The Valentino Man

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It seems ironical that the designers of Valentino, who pride themselves on some of the world’s most sought after suiting for men, have also designed what the world fashion market suggests is the most sought-after sneaker. It’s ironic, yet not surprising as we see the luxury high-end treating the mid-market as a vessel for uber-artistic outlets in luxury materials. Not only made as a sneaker, but also a Havaiana Croc Thong!

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That’s “couture as culture,” states the organizing principle of Valentino menswear under Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s direction.
It led them into realms where chinos come in chiné, printed with toile de jouy or embossed with a camouflage that conceals little flowers.

The entire opening segment of the show at the last Paris runway, was denim and chambray, but cut, sewn, and bonded into panelled suits and coats. The show wended its way into double-jersey plain white tees, polos, windbreakers, and a new five-pocket jean, more defiantly casual than Fall’s natty suit parade. Awesome!

The inspiration for the dynamic duos Spring Summer and Fall Winter collections derived from uniforms. “We started with the idea of uniform to give freedom to people. Our proposition of beauty for men is to be free to do your own choices.” As the inspiration from uniforms, both meaning freedom and discipline, the Valentino design house is also being somewhat rebellious as one of the haute-est houses on Place Vendôme is using promoting, Choose tees. In its own polished (and, admittedly, business-savvy) way, that’s a rebellion, too. And for years before their ascent to the top spots at the label, Piccioli and Chiuri labored as workers in its mine. So revolution continues.

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