Contestant #7: Gino Velardi

We're already at contestant #7 for the Tamarac Square Fashion Project -- just five more to go. Keep track of everyone as we get ready for the big showdown on Wednesday night, March 28, at 7 p.m., when everyone can come and meet the twelve designers and hear what challenge they'll face first.

Name: Gino Velardi

Company name: Gino Velardi Fashions

Years designing: 7 a real business, not a hobby.

Bio: Gino Velardi was born and raised in Denver, where he was drawn to the art community. Initially, Gino tapped into fashion design by constructing fashionable costumes for small productions. In 2001, he began designing clothing many considered "a work-of-art on a woman's body."

Without professional training in apparel design or tailoring, he was asked to present a fashion show for a gallery opening. After experiencing Fashion Week in New York in 2003, Gino felt more inspired than ever to introduce his designs to new clients and expand beyond the borders of the art world.

Today, his clients are some if Denver's most fashionable and trend-setting people -- including local celebrities. His vision is to make women feel confident and beautiful. Gino's energy and designs focus on high-end clothing cut from luxurious fabrics, with a classic style and fearless sexuality! Denver celebrity you'd most like to design for? Libby Weaver of Fox31 What inspires you? (No fair saying everything; be specific.) MUSIC!!! I like to imagine what a woman would wear while walking down the runway to a certain style of music...that's a big part of my creative process.

Favorite Denver eatery? Sushi Den Favorite local boutique? Mona Lucero's boutique Favorite fabric? Velvets and matte jersey Favorite way to finish seams? Serge Prints or solids? Solids...I like to focus on innovative cuts and not depend on the print to make the dress. Dogs or cats? Neither...I'm allergic. Nerd, I know. :-) Kate Moss or Linda Evangelista? Linda Evangelista...she's my favorite supermodel!

Favorite guilty pleasure? Okay...I like to watch The Golden Girls ...don't laugh! Last book you read? Does Vogue count? Red chili or green chile? Green chile...yummy! New York or L.A.? New York, but L.A. for red carpet events...that's my goal! Chloe Dao or Jeffrey Sebelia? Jeffrey Sebelia Loose or tailored? Tailored Jacqueline Kennedy or Jackie Brown? Jackie O, of course!

Town or country? Town Silk charmeuse or silk shantung? Silk charmeuse Couture or ready-to-wear? Couture Curvy or androgynous? Curvy...I like dressing women. Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan? Lindsay Lohan Michael Kors or Zac Posen? Michael Kors Jeans or slacks? Slacks Bill Ritter or John Hickenlooper? Are they models? Just kidding...Hickenlooper. Escalade or Prius? Escalade Vogue or W? Vogue Favorite current couture designer? Valentino!!! Favorite past couture designer? Givenchy Sleek or volume? Sleek Form or function? Form Favorite place to travel for inspiration? The Bahamas...just came back, wonderful clarity! Favorite place to travel for fabric? Denver Fabrics Polkadots or camouflage? Polkadots Pretty or edgy? Pretty, but sexy! Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn? Tim Gunn

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