Cornflower • Oil on canvas • 20 x 16%22.jpeg

If Rio Hamilton were to meet his match, it would have been last March 28 when the New York Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDANY) convened an illustrious panel of creative women at 3form New York showroom for an evening entitled, “Designing the Glass Ceiling: Shattering the Status Quo.” Rio’s job was to moderate the participants— Gisue Hariri, Robin Wilson, Malene Barnett, Jean Brownhill and Jennifer Graham—as they discussed their definition of success and the experiences they’ve gained on the way to the top of their respective fields.

Almost any moderator would have had reason to feel intimidated but if Rio did, it didn’t show. Instead, introduced as an “esteemed chronicler of the industry, an accomplish marketer and a wonderful designer in his own right,” it seemed as if he knew that he was just where he belonged.

Whether he’s coordinating an event for one of his clients or documenting one for his widely-read blog, Mon Oncle, Rio began early on preparing for all the roles he play within the various segments of the design industry. From the time he was a young boy in Las Cruces, New Mexico rearranging his mother’s furniture, design was something that pulled at him.

“I had this need to redecorate from a very young age,” he said. “So I’d enlist a friend to help me move the furniture. Mom would come home from work and it would drive her crazy. But she’s still in the same house and she’s kept some of my ideas forever.”