Valentino is a historic Italian brand offering a whole array of products – but can we call Valentino a luxury brand?
The Valentino brand just started out with womenswear but has since expanded greatly into accessories, shoes, and beauty – often featuring the brand’s iconic Rockstar studs, that make products from this label instantly recognizable.
Valentino can be considered a luxury brand because it is an important part of the fashion week calendar, showing both ready-to-wear and haute couture collections at Paris Fashion Week.
However, the Valentino name is not as well-known as other luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel – so should it be known as a luxury brand, on the same level as these iconic French fashion houses?
This article will consider the history of Maison Valentino, the quality of the label, and the price range of some products, and highlight some key items you should know about before deciding on whether Valentino is a Luxury Brand.
Is Valentino a luxury brand?
The History of Valentino
The Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani, full name Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, founded the Italian label, Valentino, in 1960. Garavani opened his Italian fashion house on the Via Condotti in Rome with financial assistance from his father.
Garavani studied at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts and at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris prior to starting his own fashion house.
The first international recognition for Valentino came in 1962 when one of his collections was shown in Florence, the then fashion capital of Italy.
Further attention came to the Valentino brand when Jacqueline Kennedy was spotted in six Valentino haute couture dresses in the year that she spent mourning President John F. Kennedy. Valentino Garavani and Jackie Kennedy quickly became close friends, and Valentino created her wedding dress for her subsequent marriage to Aristotle Onasis.
Valentino has since designed wedding dresses for Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Courteney Cox and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.
In 2007, Valentino Garavani and his business and life partner Giancarlo Giammetti stepped down from the brand and then appointed Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli as joint creative directors in 2008. Then in 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri then moved to Dior, leaving Piccioli as the sole creative director.
Valentino has grown in popularity in recent years under the guidance of creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, with an increase in Valentino dresses seen on the red carpet and increased coverage on social media and runway reports.
The Valentino brand has expanded greatly since its origins in 1960 to now include R.E.D Valentino, which is the brand’s more affordably priced contemporary line, Valentino, which focuses mainly on ready-to-wear clothing and couture, and Valentino Garavani, which focuses on handbags and small leather goods.
However, it’s important to note that confusingly, although Mario Valentino may sound like it has some association with the Maison Valentino brand, it does not. This is a completely separate Italian brand with more affordable prices and a different catalogue.
Quality and Craftsmanship
The Valentino label is a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, a historic governing body for the French fashion industry, which could be seen as a symbol of the extremely high-quality in the craftsmanship and materials in Valentino luxury goods.
As the federation covers both the haute couture and prêt-à-porter lines, it is a guarantee that all mainline Valentino collections are produced under the same high standard.
Handbags and belts are most often made from high-quality lambskin or calfskin leather, ensuring a luxurious feel as well as lasting for a long time.
Valentino’s fashion collections are made from expensive fabrics such as cashmere, chiffon, silk blends, silk crepe, and wool blend twee, often embellished with delicate embroidery or beading. And this doesn’t even include the sumptuous materials and hand-decoration of the haute couture collections from Valentino.
Price Range of Valentino products
The price range of Valentino bags, shoes, and clothes displays how luxurious these goods are. Valentino, Valentino Garavani and Valentino R.E.D fashion lines are available in the United States from most major online retailers, including Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The price points for shoes, including high heels, trainers, boots, and sandals are in the range of $490 to $2,850, while Valentino handbags can retail for anywhere between $750 to $6,500.
Smaller accessories, such as belts and sunglasses, are available at a more affordable price point. Sunglasses range from $680 to $940, while belts can start from $520, going up to $1,350.
Clothing is obviously offered at a very large price range, depending on the item, the detail, and the fabric of the piece, with items ranging from $820 for a bodysuit to $16,000 for an embroidered dress
Top Picks from Valentino
If you are thinking of adding a piece of real Valentino to your collection, here are some top pieces to get you started.
Valentino Garavani Rockstud Leather Tote – $1,850
The house of Valentino is well known for its luxury line of handbags, and this Rockstud Leather Tote is a fan favorite.
This roomy, structured tote I made in Italy from calfskin leather and decorated with the Valentino Garavani logo and trademark Valentino Rockstud detailing around the top of the bag.
The interior is fitted with a wall pocket and zip pocket to help keep all your essentials within reach.
Valentino Garavani Cinque Studded Rectangle Sunglasses – $890
If you are looking for a Valentino Garavani piece at a more attainable luxury price point, then these Cinque Studded Rectangle Acetate & Titanium Sunglasses are exactly the item you need.
These chic and sophisticated sunglasses have a super fashionable rectangular silhouette, crafted from brown-tinted acetate and fitted with brown lenses.
For that quintessentially Valentino Garavani look, these sunglasses have been embellished with tiny rockstuds at the ends of the frame and along the arms, adding a striking, glamorous touch!
Valentino Garavani VLOGO Buckle Reversible Leather Belt – $650
For small leather goods, designer brand Valentino Garavani has some stunning wallets, cardholders, and belts on offer – such as this VLOGO Buckle Reversible Leather Belt.
This reversible belt is made from high-quality leather with one red side and one black side, ensuring the belt will suit a wide range of outfits. The belt is finished with the iconic VLOGO buckle in gold – an iconic motif of the Valentino Garavani brand that was based on an archival design from 1979.
This belt retails for $650 and is also available in tan and black or blush pink and black.
Valentino Garavani Rockstud Chelsea Boots – $1,690
With the fall and winter months fast approaching, a pair of Chelsea boots is a must-have in your wardrobe – and these Valentino Garavani Rockstud Chelsea Boots are the perfect option!
These stunning Valentino shoes are crafted from shiny black leather, fitted with elasticated inserts, and decorated with gleaming gold rockstuds just above the soles – perfect to add a little rockstar glam to any look.
Platform boots have become incredibly popular in the past year, and these chic Chelsea boots have a 1-inch platform to really elevate your look.
Valentino is a strong, good brand that consistently delivers high-quality luxury goods with the classic Valentino design. The price point of these products, combined with the historic nature of the brand, attention to detail, and craftsmanship, means that Valentino should definitely be considered a luxury brand.
The prestigious training that Valentino Garavani undertook in his early years in Paris, as well as the fact that the Valentino brand is a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, means Valentino should be regarded as luxury.
Now with the incredible creative director PP at the helm, and the brand receiving more press attention, hopefully, Valentino will become a household name, as many other Italian luxury fashion houses are, and receive the recognition it deserves as a luxury brand.
With this said, it’s important to once again note that Mario Valentino is a completely separate brand that has no links to the Maison Valentino brand. Mario Valentino is not a luxury brand.
We hope you enjoyed this analysis of whether Valentino is a luxury brand! For more content on luxury fashion, check out the links below.