Fernando Garcia’s SoHo Loft Has Just Enough Edge

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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.

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A vintage French leather club chair was sourced from Marché aux Puces in Paris. On the walls hang photographs by Santiago Porter, an Argentine artist.

Photo: By Stephen Johnson

Garcia’s coffee table is done int he style of Aldo Tura, an Italian mid-century designer.

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Photo: By Stephen Johnson

“[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 bed,” he says. Yet, he found himself yearning for a place that felt more permanent.

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“I knew he could reflect who I am through furniture,” Garcia says of why he chose Stilin as his interior designer. From left to right: a vintage Italian wing char, a vintage Børge Mogensen Leather wing chair, a Franco Albini “Tre Pezzi” Purple alpaca armchair and a Loro Piana cashmere-upholstered sofa.

Stephen Johnson

So, he made a move: to a loft in SoHo, with an exposed brick wall and plenty of light. Then he asked enlisted Robert Stilin to help him make it feel like home. “We just get each other’s aesthetics,” Garcia says of his collaboration with Stilin. “I knew he could reflect who I am through 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.”

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“I’m a breakfast person. So I concoct different kinds of eggs every other day,” says Garcia.

Stephen Johnson

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Stilin adorned this corner of Garcia’s apartment with vintage French industrial lights, an old-school gym bench, and an aluminum side chair on a swivel base.

Photo: By Stephen Johnson

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.

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Garcia’s bed is framed by velvet curtains from Anthropoogie, a vintage Italian light by Stilnovo, and a flag photograph by Michael Dweck.

Photo: By Stephen Johnson

In the dining room sits an antique English rustic trestle table, flanked by vintage café chairs bought at Marché aux Puces in Paris. The wall art is vintage French industrial panels in the manner of Prouvé, while pendants by Natalie Page hang from the ceiling.

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Photo: By Stephen Johnson

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.”

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