaid-covered seat.
“[Garcia is] like the opposite of the image you have of a big, fancy fashion designer—even though he completely is that,” says Stilin. “He’s homey. He likes to cook. He’s totally ok with people bringing their dogs over.”
Three years ago, Garcia lived in what he described as a “hole in the wall” apartment in the West Village. He’d been residing in those types of rentals for awhile—the ones that you essentially only use for sleep when most of your life is spent at work, commuting to work, or blowing off steam after work. “It was someplace where I just had a bed,” he says. Yet, he found himself yearning for a place that felt more permanent.
So, he made a move: to a loft in SoHo, with an exposed brick wall and plenty of light. Then he enlisted Robert Still to help him make it feel like home. “we jut get each other’s aesthetics,” Garcia says of his collaboration with Stilin. “I knew he could reflect who I am though furniture.”
The preeminent characteristic for Stilin’s interior selections were that they’d allow Garcia to “enjoy his downtime,” says Stilin. “He’s got such a public job. I wanted this place to be a sanctuary.”
He sourced a Franco Albini “Tre Pezzi” Purple Alpaca chair, orange velvet curtains from Anthropologie, a vintage Børge Mogensen Leather wing recliner—all pieces that are sophisticated yet tactile.
On any given week, you’ll find Garcia, well, living in his “rugged, open, and comfortable” space. He’s cooking scrambled eggs in the kitchen (I’m a breakfast person,” he explains), watching Kathy Hilton on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or playing ‘Settlers of Catan’ in his living room with friends. As Garcia puts it, “I’m happy that I want to come home.”
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.