Celebrity interior designer Vanessa Deleon is known for her art-deco rooted, “glamilistic” (a term she coined) styling approach, both inside the home, and in her own impeccably chic wardrobe. She is the perfect fusion of glamour and minimalistic — 1920’s meets 2020, upscale Fifth Avenue meets downtown boho chic. So this Garden State beauty’s closet is the ideal one to feature first for our inaugural ‘Closet Confessions’ feature, where we take you inside the best New Jersey closets. Get ready to have some major wardrobe envy!
The Edgewater resident started out in the fashion world after graduating from FIT, and landing a job with Ralph Lauren. She soon transitioned into the world of interiors, by designing for customers at her father’s furniture store. While attending Berkeley College for Interior Design, Vanessa decided to branch out on her own, creating Vanessa Deleon Associates, where she specializes in high-end residential homes, commercial venues, and hospitality facilities. Vanessa has designed stunning abodes for many of the state’s biggest names, from Coco Austin and Ice-T, to Rev Run.
Vanessa is also a celebrity in her own right, having made memorable appearances on numerous television shows like The Apprentice, NBC’s American Dream Builders, and HGTV’s Generation Renovation. Her expertise has also been featured in prestigious publications like Design NJ, Latina Magazine, Time, and Cosmopolitan.
So you would think Vanessa would have no problem when it came to designing her own closet, but converting a bedroom into a wall-to-wall wardrobe, proved to be quite challenging, even for the most seasoned pro. Vanessa says it was difficult working around the windows and finding a way to make them work. She also had to find a way to store her massive collection of jeans. She built one shelf around the entire closet that is designated just for her denim collection. Her best advice when creating your own walk-in closet is knowing what you have, and how you use it is.
Much like her interior design style, Vanessa’s personal aesthetic is deeply rooted with both streamline elements and minimalism, which in turn, results in her chic and glamorous, yet modern look.
How would you describe your personal style? It’s like my design style. It’s rock n’ roll meets Upper East Side. I’ll wear jeans and a t-shirt with boots or heels, juxtaposed to kind of plain jane, I’ll wear a fabulous bag with a t-shirt from Target.
What is your favorite handbag in your collection? My Vintage Birkin Bag that is painted by artist Domingo Zapata with one of his poems Kiss me like you miss me. It’s graffitied and very street.
Who are your go-to designers? Chanel, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alice and Olivia.
What are some of your favorite low end stores? I love H&M and Forever 21.
What is your signature color? Black
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Too many to count, but in the hundreds.
What does your everyday look consist of? Mostly jeans and heels, with a blazer and funky shirt. Or a t-shirt with a glamorous necklace, and I always have a pair of flats in my bag.
What do you wear for a night out on the town? A little dress, with a pair of heels or booties, and fabulous bag.
What is one item every women should have in her closet? A little black dress