Wednesday, July 17th
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Carmen Marc Valvo
"Clothing should be like little confectionery bon-bons. My dresses are like a little piece of chocolate — it’s so delicious that you think, I don’t have to have it but, oh, maybe I’ll have one. Just one…"
Designer Carmen Marc Valvo showcased his artistic abilities at an early age with a passion for oil painting. Growing up in Westchester County, New York to medical professional parents, it was always thought that Valvo would enter into the same field and become a plastic surgeon. However, he unknowingly found his niche while constructing lavish medieval costumes for his sisters’ school project. In his late teens he appeased his parent’s and volunteered at the local ER. After a few stints, Valvo quickly rejected the idea of following in his parents footsteps and attended Manhattanville College. After receiving a degree in Fine Arts, Valvo traveled around Europe, discovering more about art and the continents various cultures and languages. After a few years, a car accident led Valvo back to New York, where he finally decided to make a go of it in the fashion industry. Like so many designers, he started out by enrolling in the Parsons School of Design. After graduation, Valvo moved to Paris and was employed by both Nina Ricci and the renowned house of Christina Dior.
In the fall of 1989 Valvo moved back to New York to launch the label, ‘Carmen Marc Valvo’. His sportswear and eveningwear lines were an immediate success; being purchased by top and high end department stores, like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave. Believing a dress should speak for itself, Valvo is a master tailor who consistently makes a statement with extraordinary craftsmanship, unexpected twists and painstakingly hand-detailed eveningwear. With a philosophy like that, it is no wonder Valvo’s A-List clientele includes the likes of Princess Madeline Of Sweden, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, Katie Couric, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vanessa Williams, Kate Winslet, Eva Longoria, and Mary J. Blige. His celebrity and VIP customers soon started insisting on original, one-of-a-kind Carmen Marc Valvo gowns that would make them stand out in a crowd. Only happy to oblige, in 1998, he expanded his label and introduced ‘Carmen Marc Valvo Couture’, which has been worn by countless celebrities, royals, and socialites. Throughout the last decade, Valvo has continued his label’s expansion to include lines of slinky cocktail dresses, lingerie, swimwear and eyewear. In the spring and fall of 2009, Valvo will debut his new lines of home décor and evening bags.
Carmen Marc Valvo, a colon cancer survivor, works tirelessly in the fight against cancer and is an Ambassador for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. He has also gotten involved and contributed to foundations like, ‘7th on Sixth’ with Katie Couric, Gilda’s Club, Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, and the L’Oreal Paris’ ovarian cancer fund. In 2002, he was an honoree at Fashion Group International’s gala, “A Night of Stars: A Salute to American Icon’s”. Also in the same year, Carmen Marc Valvo received “The Million Dollar Dress Award” from Neiman Marcus for being the first designer to have a couture dress sold for 1 million dollars. In 2006 Valvo was the recipient of the first “Advocate Award” for his work with numerous foundations. In 2008 Carmen Marc Valvo designs appeared in the hit film, “Confessions of a Shopaholic”.