Valentino is one of the most iconic names in fashion, renowned for its glamorous red dresses and jet-set chic aesthetic. But is Valentino a luxury brand and who is Valentino?

Who is Valentino? Is Valentino a luxury brand?

Best known by his first name, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani was born in Voghera, Italy, in 1932. He started his career in fashion from a young age, as he grew up apprenticing under his aunt Rosa and other local designers.

He then went on to attend the École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. While in Paris, the young designer apprenticed for Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, Jean Dessès, and Guy Laroche. In 1959, he returned to Italy and opened his eponymous haute couture atelier in Rome, on the prestigious Via Condotti. 

is valentino a luxury brand

A year later, he met Giancarlo Giammetti, an architecture student. The two became involved both romantically and professionally, and together they grew the brand into a global fashion empire, with clients such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jacqueline Kennedy. The label made its international debut in 1962, at the Pitti Palace, in Florence.

Valentino and his trademark red evening dresses quickly became synonymous with Italian glamour, luxury, and timeless romanticism. The iconic hue, known as Rosso Valentino, embodies elegance, passion, and energy. Valentino’s youthful diffusion line, RED Valentino, is named after this color.

who is valentino

The label was under the creative director of founder and designer Valentino Garavani until 2008. Today, Pierpaolo Piccioli is the sole Creative Director. Since 2012, the fashion house is owned by Mayhoola for Investments LLC. 

Is Valentino a luxury brand? Absolutely—it’s one of our favorites!

shop heron preston on italistAll About Valentino Shoes

Other than the signature evening dresses, Valentino offers a wide range of women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, and shoes—from bold platform heels to pointed-toe flats to casual sneakers. 

do valentino shoes run small

Valentino shoes have a rebellious, punk attitude. You will find pointed studs and ankle straps, guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd. Be it ankle boots or heeled sandals, these shoes will add an edgy contemporary touch to any classic outfit.

Since its debut in 2010, the Rockstud has grown into a classic, a must-have It shoe—bold and versatile, this rock’n’roll studded shoe has conquered the heart of fashionistas worldwide. Today, the Rockstud comes in a variety of silhouettes and colors.

Other iconic models include the Tango patent leather pumps, the One Studs, and the Roman Stud boots. As for sneakers, expect a variety of styles, from the punky Rockstud Untitled, embellished with studs, to the feminine Atelier Shoes Rose Edition, featuring an upper embellished with leather petals, creating a 3D rose detail.

are valentino shoes worth it

So, are Valentino shoes worth it?


All the label’s shoes are produced in Italy by skilled craftsmen, using only premium quality materials—from supple calfskin leather to eco-friendly recycled plastic and mushroom leather.

We love these shoes because they have character, and they suit any look—try them with a chic evening dress, and with a casual brunch outfit.

how to spot fake valentino sneakers

How do Valentino shoes fit?

Here’s everything you need to know about the label’s shoe sizing:

  • Valentino (like most made in Italy footwear brands) uses Italian sizing. The shoes are available in women’s IT 34 to 42, and men’s IT 38 to 48.
  • On the brand’s website, you can find a helpful size guide with measurements in inches. The brand recommends you place your foot on a piece of paper, make a mark at the apex of the longest toe and one at the end of the heel and measure the distance between the two points. If you’re still unsure, read our shoe size conversion article. 
  • Generally, the label’s shoes fit true to size. Keep in mind a pointed toe will fit narrower than a rounded toe—we recommend going half a size or even a whole size up.
  • For all styles, we recommend comparing measurements with a similar shoe you already own.

How to spot a fake Valentino

Unfortunately, when a brand is well-known and desired, fakes are everywhere, and they can be difficult to authenticate. But we’re here to help!

To spot fake Valentino shoes, inspect the quality of the leather and the stitching. The material of a counterfeit shoe will never look or feel the same as an authentic one, and the stitching of a real Valentino shoe is flawless, and impossible to replicate. The studs (if present) should be evenly distributed.

how to spot a fake valentino

Next, take a close look at the tag. Counterfeiters often get the fonts wrong and/or the spacing between the letters is often uneven. The stitching should, again, be impeccable. The “Made in Italy” text should always be present on a Valentino pair of shoes.

And what about bags?

To spot a fake Valentino bag (which retail for an average of $2000) look for the serial number, which is usually located in the inside pocket. Pay attention to the logo inside the bag, which should read “Valentino Garavani, Made in Italy”. Again, the spacing between the letters should be even, the stitching impeccable. You will never find cheap materials on an authentic Valentino, so take time to inspect the quality of the bag.

At italist, we guarantee that you’re buying brand new, in-season, completely authentic luxury goods at the Italian retail price, which is typically lower than retail prices around the world.

Discover our selection of Valentino shoes, bags, and ready-to-wear for women.

shop heron preston on italistis valentino a luxury brand


About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.