Is Mario Valentino the same as Valentino and is Valentino Garavani the same as Valentino ? Plus a comparison of Valentino Garavani vs Valentino

There’s a lot of Valentinos out there: you might have heard of Valentino Garavani, Mario Valentino, RED Valentino…so, what is the difference?

Is Valentino Garavani the same as Valentino?

Yes and no. So what’s the difference—Valentino Garavani vs Valentino?

Valentino Garavani is the full name of the iconic Italian designer, best known by his first name only.

Valentino S.p.A. is the designer’s eponymous fashion house, helmed today by Pierpaolo Piccioli and synonymous with Italian glamour, luxury, and timeless romanticism. Read more about Valentino the brand.

is mario valentino same as valentino garavani

Valentino Garavani (the brand) is the diffusion line under the umbrella of the Italian fashion house, which focuses on handbags, shoes, small leather goods and other accessories for women and men—whereas Valentino (without the Garavani part) is primarily clothing, ready-to-wear, and couture.

Is Mario Valentino the same as Valentino?

Is Mario Valentino the same as Valentino? No! 

Mario Valentino is an Italian brand specialized in the production of leather goods and shoes for women and men. The brand was founded in 1952 in Naples, eight years before Valentino Garavani’s fashion house—so, in a way, Mario Valentino is the “original Valentino”.

In July 2019, Valentino filed a lawsuit against MV (Mario Valentino), claiming that “because of their similar names and overlapping goods,” the two companies “experienced issues of consumer confusion”. 

The court has prohibited MV from using the logos “V” and “Valentino” together on its products, and enjoined the brand to always include “Mario Valentino” on the inside of bags and on the packaging.

But the legal battle between the two Valentinos rages on…but is Mario Valentino same as Valentino Garavani? Definitely heron preston on italist

And what about RED Valentino?

RED Valentino is the Valentino’s contemporary and more accessible-priced diffusion line for women, launched in 2003. Its name is an acronym that stands for Romantic Eccentric Dress.

valentino vs RED valentino

Tulle, lace, embroidery, bows…RED Valentino incorporates stylistic elements of the main collection with a distinctive contemporary edge.

Read more on RED Valentino.

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Now that all confusion is cleared up in terms of Valentino Garavani vs Valentino, let’s take a look at one of Valentino’s most iconic designs: the Rockstud.

Valentino Size Chart

The Valentino Rockstud

In 2010, Valentino Garavani introduced the Rockstud pump–a low-heeled shoe featuring a classy pointed toe, leather straps, and punky studs. Bold and versatile, the Rockstud quickly conquered the heart of fashionistas worldwide, earning the title of “It-shoe”.

what's the difference between valentino and valentino garavani

Instantly recognizable, the Rockstud motif was inspired by the “bugnatos” (bossages) seen on Palazzo-style buildings in Rome, where the fashion house is based.

Today, the Rockstud pump is part of the Valentino Garavani permanent collection and comes in a variety of silhouettes, colors, and heel heights. Since their introduction in 2010, these shoes have gone sold out every season!

You can also find Rockstud sandals, Rockstud boots, and Rockstud sneakers, for women and men. These statement shoes will add an edgy touch to any classic outfit.

Valentino Garavani also offers a range of Rockstud accessories, including bags, wallets, and bracelets.

valentino rockstud shoes

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.

Valentino bags we love

The latest Valentino Garavani It-bag is the Locò bag–a compact and elongated shoulder bag featuring the VLogo Signature clip closure on the front. Crafted from smooth calfskin, this stylish bag comes in a rainbow of colors: pink, yellow, black, and more. 

Versatile and glamorous, the Locò shoulder bag is an expression of the Italian maison’s metropolitan flair, and a must-have this season! Bonus point: it’s available for both women and men.

valentino bags at italist

The Rockstud Spike chain bag is another of Valentino’s iconic designs. This bag was spotted on countless celebrities, from Jessica Alba to Karlie Kloss. The quilted construction is embellished with small studs, and you can choose from an array of hues.

For men, we love the Rockstud Alcove tote bag from SS22–a sturdy, roomy bag crafted in Italy from grainy calfskin, featuring an adjustable and removable shoulder strap.

However, there’s a lot of counterfeits out there, and authenticating items can be tricky. Find out how to spot a fake Valentino.

How to spot a fake Valentino

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.

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.

valentino garavani bag serial tag
Newer Valentino Garavani bag serial tag, credit Real Authentication

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 (see above for an example of a newer Valentino Garavani bag serial tag).

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.

men's valentino garavani accessories at italist

Shop Valentino on italist

Or, shop—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.

We carry the main line Valentino clothing for women and Valentino clothing for men, as well as Valentino Garavani shoes and accessories for women and men, and RED Valentino for women.

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.