Getting To Know: Valentino by Mario Valentino

Getting To Know: Valentino by Mario Valentino

Get to know Valentino by Mario Valentino, the iconic brand that has been idolised by fashionistas across the globe for over 60 years.

Let’s begin with some background, who is Mario Valentino and how did his brand come into being? 

The company Mario Valentino Spa was really started by his father, Vincenzo Valentino. Vincenzo was a master cobbler and made shoes for the high society in Italy including the then King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III. His son Mario joined and subsequently took over the company in 1952. Under Mario’s direction, the brand became a globally recognised footwear design house. The brand grew in reputation in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s when Mario Valentino imagery and photography was considered as iconic in the industry with top photographers and models recruited to the campaigns.

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Luxury is obviously at the heart of the brand’s identity, how has the luxury market changed since the brand was founded?

Mario Valentino has always tried to make luxury accessible for everyone. He thinks it’s important to make luxury affordable. The luxury market is in many ways the same as when Mario and his father, before him, started. The main difference today is the speed with which luxury designs and trends become mainstream and through the licensing strategy of Mario Valentino Spa, the company makes luxury accessible to all, all under one brand name.

Do you look to the runways for inspiration or should good accessory design be timeless?

Quite naturally the answer is a little of both! For the design of the bags, in terms of shapes and specific details, we look internally to our brand heritage and core values. In terms of colour we do of course look to the latest trends but, of course, we refuse to follow them slavishly and add our own interpretation! Mario Valentino accessories must always be individual and make a statement.

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Obviously, Italian leather goods come with a brilliant reputation, is it a tradition Valentino is proud of contributing to?

Mario Valentino is proud of the roots set down by his father in terms of both manufacturing authenticity and Italian design flair. This influence is clear through all Mario Valentino collections whether made in-house made or under license. Leather and non-leather materials are thoroughly researched and carefully sourced and even the non-leather bags are made using authentic leather manufacturing techniques so ensuring the best possible quality products.

Mario has talked about the importance of attention to detail before, is this something that you feel marks out a true sense of luxury?

Luxury is about authenticity in design, materials, and attention to detail and then finally the overall ambience of the final product. But luxury is also a feeling that the consumer must sense when wearing a Mario Valentino bag with pride. If the consumer feels they are wearing something luxurious we are all winners!

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Shop Valentino by Mario Valentino at Tessuti now.

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