There’s a decades-old and infamous battle at the heart of the Valentino name, but what is it all about, and is Valentino by Mario Valentino a luxury brand?
Valentino by Mario Valentino is considered more of a ‘copy brand’ than a luxury brand in itself. While its products are above average retail prices, they aren’t dramatically high, and the label itself isn’t considered a luxury fashion house.
Read on to learn more about Valentino by Mario Valentino, and the controversy the brand became embroiled in with a similarly-named competitor.
The Battle of the Valentinos
In 1952, Mario Valentino founded an eponymous company in Italy, focusing on the manufacture and sale of footwear and other leather fashion goods.
The company plugged along quite happily, building a name for itself in and around Naples.
However, when 1960 rolled around, so too did another Valentino, this time being a fashion designer by the name of Valentino Garavani.
This Valentino also had visions of creating a prominent Italian brand, and thus founded a ‘couture house’ in Rome, Italy.
As the two brands expanded their presence, offerings, and footfalls, they slowly became aware of one another’s existence.
This culminated in a coming together of sorts when in 1979, an agreement was signed between the two brands.
This agreement effectively permitted both brands to trade under the Valentino name without either party amending their image, iconography, or product line.
Although consumer confusion still existed, there was nothing that could be done, short of forcing one party to cease trading.
Valentino (Garavani) would grow to become a powerhouse of Italian fashion, with dramatically expensive lines.
They would dominate the Valentino name with ease and become a staple of the couture industry.
Valentino by Mario Valentino (as it was legally known) wouldn’t fare quite so well.
Their products were often seen as copies of Valentino’s finery, and their price points didn’t come close to their much more impressive competitor.
In 2019, relations between the two brands turned sour, despite their decades-old agreement to retain civility.
Allegedly, Mario Valentino had been selling products that were mislabelled, somewhat deceptive, and far too close to Valentino’s own products.
The decision from the Court of Milan stated that Mario Valentino was “selling numerous models of handbags labeled in a manner that is not permitted”.
It was a clear-cut case of Mario Valentino trying to deliberately confuse the market, and drive sales in its favor.
Setting The Scale Of Luxury
While Valentino (Garavani) sells high-quality products at dramatically steep prices, Mario Valentino falls some way behind.
The latter’s products might be better than the average, but they’re far from the heights of luxury.
There’s no real exclusivity behind Valentino by Mario Valentino either, as the driving force behind the brand is a mass manufacturer.
It’s not difficult to find Mario Valentino’s products in department stores, and even supermarkets, all around the world.
Following a swift internet search, you can find Valentino by Mario Valentino bags for as little as fifty dollars.
There are many ways in which Mario Valentino differs from a traditional luxury brand, but this is the most important indicator.
Further, Valentino by Mario Valentino products can regularly be seen on sale, a practice that few luxury brands partake in.
You’ll never see a Louis Vuitton bag sale, for example.
We discussed how Louis Vuitton operates in another article, including their dramatic policy to destroy all unsold merchandise.
Many critics have slammed Valentino by Mario Valentino, alleging that the brand is incapable of producing its own unique products. In fact, one article goes as far as to say, “I would say the licensed Mario Valentino bags are close to junk.”
Another article detailed the launch of Valentino by Mario Valentino’s bags in the U.S. markets, this time speaking positively about the brand.
The article itself was laced with deception and confusion, referring numerous times to simply ‘Valentino’, and stating it was the height of luxurious fashion.
Ultimately, Valentino by Mario Valentino is nowhere near the scale of Valentino (Garavani). Its products aren’t as high-quality, valuable, or exclusive, and likely never will be.
The brand itself has a very minuscule online presence, and there’s absolutely no endorsement or scarcity to drive up the value.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that while Valentino by Mario Valentino may come with higher than average price points, it isn’t an authentic luxury brand.