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Verdi was born and raised in suburban Maplewood, New Jersey. His mother, a Portuguese immigrant, was a skilled dressmaker, and his father was a chef. Verdi developed his sensibilities in suburban New Jersey where he defied the norm to set-out on a career as a trained goldsmith. He gained a degree from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. He had jewelry showcases in Manhattan’s Barney’s, Bendel's, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman.
In the early 1990s, Verdi redirected his pursuits towards a career in television. Troubled by the fact that the fashion reporter on Gay Entertainment Television was a straight woman, Verdi contacted the network, which led to his first job in television.
A 1998 article in The New York Times is quoted as saying about Verdi, “In the style universe, where fashion, decorating and the media are usually on different planets, Mr. Verdi travels comfortably between them. He is a jack-of-all-trades in a world where good taste and an instinct for the Now can be a passport across boundaries.” Verdi has worked with many celebrities. He planned the 1996 wedding of fashion designer Cynthia Rowley to sculptor Bill Keenan. He also designed the New York apartments of Sandra Bernhard, Hugh Jackman, Mariska Hargitay and Bobby Flay.
In 2002, Verdi began co-hosting Surprise by Design. On the show, Verdi or his co-host, Rebecca Cole, would redesign a room or exterior space at someone’s home in order to surprise a loved one. The homeowner would assist in the re-design, which would happen on a $2,500 budget, in one day, typically while their loved one was away at work. The show became the Discovery Channel’s highest rated daytime show.
Verdi hosted Fashion Police, a weekly series about celebrity fashion, when it was on the Style Network. He is frequently a guest on a variety of talk and news programs such as The View, Live with Regis & Kelly, The Today Show and VH1’s The Fabulous Life Of. Additionally, Verdi is a stylist for Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria, and has designed two of her Los Angeles, California homes. He was the designer for her July 7, 2007 wedding in Paris, France to basketball star Tony Parker.
In 2010, Verdi starred in his self-titled show, The Robert Verdi Show, in which he styled celebrities and ran amok with bizarre ideas he threw at his crew of personal assistants. The show aired for one season on the LGBT TV channel Logo.
In February 2012, Verdi launched an affordable sunglasses collection under his name which sold exclusively on HSN.
In June 2015, Brides Gone Styled premiered on TLC, with Verdi and Gretta Monahan co-hosting.
- Clehane, Diane (February 3, 2010). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, ROBERT VERDI, LOGO TV HOST?". Mediabistro.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Rohrlich, Marianne "His Job Title is Elusive, But His Taste is Impeccable", The New York Times, March 15, 1998