Founded in 1952, Mario Valentino opened his studio for his brand. The brand Mario Valentino was launched after Mario took over the business from his father, Vincenzo. The company eventually gained recognition such as the brand’s footwear was featured in French Vogue, according to its website. This has also led it to have a contract with the I. Miller New York studio.
Mario Valentino is popular in manufacturing of leather goods and is by now a historic producer of shoes, accessories, and haute couture. The label is still synonymous with high-quality craftsmanship and timeless design. However, it is often pitted with the almost same name brand, which makes people question: is Mario Valentino a luxury brand?
Is Mario Valentino A Luxury Brand?
Mario Valentino is not a luxury brand as fashion critics and enthusiasts suggest which is contrary to what the company claims. One reason is that its products are not on the same level compared to other luxury brands, particularly Mario Garavini. The latter is where Mario Valentino is often compared to in terms of prices, quality, and brand regognition.
1. The Design
Valentino’s designs are not as innovative as other luxury brands. While its products may be classic and timeless, they don’t offer anything new or unique in the market. Additionally, Mario Valentino doesn’t have the same level of customer service as luxury brands.
Many of its designs, particularly in the bags, have a more trendy appeal which makes it look more like a high-end brand rather than a luxury one. Many of its bags are often seen with gold plated hardware which is said to be made from affordable material.
2. The Quality
The quality of Mario Valentino’s products and the materials used are not as high-quality, and the craftsmanship is not as impeccable. Additionally, the company doesn’t have the same level of customer service as luxury brands.
Yes, there are products from the brand that uses calfskin and sheepskin for its bags and accessories. But many believe that, Mario Valentino also uses low quality leather for its more affordable bags. For example, it uses Sauvage, Chevron, Palmelatto leather, etc. for its shoulder bag, wallet, and many other handbag designs.
3. The Price Tag
Mario Valentino products don’t come cheap. However, they are not as expensive as other luxury brands. For example, its bags can range from $800 to $2,000. While this may be expensive for some, it’s not as pricey as other luxury brands such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton.
In terms of its clothing, the brand also uses lower-quality materials such as polyester and rayon. These materials are often used by high-end brands but not luxury ones.
Mario Valentino is not an exclusive brand. You can find its products in many department stores and online retailers such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, etc. While some of these may be considered high-end retailers, they are not luxury stores.
With a swift internet search, it is easier to find where to buy Valentino by Mario Valentino bags for as low as $50 (secondhand). And that’s not the price tag of a luxury brand. The same goes for its clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can find them at many online retailers and department stores. Thus, it is said that Mario Valentino products are mass-produced which results in someone easily find many of its products in other retail stores.
5. Often Compared To Another Valentino Brand
It’s no secret that there are two Valentino brands in the fashion market: the Valentino by Mario Valentino and Valentino (Garavani). The latter is the epitome of luxury when compared with the other.
The two brands with almost identical names are often compared to each other. However, there is a big difference between the two, and that’s the distinction. Valentino Garavani is no doubt a luxury brand while Mario Valentino, on the other hand, is more of a designer brand instead.
Many Mario Valentino products are not as high quality, valuable, and exclusive as the other Valentino brand. There’s no endorsement or scarcity with the product to drive up its value. As a result, other people don’t see it as a threat or a competitor to luxury brands but instead as a more affordable option.
Does Mario Valentino Hold Value?
Mario Valentino products don’t hold value like luxury brands. For example, its bags can range from $500 to $2000, as mentioned. However, you can find the same bag style at a lower price in other stores, especially if the item is not brand new.
As a result, many of the brand’s products depreciate once they are bought and taken out of the store. The value doesn’t hold as much weight, and people are often quick to sell it for a lower price or give it away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mario Valentino the same as Valentino?
No, Mario Valentino is not the same as Valentino ( or Valentino Garavani). The latter is a luxury brand while Mario Valentino is more of a designer brand. Thus, they are not from the same roots.
Is Mario Valentino real leather?
According to its website, “Valentino Bags are made using the same traditional, hands-on process that Mario Valentino pioneered during the twentieth century.” However, some suggest that genuine leather is not used for all of its bags.
Are all Valentino bags made in Italy?
Yes, according to its website, Valentino bags are made in Italy. “The journey starts in Santa Croce, Italy, where each piece of leather is meticulously selected for quality, cleaned, and treated to create the signature finishes and textures that signify a Valentino Bag.”