Skip To Main Content
my favorite icon

At Home with Studio Mellone’s Andre Mellone & Kevin Baker

WORDS BY SARAH MEDFORD | IMAGES BY BJÖRN WALLANDER

In celebration of Pride Month, visual culture writer and editor Sarah Medford sat down with Andre Mellone, founder and principal of acclaimed Manhattan-based interior design firm Studio Mellone, and his partner, Kevin Baker, the studio’s manager. Below, discover how the talented couple balances living and working together, their unique style philosophies, and details on their beautiful Chelsea Arts District home. Plus, shop their looks and get tips for upgrading your own space.

Shop Men’s Pre-Fall Collections

“For Andre, fashion is more about establishing an image. For me, it’s personal expression.”

—KEVIN BAKER

The entry hall of Andre Mellone and Kevin Baker’s New York City apartment is awash in sneakers on a bright weekday morning: Prada, Off-White, and more, in a tantalizing crush of colors. Inside though, the mood reflects the cool, urbane style the Brazilian-born Mellone has perfected over the course of a meteoric design career. Since launching his own firm in 2014, he’s built an impressive residential client list while creating retail shops for Thom Browne, The Row, Jason Wu, and others. Most recently, Studio Mellone handled the renovation of two iconic Art Deco lobbies within Rockefeller Center. Baker, a former student athlete who hails from Philadelphia, is the finance mind of the close-knit team.

The two have been gleefully sharing their worlds since meeting in 2021. For Mellone, that includes art and design; for Baker, it means fashion and style. “I know very little about fashion,” Mellone admits. “Kevin keeps me informed. And he’s really obsessed with the ’80s and ’90s,” the designer adds, breaking into a laugh. “I love that.”

Sarah Medford: How would you describe your personal style?

Kevin Baker: I grew up in West Philly when the baggy look was big. Basketball players were into that, and I was playing ball. It was an era! And now it’s back. Kind of like these Amiri pants I’m wearing.

Andre Mellone: In many ways, I dress the same way I did as a teenager. I’m always looking for a uniform. Usually a polo shirt—mine used to have an alligator. I like presenting myself as neutrally as possible, to project professionalism. Kevin is 100-percent more daring. He’s also of that age—he loves fashion!

Baker: For Andre, fashion is more about establishing an image. For me, it’s personal expression.

Medford: Do you ever share looks?

Mellone: We both love sneakers. And Kevin dresses me sometimes. He’ll say, ‘You’re a big designer. You should take risks; you look better that way.’

Baker: We went to a wedding awhile back, and we both bought the same tux. I put Andre in a black tux, and I wore the navy.

Mellone: You wanted the navy—

Baker: You look amazing in black!

Medford: Do you see crossover between fashion and interiors?

Mellone: There are creative energies and similarities, but—is it bad if I say no? I do take note of fashion images. And I think about how a client dresses. It helps me understand who they are.

Medford: How did you two meet?

Mellone: Online.

Baker: It was a modern romance. I was finishing school at the time and spending a lot of time in New York. We connected but didn’t actually meet until a year later. We just kept a conversation going. We met and I thought, ‘This man—and where he came from—let’s see what happens.’

Mellone: It’s a little crazy—you know we work together, too.

Baker: When we first started dating, I was working at the University of Pennsylvania in the business department. It just happened that Andre needed a bookkeeper. I thought it would be a temporary thing, helping each other out.

Mellone: It’s been amazing. I feel very protected—someone is watching out for the studio. The designers love working with Kevin, and vice versa. Now he’s learning the names of all these pieces of furniture he’s loved.

Medford: The design choices you’ve made here seem very deliberate, with areas for entertaining and others for quiet moments. But there’s a great flow between them.

Mellone: You always have to consider circulation. And light. This space is amazing, but it’s kind of a challenge as well. You have this train-car effect—it’s only 16 feet wide, but quite long and tall. There is a great terrace, so I planned a more intimate living room next to that. I wanted a lounging place for this vintage Pierre Chareau bed, and then I put the Knoll dining table beyond, facing south. When it comes to a furniture plan, I believe the more sensible approach is usually the right one. Objects get moved around, but the layout is set in stone.

“You always have to consider circulation. And light. … When it comes to a furniture plan, usually the more sensible approach ends up being the right one.”

—ANDRE MELLONE

Medford: Your surroundings make a brilliant backdrop for a New York life. How do you two spend time here?

Baker: Work is really intense, so on weekends we like to relax. Sleep in, have a great workout, then maybe go around the corner for brunch at Cookshop. I usually find time for a soak in the tub.

Mellone: And I’m on the terrace—we have a Donald Judd bench from Salon 94 Design gallery out there that I love.

Medford: Is it ever a challenge, living and working together?

Mellone: It’s a lot, no doubt! But we just keep our mouths shut and burn a lot of sage. It’s unusual that you do so much together so fast. But it’s been great.

The Style Breakdown

Love Andre’s and Kevin’s looks? Keep reading to shop the pieces they wore in the shoot, or match with one of our expert Style Advisors for personalized styling advice with complimentary lookbooks and edits.

Match with a Style Advisor

“I love this polo shirt!”

—ANDRE MELLONE

Get the Look: Modern Minimalism

“This suit by Tom Ford is probably my favorite look. I feel great in this!”

—ANDRE MELLONE

Get the Look: Artful Expressionism

“I’m always looking for a uniform. I like presenting myself as neutrally as possible, to project professionalism.”

—ANDRE MELLONE

"I grew up in West Philly when the baggy look was big. Basketball players were into that, and I was playing ball. It was an era! And now it's back."

KEVIN BAKER

Discover LGBTQ+ Owned Brands

Shop the Fashioned for Change Edit

“This silky knit is very much my aesthetic; I must have seven shirts like it in my closet.” 

—KEVIN BAKER

Upgrade Your Space

Shop Home Decor