How Arvin Olano Uses a High-Low Approach to Elevate Luxury Homes
Arvin Olano. PHOTO BY JAZMYNLE
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When it became clear that the pandemic was going to be keeping everyone at home for much longer than two weeks, the rush to “nest” was unlike anything previously seen. DIYers flocked to the Home Depot and Michael’s websites (and, eventually, the physical stores) to take on projects they had been putting off with the excuse of being too busy. No one felt this call to redecorate more than Arvin Olano (@arvinolano). He took his love of fashion and interiors and turned it into a thriving influencer business.
Quarantine began shortly after Olano closed on his first home with his fiance in Las Vegas, and he quickly came to realize that not only does furnishing a home take a lot of time, but it’s also extremely expensive. Not knowing where to begin, “I started doing research online, on Instagram and YouTube, and I couldn’t really find a creator in the interior space that was talking about stuff that I needed,” he tells EDITION.
So he took the small following he had amassed on Instagram posting fashion content and pivoted to sharing his top HomeGoods finds. “Everyone was stuck in their homes, and their relationship with their homes started to change and they wanted to fix things up; they wanted to decorate,” he says. “So I think it was all timing.”
Who in your family inspired your love of fashion and your love of creative expression?
I really learned about fashion from my mom. She loves dressing up and putting her best foot forward. It doesn’t matter if it was a special occasion or not, she just enjoyed dressing up. And also my lola [Filipino for “grandmother”]. I remember growing up, she would always do her makeup. One of my earliest fashion memories is when my lola used to put all of her jewelry on and you could hear all of the gold clanking, her charm bracelets. I reference that memory all the time because it made me love jewelry. My lola and my mom, they were really great examples of taking care of yourself and dressing up and showing up in the world as your best self.
I remember all of the huts, all of the sea grass, and all the natural materials by the beach. I’m still drawn to those materials in my design now. I love anything that’s handmade in the Philippines, especially if it’s sea grass or rattan. I love using [those materials] in my vignettes and designs.
Can you talk about the high-low approach that you’re so well-known for?
Here in Vegas, there aren’t a lot of interior design shops or boutiques. It’s very limited. All I have are HomeGoods, Target, CB2 and West Elm, which are stores that are familiar to most people. So I think that’s where I found that success [in building my channel] because the content that I was putting out was super relatable. Everyone goes to Target, everyone goes to HomeGoods, which I love.
But the more I’ve learned about different eras and different prolific designers and really high design from the French ’50s or Italian ’70s, I’m trying to translate that kind of design language to my audience. The first year and a half, I would say, ‘Let’s go to Target or HomeGoods.’ But now, let’s go back to the ’50s in France and let’s see the design they were doing there that was so refined, so modern.
The interior designer's neutral bedroom in Las Vegas. PHOTO BY JAZMYNLE
[I try to show my audience] that you can take something from that era and still put it in your space—and it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money. You can just see what they were making in that time period, [so you can] get inspired and it will inform you to find a sofa from HomeGoods that maybe has a similar arm shape or a similar silhouette. So now I’m shifting my content a little bit to where you can have that beautiful design space by mixing high and low and referencing prolific designers like Jean Royère or other designers from once upon a time.
What’s next for you?
I’m designing a fashion line with Amazon, The Drop and my own collection of home decor. I’ve already ordered my samples, so I’m just waiting. This year, there’s so much for me to share other than just styling tips and how to find the best pieces.