With a spectacular co-op on Central Park West and an exquisite home in Bridgehampton, fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo epitomizes New York. But if there was one other place in the United States he would live, it would be San Francisco. “It’s the only other place for me,” the New York-born designer says from his showroom in New York’s Garment District. “I love it because it’s a small big city. It’s a city in its scope and its grandeur with the ballet, opera and museums. It has everything, but there’s something more obtainable about it than New York, which is so (he growls) and industrial. The cuisine is amazing. It has Napa Valley and Sonoma and some of the greatest wines on the planet.” Valvo returns to the city on October 1st to display his 25th Anniversary Silver Collection — menswear is included for the first time — at The Bay Area Arthritis Auxiliary’s annual benefit fashion show and luncheon at The Fairmont San Francisco. “It’s a great foundation and they do a lot of good work,” he says. Speaking of work, here’s how Valvo designs his days.
6:30am: I have two cups of black coffee while I’m playing Words With Friends and Candy Crush on my Mac. Then I do the stationary bike for 32 minutes or 45 minutes followed by weight training for an hour. When I’m on the bike, I flicker between the news and reruns of “Charmed,” which is based in San Francisco.
9am: I have a light breakfast at home—either a smoothie or one or two eggs, depending on my mood.
10am: I arrive at work. There’s no normal day after that; it depends on what gets thrown at you. The day usually involves at least one fitting, if not two. Each day usually involves dealing with one of my licensee partners. As we’re branding more and more, we’re getting more and more partners, so the schedule is getting tighter and tighter.
1pm: I always order in lunch and have a salad or soup. In the 25 years I’ve been in business, I’ve gone out for lunch less than 10 times. I’m just not a lunch person—it takes too much time. If I do go, I’m like, “Well, should I have a glass of wine?” and then I’m done for the day.
5pm: When I’m good and I’m in show mode, I go home so I don’t drive my staff crazy.
6:30-9pm: I get on the bike for an hour and watch “Jeopardy.” For the month before a show, I average 25 miles a day. I may do another 15 minutes of weight training, but really fast and really intense. I take a nice, long steam shower and then I pour myself a glass of wine. If I’m not in show mode, that means I’m traveling or there are dinners. I leave here at 6 or 6:30 and go directly to dinner. Then it’s bad because I have more than two glasses of wine. That’s why I love San Francisco and the wine country so much: I love my wine.
10:30pm: I go to bed unless there is something really good on TV.