Evening elegance in Black and white
RENEE MINUS WHITE Fashion & Beauty Editor | 4/11/2013, 4:12 p.m.
Along the way, Carmen Marc Valvo's designs have ended up on some of the world's most sophisticated, talented and glamorous women, from Queen Latifah to Beyonce, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Katie Couric, Leona Lewis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vanessa Williams, Mary J. Blige and Eva Longoria. Valvo has proven to be a dedicated scholar of his craft. He has carefully honed his skills to master the fine art of cutting and draping fabric to enhance the female physique. His goal is to bring glamorous dressing to every woman. For fall 2013, his collection is red carpet fabulous.
Valvo grew up in a traditional Spanish-Italian family home in Westchester County, N.Y. His artistic spirit revealed itself early on when he developed a passion for oil painting. He crafted medieval costumes for his sister for her school project. However, it wasn't until much later that he even considered becoming a fashion designer.
"I honestly didn't think it was a real profession," admitted Valvo.
His father worked as an anesthesiologist and his mother as a nurse, so it is not surprising that his parents hoped he would join them in the medical profession. After volunteering to work a few sessions in the ER, he turned instead to obtaining his fine arts degree at Manhattanville College. He also spent several years traveling in Europe and exploring its rich cultural tapestries, becoming proficient in several languages. A car accident forced him to return to the United States and allowed him to set his sights on a career in fashion. After his recovery, he enrolled at Parsons School of Design in New York.
Valvo's professional career began as a ready-to-wear designer for Nina Ricci in Paris, followed by a stint at Christian Dior. By 1989, he was ready to launch his own label. With only a few thousand dollars, Valvo fearlessly pulled together a collection to show to department and specialty stores at the fall market in New York. His sportswear was an instant success, and his collection was brought into the stores. However, designing eveningwear is his true passion. His collections captured the hearts of buyers at both Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. While some designers seek shock, Valvo's creations shine.