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June 26 2023

A Day with Valentino: Co-Founder Ben Gallagher

Words: Abby Makin

Picture this, a few days in Milan. Sippin' on Aperol Spritzes, taking in the sights - the Duomo - stunning. What could be better... a Valentino show, perhaps? Our Co-Founder, Ben, was lucky enough to attend The Narratives Valentino runway in Milan.

Back from the scorching fashion capital, we chatted to Ben about The Narratives and what our invite means for the pre-loved fashion game. 

What does any invite like yours signify regarding the relationships - and attitudes - towards the pre-loved fashion industry?

For a renowned house like Valentino to reach out to Luxe Collective, marks a positive step for the pre-loved industry. Luxury houses are taking note of pre-owned luxury brands and the value we hold within the industry. As a company that proudly re-sells Valentino pieces, it felt like a huge stamp of approval to recieve an invite and shows Valentino sees Luxe Collective as a truster player in the pre-loved game.

Where did the relationship between Valentino & Luxe Collective start?

Taking it back over a year ago, we started to create Youtube content, particularly Youtube shorts. These videos caught the attention of the Valentino team that look after the East Asia territories, where our shorts were gaining traction. The Valentino team reached out wanting to work with us on the re-push of the Valentino Garavani Rockstud heels, and obviously, we couldn’t wait to work with the team showcasing the products.

What started as creating 5 videos - quickly transformed into a great relationship with the Valentino team. So much so, the Valentino team introduced us as one of their most-valued creators - a pretty surreal and proud moment for me and the team.

What does the future look like for Luxe Collective & Valentino?

I’d love to attend more shows for Luxe Collective. You can’t recreate the atmosphere of being surrounded by like-minded people who adore and appreciate luxury fashion and what it stands for. For some, it may feel detached, but when you’re immersed in an experience like the Valentino show, you can’t help but appreciate how special this industry is. The craftsmanship, the history, and the innovation in terms of sustainability and new processes - it’s such an exciting space to be a part of. We hope that this is just the start and we can attend more shows with Valentino and other fashion houses that we respect and our audience love.

The Narratives was the first primary Valentino menswear show in 3 years. What do you think this show signifies for the house?

It was exciting to see a show dedicated solely to menswear and the direction Valentino is taking towards masculine dressing. As an avid reader, it was interesting to see how the book, The Little Life, inspired the collection and how Pierpaolo Piccioli interpreted the text in the collection. In some cases, it was literally printed onto fabrics - so cool.

This redefining of masculinity felt different to what we’ve seen recently - more evolved - less about quirks, more considered. The cut of some shirts had a feminine touch, reminiscent of New Romanticism, with silhouettes that felt blouse-like and the use of floral motifs.

I was intrigued by the use of the ValenTie and the story behind it. Piccioli’s daughter chose a tie to accessorise her look, which wasn't an obvious choice. When asked why, she simply replied that she liked it - fair. This sparked Piccioli’s imagination and thoughts surrounding how men choose to wear ties and how to redefine it from their usual traditional formality.

It was clear that PP wanted to align this new menswear collection with Valentino womenswear. There was a fluidity to the separation - obvious, with the lineup - subtly with the sartorial elements of the collection. It felt like Valentino was showing that you can now be the Valentino man, to parallel the Valentino woman.

What was particularly special about the show? 

Universita Degli Studi di Milano Statale was stunning and made such an epic venue. It wasn’t lost on me how special it was to be in such a culturally significant place in Milan watching this show.

The backdrop was made better by the layer of University students who stood on the top tier of the gallery to view the show. It’s clear that Valentino is sticking to their word about fostering and inspiring new talent - much like us! The show felt inclusive, which mirrors what we’re about at Luxe Collective, bringing fashion moments to a wider collective of people who sit outside the front row.

What does Luxe Collective's relationship with Valentino mean to you?

Valentino is the first luxury brand we've had a direct relationship with, so it will always be special to us. Going to Milan only solidified this for me. I just appreciated being invited, but the way the team made me feel so welcome; from styling me, their attentiveness throughout the process and the generous introductions (most valued content creator), made the experience sweeter.

What makes this experience all the more crazy is that we’re not a London-based brand. We're from the North and the North West at that which we’re proud of!

If that doesn’t show the beauty of social media, I don’t know what does. We’ve been able to create social media content from anywhere, propelling Luxe Collective forward, and now we’re receiving invites to a world-class runway show. It’s a massive reward and a moment to reflect on Luxe Collective's success.

 

 

We’re a proud reseller of preloved Valentino bags, accessories and footwear. If you’ve loved this piece, keep up to date with all things Luxe Collective over on our TikTok and check out more about our first pop-up store in London!