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Alvin Valley, the women’s wear designer best known for tailored pants, will launch men’s wear during New York Fashion Week and show it alongside his women’s collection.
This story first appeared in the January 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’ve always been inspired by men’s wear, especially by tailoring, and most of my fabrics come from men’s wear mills in Italy, so it’s symbiotic,” said Valley. “And I always liked to put the closures on the men’s side, the right side. It’s always been the dream to get to do men’s wear.”
Peter Nyhan, the men’s fashion director of Harrods, gave Valley the encouragement he needed, the designer said.
“I’m focusing on classic pieces with a sexy cut. That sexiness is missing from a lot of men’s wear. I had been reading a lot about the Windsors and Lord Mountbatten, the viceroy of India, and I was inspired by that elegance within the military and their masculinity. I’m designing dignified clothes for men,” Valley said.
“Also, I have two brothers who are in the Marines and a few cousins as well, all of whom have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and their masculinity and bravery is incredibly inspiring,” Valley said.
The collection includes military coats, pea coats, three-piece suits, knitwear and trousers. It is being produced in-house, just like the women’s wear.
“There is so much newness and excitement happening in men’s fashion that I wanted to be part of it,” Valley said. “I only shop for myself twice a year, but lately I find clothes that I want, and lots of choices, and updated classics. Men can go out and find fashion at any level.”
Retail prices will range from $345 to $745 for trousers; $625 to $1,400 for jackets; $700 to $1,400 for coats, and $175 to $325 for shirts.
Valley launched his business in 1995 in Coconut Grove, Fla., and moved it to New York in 2000. The Moret Group bought a 50 percent stake in the company in 2006. After a hiatus, Valley returned to helm the design effort a year ago.