I haven't known Ian or his namesake collection for long, but that hasn't stopped me from going on record and singing his praises. As it stands today, Mr. Velardi is one of my favorite American designers. You might not explicitly know Ian Velardi, but you're probably already a fan of his work. Previously, Ian was part of the Hickey brain trust, who along with Aaron Levine (another Sart Inc favorite and currently at Club Monaco) designed some incredible clothes that were arguably ahead of their time. I truly believe that if Hickey had come out just a year or so later it would still be around today, but that's a different story for a different time. Anyhow, Ian is only in his second season (F/W 2011 and S/S 2012), but is already on the radar of people whose taste I respect - you'll be able to find his stuff in Barneys and Park & Bond any day now. Ian's collection actually reminds me a lot of when Michael Bastian first started his namesake line. Not so much in terms of aesthetics per se, but both gentleman are doing similar things. They took impressive menswear pedigrees and turned their talents to creating classic sportswear that sets itself apart thanks to an understanding of fabric, fit and details. The end result is a collection that when looked at as a whole represents a solid wardrobe for the style conscious guy. The only down side to this, as far as I see it, is that getting hands on with clothing like this is truly the best way to experience it. See, that's often the conundrum that great sportwear faces. To the untrained eye and in pictures it often appears basic. But then, again, that's what men should be aiming for. You shouldn't want to stand out. You want beautifully made clothes that fit properly. That's what Ian is doing. Everything is Italian made (some of your favorite players are involved in the manufacturing process, especially with the sportcoats and trousers) save for some accessories so there is inherent value in each garment. S/S 2012 images on deck...GQ has the exclusive on that.