Todd Oldham is best known for his progressive design philosophy, spending the past 20 years designing both living spaces and products. As a designer, he is known for combining fashion with bold, whimsical, and often surrealistic clothing lines that push the envelope of form versus function.
With product design, however, he has combined form with function in practical and accessible ways; eventually contributing to the La-Z-Boy furniture line and the Home Room Collection for Target. In architecture, the famous South Beach Hotel of Miami brings glowing light to every hallway, a collection of mosaic and art deco detailing, and lush, charismatic fabrics that warms the background of every room.
Born in 1961, in Corpus Christi, Texas, Todd Oldham spent much of his time moving around due his father's career as a computer programmer. While not formally schooled, his first foray into the world of fashion and design was at the age of 15, when he created his first dress out of several pillowcases.
Oldham worked briefly for the alterations department at the Polo/Ralph Lauren in Dallas, Texas, once graduating high school; he quickly set out to create designs and alterations of his own. In 1988, he moved to New York and started his first women's clothing collection, Times 7. He began his first clothing line with a hundred dollars of borrowed money from his parents, with which he bought 41 yards of white cotton jersey, dyed it, and sold the small collection to Neiman Marcus.
Oldham has often credited his ingenuity in fashion to his lack of formal training, which has often allowed him to stray from simple fashion to a world of imagination where hammocks have become dresses, garage sale items have adorned suits, and his sense of whimsy has carried his fashion lines to become a resplendent craft of the unexpected.
In 2000, Todd Oldham started architecture school, drafting by hand and later learning to use a computer for his architectural projects. Oldham's most recent home collection at Target reaches out to the younger crowd seeking style on a limited budget.
While Oldham's design career is impressive, his design for living is also outside of the norm of many contemporaries. His television appearances on MTV's House of Style garnered him a following of millions of teens and young adults, while his most recent foray into reality television has him mentoring contestants on Bravo's Top Design show, where contestants compete for cash and a spot in New York's Designer Showcases.
He has produced a number of books on various aspects of style, including photos and essays on filmmaker John Waters and a number of other architects and designers.