VALLI RISING: Giambattista Valli, the Paris-based designer whose client list stretches from Olivia Palermo to Lee Radziwill, has been granted the official haute couture appellation. The Chambre Syndicale, French fashion’s governing body, upgraded Valli from guest member of its couture calendar in a meeting on Dec. 16. Valli was invited to show on the couture calendar for the first time last season and, according to the official rules, would have had to wait five years before being eligible for an official haute couture appellation, but his track record was considered strong enough for early qualification, said Didier Grumbach, president of the Chambre Syndicale.

Boasting a sprawling atelier, showroom and a boutique just off the Place de la Madeleine, Valli has established himself as popular among Europe’s social set, with bridal and private couture orders representing a healthy chunk of his business. “It was clear from his show [in July] that he has caught the attention of a new generation of customers, and he immediately took important orders for his couture,” Grumbach noted. “So it’s true that the haute couture appellation gives him legitimacy but, objectively speaking, he is already part of the system.”

This story first appeared in the December 20, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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