“It’s a big day for me and it’s great to see everything come together,” says designer Ian Velardi. “It’s my first time showing – ever, so it’s definitely a cool experience to see it all in front of me.” Velardi’s debut men’s presentation, which took place this afternoon at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, could have doubled as an Ivy League prep school smattering – and the good ol’ U.S.A. was certainly on his mind. From cotton button-down sweatshirts with our country’s three letters emblazoned across the chest (which also was presented in a pinwheel baseball cap), Velardi took inspiration from his own closet. “It just felt like the right time to infuse our country into my collection,” he says. “I have a few vintage U.S.A. sweaters that I’ve had forever, but as a designer, this felt like the right time to showcase that inspiration – yet with my own little spin on it.” Some of his collections highlights include an ivory deep v-neck chunky sweater, a killer gray herringbone double-breasted jacket, and a midnight navy 2-button single-breasted tuxedo jacket. But for Velardi, two of his favorites included a gray shearling bomber jacket as well as a pair of grey panel sweatpants, which he paired with a pair of Birkenstocks. However, it’s the American influence he hopes to carry forward, especially in his sweatshirts. “I want these to become staples of my line that are repeated every season – just with a slight variation,” he says. Here’s to next season, sir.