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Designer Taylor DeBartola talks blending fashion and function

Designer Taylor DeBartola talks blending fashion and function
April 2020

And why staying on brand is so important





Though he says he’s more of a storyteller than a trendsetter, make no mistake, the owner of TD Interiors has a strong point of view. It’s informed by childhood trips to fabric stores with his mom, a sense of nostalgia for ’70s Halston and Studio 54, an affinity for ’80s Designing Women, and his travels to the world’s top art museums. The designer, who is best known for the cheery interiors of Daps Breakfast & Imbibe, recently purchased a Charleston single on Queen Street, which he plans to update with color, texture, and “wallpaper for days.” Here, he tells us how his clothing style reflects his design aesthetic

Q Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to design and fashion?
A
No one has fused the worlds of personal and interior styles better than Ralph Lauren. He introduced us to the idea of easy American luxury—not a label, but a lifestyle.

Q What's on your wardrobe wish list this season?
A
I’m digging the ”Rally Polos” from Sid Mashburn. They have a chic cut that’s very ‘70s tennis star. It creates a well-fitting, effortless look.

Q Do you have a go-to interior paint color?
A
My favorite paint colors are “Hague Blue” and “Charlotte’s Locks” by Farrow and Ball. Never had a client regret using either.

Q Which accessory are you particular about?
A
I have always had a thing for watches. Though I was a late, reluctant adopter of the Apple Watch, I enjoy it and wear it all the time. If I don’t have on my nerd watch, I have a Panerai Luminor or a Breitling from the ‘40s that I purchased from Joint Venture on King Street, which has a great selection of vintage watches.

“There’s really only one good way for building a creative business—your way. Figure out your brand and then deliver it at all times.”

Q What’s your favorite local clothing store?
A
Lululemon gets its fair share of my clothing budget—the Commission pants are a favorite—mixed in with a top from Billy Reid. I’ve been shopping for shoes at the Charleston Place Gucci since Bob Ellis closed—a major loss. A mix of high and low: after all, I’m a hands-on designer, so a little moisture-wicking can really go a long way.

Q Tell us about your personal style.
A
I try to unapologetically dress in a way that pleases me, is functional, and reflects how I approach my business. Given the nature of my work, that translates into one day wearing some kind of performance pant, a horse-bit loafer, and 1996 Olympics T-shirt, and the next day a pair of joggers, Res Ipsa kilim loafers, and a cardigan. Anything goes—until it gets hot.

Q Do you have a ride-or-die grooming product?
A
After working with Meredith Mayo Wellness on developing a skin care routine (hello, welcome to your 30s), I simply cannot believe I lived without Beauty- counter’s #3 Balancing facial oil. Get on it and get carded with me.