Dori’s World: One on One with Designer Alvin Valley

Designer Alvin Valley was in Los Angeles for a very special west coast trunk show. We had a chance to catch up with the designer and talk to him about his inspiration and future plans for his company:

How did you get in to clothing design?
I have always been inspired by clothes…I studied architecture, but once I was finished, I realized that fashion was what I was meant to do. Also, very young I started to read biographies of Halston and Calvin Klein, and loved their lifestyle and immediately a bell rang in my head! So I went with my heart.

Why reintroduce yourself to the world again now?
I sold the company in 2006 and after a three-year hiatus, I began to wonder what I was going to do for next 35 years? Also, many of my clients whom are dear friends of mine were asking me, ‘Where are my pants?’ and ‘Alvin we need you!’ And I thought if I was going to do it, I needed to have to total control of the brand. It took over two years to buy it back…not an easy task.

What brought you to LA for the Trunk Show?
One of the things that I really love about my job is the personal connection with women. I feel that not only is my job to design beautiful clothes, but to actually see who and what they buy. Los Angeles has always been my favorite city in the world, and as we were scheduling trunk shows, it needed to be the first stop. Next up is Chicago, Memphis, Boston, DC, Dallas, and Miami.

It was also fun to see all the amazing girls that love me in LA such as Alexandra von Furstenberg, Minnie Mortimer, Carlota Espinosa, Lulu De Kwiatkoski, and even Cameron Diaz.

Tell us a little bit about your hosts? Have they been fans from the start?
It’s really hard to for me to remember how and when I met all of these women, but I do know there is tons of history. For example, I designed Lulu’s wedding dress, and she’s been a client of mine for years prior to that. Minnie Mortimer Gaghan I have known since she was a teenager, and have dressed her for so long. Carlota is a really great friend of mine, and also have known her for almost 10 years. Alexandra, I had met a couple of times at Diane and Barry Diller’s Oscar’s BBQ. Before launching, I also asked them to pose for me pantless for a viral campaign “Wear my Pants???” It was a bit daring, and at first they balked at it, but it was a fun shoot, plus my dear friend Cristina Macaya photographed them.

Who are your favorite people to dress?
I really don’t have any one favorite. I love women that love life and work, that truly inspires me…I want to be their ally when they are out there working really hard and trying to prove themselves. All the women I know have children, are married and have work of their own, but at the end they are independent. I just want to be there, through my clothes to get their daily tasks done. This is why we have gone direct-to-consumer via, because these women are extremely busy and their schedules do not permit them to go shopping, all day long.

What can we expect from you in the coming seasons?
I am now expanding the collection from just the perfect fitting pant, and doing more jackets and blouses to complete the look. I always say, finding the perfect pair of pants, is solving an issue, but I want to answer the question “What do I wear with these pants?” by completing the look.