Mario Valentino between fashion, design, and art
From his first steps in the footwear industry to his success as a market leader in the luxury segment: both a personal and entrepreneurial story, featuring exceptional partnerships and iconic models. The novel that reconstructs the intense adventure of Mario Valentino.
Originality was his trademark and mission: Mario Valentino, with all of his Neapolitan charm, enjoyed an exceptional life, which is now presented in the novel “Mario Valentino – A story between fashion, design, and art”. Written by Ornella Cirillo, a researcher at the “Luigi Vanvitelli” Università degli Studi in Campania, it was presented this past 24 October at the S. Patrizia Complex in Naples.
Meticulous and heart-felt, just like its protagonist, the novel begins with a biography that takes a look at Valentino’s education and his entrepreneurial story of success, starting from his debut in the footwear industry, all the way up to his triumph in the fashion industry. Contributions made by prestigious stylists, who were key in helping him rise to the top, are also presented: from Paco Rabanne to Karl Lagerfeld, from Muriel Grateau to Marie France Acquaviva, Claude Montana, Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace. A nod is also made to his collaborations with famous illustrators Brunetta and Antonio Lopez ed Eula, and photographers Franco Rubartelli, Roberto Carra, Toni Meneguzzo, Richard Avedon, Robert Mappletorpe and Helmut Newton.
In this novel, the extraordinarily humane and entrepreneurial adventure of Mario Valentino is interwoven with the remarkable story of fashion itself, embracing a period of time that spans from the Fifties all the way up to the late Eighties. It is a story of ambition, strategies, and successes, which reveals also the decisive role played by Naples and the Campania territory in his life and in defining the allure of Made in Italy.
A tool essential to recreating the life’s work of Mario Valentino was the company’s archives, first started by his father Vincenzo at the beginning of the 20th century and arriving at present-day times, as a precious and irreplaceable legacy of the company. Among the most memorable shoes mentioned in the novel are the brand’s coral sandals, which in 1956 were featured on the cover of Vogue France and which today can be seen in the Bally Museum in Schönenwerd, Switzerland, near the footwear worn by Queen Elizabeth during her honeymoon.