Alvin Valley Discusses Fall 2014
by Bettina Zilkha
Alvin Valley’s designs have always enhanced women’s bodies while hiding a multitude of sins. Fall 2014 will be no different, though cuts will have more volume and dimension. “The King of Pants” will continue to offer clothes in flattering fits, while experimenting with tweaks in design to move the collection in a more contemporary direction befitting today’s lifestyle.
“I was inspired by Oscar Wilde’s novel, Dorian Gray. It was a social observation, and I had tons of fun doing it. Just as Basil Hallward is infatuated by Dorian, I am constantly pulling inspiration from the impressive women I surround myself with. Women such as RoAnn Costin, Kirsten Green, Marissa Mayer, Alexandra von Furstenberg, Eva Lorenzotti, Alexandra Wilkis, Lauren Santo Domingo and Lauren Remington Platt, all of whom are trailblazers within their respective industries, act as my muses, and I am the painter,” says Valley.
“For this collection, I took special care and consideration for what would make women beautiful and enhance their bodies, rather than hide them. I played with different variations in shape and cut. There’s more volume on the coats, and dimension to the pants. It was a really risky move, but for me it has always been about moving forward. I didn’t want to do an overtly sexy collection, which sometimes I find boring, but one that was about layers, and movement, while still keeping the sense of a streamlined vision. For colors, it is a rich palette of semi precious stones such as tourmaline, sapphire, and amethyst, while grounding it with navy, grays, and black.”
Valley, who has a degree in architecture from the University of Miami, has loved fashion since his childhood in Spain, where his nanny recognized his talent and encouraged him to follow his passion. Years later, when he was ready to launch his eponymous brand, he raised $100,000 from friends and family and immediately asked his former nanny to work with him.
“My initial client base consisted of young women between the ages of 15 and 22,” says Valley. “In 1999, with only Fred Segal as an account, I packed my bags and moved to New York City, where I found a business partner and launched my first fall collection in February 2001. By 2002, I was crowned ‘The King of Pants’ and my designs were in 400 stores around the world. In 2007, we sold a majority stake to The Moret Group. Unfortunately, as a result of the recession, it decided to shelve the brand.”
Valley regrouped, and with the help of investors, bought back his name and intellectual property in 2012. He re-established the brand as Direct-to-Consumer, via an eCommerce presence through AlvinValley.com.
“Clients should be able to use the latest technology to their advantage, working directly with the designer to create the look they desire,” says Valley. “This also allows us to lower pricing for the consumer.”
Valley has no intentions of resting on his laurels, and continues to earn his moniker by innovating his designs.
“The Alvin Valley brand has created a groundbreaking, patent pending waistband belting. It solves the problem of fit, creating a slimmer silhouette that gives a woman confidence and pride in her appearance,” says Valley with enthusiasm. “Currently, we are testing a 2.0 waistband version, which will exhibit environmental awareness and work with mobile devices. We have now also started to develop our own textiles by adding technology to them. We have just started to sell pre-fall, and it is hard to keep it in stock. This enables women to look tailored while feeling relaxed and comfortable. This is our future.”
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