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Real Talk with Alvin Valley

Alvin Valley
Alvin Valley

What was your first foray into fashion?

At age 13, I had a patternmaker teach me how to sew and make patterns. [After that,] I made my sister’s clothes; she was my first muse. At 21, I opened my first atelier in Coconut Grove. Some of my first walk-ins were Kate Moss, Neve Campbell (who commissioned me for a dress for the MTV awards), and Denise Richards.   

You have a special relationship with your clientele. How does that influence your designs?

My clients are everything. When you’re designing for runway, the priority is very different than when you’re designing for clients. Runway, you’re thinking of the editors, press, influencers, really people who don’t open their wallets, so I can come up with crazy and over-the-top designs. When you work with a real client, the process is very different. My design comes alive only when I put it on one of my doyennes. It is about fitting it on them live. That flow of creative energy is beyond! And that’s also why we end up friends for life. 

The Alvin Valley collection includes ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, and more.
The Alvin Valley collection includes ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, and more.

You’ve launched made-to-measure, ready-to-wear, sunglasses, shoes, handbags, perfume, swimwear, and a lingerie collection. What’s next?

We have a few cards still up our sleeves. More store locations and a full line of shapewear are in the works. This upcoming spring, we will be in a handful of exclusive boutiques including Net-a-Porter with Alvin Valley Jeans.

The Alvin Valley collection includes ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, and more 1
The Alvin Valley collection

What’s your dream collaboration? 

I would love to collaborate with photographer Nathan Coe. His work is innately tied to Palm Beach and its culture. I’d like to explore my inner Palm Beacher. I think we could come up with some amazing images of my product and his vision. 

How does Palm Beach inspire your collections?

Moving to Palm Beach reawakened my love for pattern and color. Beyond the pastels, there is a vibrancy here. It is one of the last places in America where women dress up daily to go to lunch or even to shop. It attracts very elegant people. The architecture is like nowhere else in the United States. I have always dressed the chicest women from Palm Beach … [and] now there’s a new crop of ladies ordering made-to-measure. They inspire me beyond! 

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