Mario Valentino doubles up in Milan

We sit down with Enzo Valentino to talk about the opening of the new store in Corso Venezia

The Mario Valentino brand has always been synonymous with refined elegance and glamour. Can you tell us about the distinguishing features of the Valentino line?

The Valentino footwear line began early last century when my grandfather Vincenzo Valentino and then my father Mario made their first shoes, which all bore the Valentino logo. When he joined the company in 1953, it was renamed Mario Valentino after my father and all its employees came under the new company, as did the use of the Valentino brand. So at this point we had Mario Valentino shoes as well as Valentino shoes. But several years ago we decided to clearly distinguish the two brands. Mario Valentino would move towards contemporary, refined and glamorous fashion, while Valentino would target a younger, sporty, trendy market.

Given the success this line is enjoying with the public, you have decided to produce a capsule collection of bags to go alongside it. Is this a one-off or do you think it could continue?

The capsule bags collection is not at all a one-off. We decided to do it a while ago because we saw the opportunity to have matching Valentino bags to go with our sneakers, both of which are made in Italy and are enjoying great success around the world.

Tell us about the opening of the new store near Piazza San Babila in Milan, in addition to the one you already have in Via Borgonuovo.

Our store in Via Borgonuovo sells exclusively Mario Valentino leather goods, footwear and clothing. The new store at 6 Corso Venezia will stock only Valentino footwear and leather goods, so it targets a different clientele, one that is more dynamic and sportier, as I said earlier.

Is it still a company priority to rely on selected skins and skilled craftspeople to make your collections?

Yes, it is still an absolute priority to use selected skins and all our amazing craftspeople are based in Italy. Obviously, since Valentino products have a different market and a different purpose from Mario Valentino products, the components are selected according to and in response to different targets, while still being very high quality.

How much of the spirit of Naples, which Mario always held dear, is still going strong today in the group’s various collections?

The spirit of the beautiful city of Naples lives on in our hearts, in the atmosphere around us, and in the relationships we build with our clients around the world. We can honestly say that this spirit is the main driver of our creativity.

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