Mario Valentino Spa was founded by Mario Valentino in 1952 in Naples, where is still today the head office. The company works with its own Trademark in leather goods world, producing footwear, accessories and clothes.
The first shoes bringing the Trademark “Valentino” were made in the early 20th century in Naples by Mario’s father, Vincenzo Valentino, who had been considered the best craftsman in the world, since the beginning of his valued work. Even King Vittorio Emanuele ordered some shoes to him.
In his small factory in Naples, he created wonderful made to measure shoes: light, elegant, demanded and very expensive. In fashion anthologies Mario Valentino is remembered as the creator of the legendary stiletto heel and of the common woman moccasin.
He was also the creator of the precious coral sandal, still exhibited at the Bally Shoe Museum in Schoenenwerd (Switzerland), close to the shoes Queen Elisabeth wore on her wedding day.
The preciousness of this shoe gave him the first cover of Vogue France in 1956 and allowed the company to sign a contract with I.Miller in New York, the only one overseas company, which imported luxury shoes at that time and distributed them in the USA.
The founder of Mario Valentino Company was deeply keen on art and considered fashion as a similar and permeable world. Many artists such as Warhol, Pomodoro and Rauschenberg appreciated and shared this concept.
In 1956 the factory was built in Naples, in one of the oldest quarters of the city.
In the seventies and eighties top models, such as Veruska and Naomi Campbell help the trademark to be successful and photographers as Robert Mapplethorpe, Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton showed Mario Valentino design philosophy as a real form of art.
Some of the most famous customers were Farah Diba, Jacklin Kennedy Onassis, Consuelo Crespi, Maria Callas, Liz Taylor, Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Spaak, le gemelle Kessler, Monica Vitti, Ornella Vanoni, Ilaria Occhini, Laura Efrikian, Stefania Sandrelli and Marcello Mastroianni.
Mario Valentino received many awards by important people, such as the Italian Republic President and Ronald Regan.